16 March 2012
The first actual episode of TUF kicked off tonight.
The sixteen fighters move into the new house and the typical, “Oh shit!” reactions abound. I wish they would focus more on the interactions between the fighters but given that this is the first episode I’m not going to expect much drama.
Now it’s time for the fighter selection and with the coin toss Urijah Faber wins the toss but defers the first pick for the choose of the first fight. Justin Lawrence is the first pick for Team Dominick Cruz. It’s a good pick up for Cruz as Lawrence is a beast.
Urijah Faber is shown coaching his team and his laid back persona and success with his fighting team, Team Alpha Male, should make one of his fighters the early frontrunner to win the show.
Or course, Cruz has Phil Davis as his wrestling coach so I expect his fighters to be well conditioned in their fight. While some fighters, like Chris Tickle, wanted to be on Faber’s team it appears that after working with Cruz the attitudes toward the UFC champion have changed for the better.
Tension between the two coaches begins to boil as Faber takes exception to an interview Cruz did that may have insinuated that Faber had the help of his parents when he opened his gym. As far as arguments go, it was pretty lame but kudos to Cruz for defusing the situation.
James Vick vs. Daron Cruisckshank is the first fight of the live series
Michael Chiesa gets the news during the show that his father has passed away due to cancer. You have to feel for the guy as he breaks down into tears over the news. It’s a genuine moment and one of the few reasons why reality TV is so popular.
Dana White lets Michael Ciseia fly back home to be with this family for a day. To be honest, i thought they would have thrown the hardline stance of if you leave, you’re gone. Of course, that would be the ultimate dick move so it’s good to see the UFC be flexible.
I know James Vick on a personal level. He’s probably one of the most down to earth people you will ever know. He literally came from nothing to a fighter on the verge of a UFC contract so to say that I’m viewing this fight without bias I would be lying.
Of course, that was the reason I was jumping on my couch as Vick put Cruickshank to sleep with a perfectly timed knee to the face at 2:16 in the opening round. It seems that everyone on the show was sleeping on Vick, but having covered his fights on the local scene, and knowing his coaches, you can’t count the dude out of any fight. Cruickshank was winning the fight but all it takes is one mistake.
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