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Steve Cofield

Kaplan not accepting anymore freebies to the face

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

Junie Browning's real UFC debut comes this Saturday. He was accused of quitting in his loss to Efrain Escudero on The Ultimate Fighter 8. Has his time at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas straightened him out mentally? We find out during the finale show against Dave Kaplan. Yahoo! Sports tracked down Kaplan to talk about Junie and the funniest moment of the season on the reality show.

Kaplan's new mentor, Frank Mir, doesn't like Browning. He didn't mince words on that subject in a recent video interview with RawVegas.tv. Kaplan doesn't feel the same way. He really had nothing bad to say about his opponent's behavior during the taping of the show but Kaplan just couldn't figure out why Browning would want to waste the opportunity to work with all the great coaches on the show:

"I think it's difficult with such a great coaching staff on either side to not make the most of that opportunity. But everyone is not at the same level of professionalism."

Kaplan is also the first to say that he deals with mental issues as well. They're not exactly the same but Kaplan says he needs stay composed in the cage. He didn't do so when he allowed Phillippe Nover to "test his chin" at the start of their fight:

"Because I want it to be something that I'd want to watch, I get into trouble. I've given up my back in fights just to make the fight more exciting. What Phillippe did to me was definitely a lesson. I'm not going to let Junie punch me in the face for free."

Make sure you watch around 6:30. Kaplan drops a bombshell about the much-ballyhooed scene (The Soup's Clip of the Week!) where he allowed Tom Lawlor to coldcock him after multiple tequila shots. He also waxes poetic about his idol, pro wrestler Ric Flair, and on the origins of his own nickname, "Diamond" Dave.

NOTE: The MMA Experts Blog is seated cageside and will have live fight-by-fight coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. ET. Join Maggie Hendricks for a live chat during the televised portion of the show beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

We'll also have a live post-fight show from Las Vegas. I'll be joined by fighters from the card, Matt Serra, Stephen Bonnar and Frank Trigg. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.

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