TUF 16 and TUF Australia
Lately, poor ratings for The Ultimate Fighter had UFC president Dana White pulling tricks out of hats to get the show back on track. For up and coming fighters it’s an excellent vault to the big leagues, with quality production, but I stopped watching the show when it was promoted as ‘Live’ last season but came delayed, and when I grew tired of drunken idiocy and antics of the young fighters forced to bunk together for six weeks.
TUF 16 and TUF Australia had their finales this weekend, and they didn’t disappoint. Great match ups and a slew of great KOs and submissions far outnumbered “Meh” performances. Even if fans can’t stomach the show, the wrap-ups are always worth watching, especially if you like to follow talent up the ranks.
In Australia, Brit Ross 'The Real Deal' Pearson KOed Aussie George Sotiropoulos after staggering him several times. Sotiropoulos dominated Pearson on the mat late in round one, but despite far superior ground skills, pride may have kept him on the feet swinging, till it was lights out. It was a mistake, and reminds me of the line from pulp fiction: “Hear that? That’s pride ****ing with you.”
Hector 'Lightening' Lombard impressed with a brutal KO of Brazilian Jiu jitsu leg lock specialist Rousimar 'Toquinho' Palhares. Lombard used his superior wrestling to keep Palhares at bay, and punished him with heavy shots. It was a nice change from the split decision loss to Tim Boetsch which was his entrance into the big show, after being hyped as the next big thing. People will be talking about Lombard again.
At TUF 16, Canadian Mike Ricci disappointed with a lackluster performance, and the Tristar member who trains with Rory MacDonald and GSP was smothered with good wrestling by Colton Smith, who ignored entirely the Harley rep who was presenting him with a motorcycle for the win.
Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson showed why looks don’t necessarily mean much compared with technique when the physique-challenged heavyweight KOed Shane Carwin stand-in and former NFLer Matt Mitrione. Nelson has the toughest chin in the UFC, made evident when he went the distance with champ and KO artiste Junior 'Cigano' dos Santos. A beautiful shallow uppercut was the beginning of the end for Mitrione.
What I like about Nelson, despite a lot of reports he’s difficult to get along with, is he’s not cookie-cutter. While nearly every other fighter is ripped, tattooed, and bald, Big Country has an untrimmed, mountain-man beard, bad mullet, and in-your-face, doughy-white corpulence. But he wins far more than he loses, and in fan-pleasing style. Go Roy.
Click here for Australia TUF results.
Click here for TUF 16 results.
Follow me on Twitter @RenkoStyranka