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Maggie Hendricks

Return of TUF: 'The Ultimate Fighter' 11 season premiere recap


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After an absolutely terrible season of "The Ultimate Fighter," with out-of-shape heavyweights and a coaches' battle that took too long to happen, the UFC and Spike are cleansing our palate with middleweights and coaches who absolutely hate each other. Newsflash: Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz don't like each other. Even the training center has been remodeled into a training palace.

After the standard welcome and an expletive-filled inspirational speech from UFC president Dana White, a new wrinkle is introduced to the show. The fighters have to fight their way onto the show as usual, but they are leaving a spot open in the quarterfinals for a wildcard spot. Two fighters who lost in the elimination bouts but impressed Dana and the coaches will be given a second chance to fight their way onto the show.

With that, we jump immediately into the fights.

-- Jamie Yager got into the house with beautiful kicks, knocking out his opponent in the first round.

-- Jordan Smith entered the cage saying that he's a teacher, and the idea of being a teacher He faced Hawaiian Brad Tavares, and Tavares had no problem knocking the teacher out.

-- Cleburn Walker fought Kris McCray, who said he has "the most ferociousness" (sic) of the group. That ferociousness helped out McCray with a textbook hip toss which dislocated Walker's shoulder. Walker tapped, so McCray's in the house.

-- Norman Paraisy is a French fighter and James Hammortree is a firefighter. After Hammortree beat on Paraisy for a round, Paraisy said he can't fight any longer. Liddell is absolutely disgusted with Paraisy giving up on such a big opportunity, and likened it to tapping out to strikes, something that Ortiz did in his loss to Frank Shamrock. Hammortree is so excited that he hugs referee Herb Dean.

"Paraisy's big thing was that he was going to come on the show and prove that the French aren't a bunch of [expletives]," Dana White says. "Not that I'm calling them [expletives], but he should probably get a new job."

-- Nick Ring won by TKO and said, "'kay?" a lot. Kyle Noke elbowed his way into the house in a bloody decision and Court McGee won a three-round war.

-- Victor O'Donnell and Chris Cammozzi fought a back and forth war with lots of throws that went three rounds. The decision and spot in the house went to Chris Cammozzi.

-- Kyacey Uscola and Brent Cooper both like punching people in the face. Uscola must like it a bit more, because he knocked Cooper out cold with a right hook.

-- Constaninos Philippou dominated most of his bout with Joe Henle, until Henle pulled out an armbar and tapped Philippou out.

--Rich Attonito beat Lyle Steffens and Josh Bryant beat Greg Rebello won wrestling-filled decisions. Charles Blanchard beat Jacen Flynn by ground and pound.

-- As advertised in the promos, Charley Lynch and his buddy Clayton McKinney -- who has two-tone hair -- have to fight. Oh noes! Friendship aside, they're ready to throw down. McKinney had no problem breaking his buddy's nose badly in the second round of the bout, winning by TKO. As White put it, "One part of his nose was over here, the other one was over here."

White says that he's never been so positive about the start of a season. Having watched -- and blogged -- many season of TUF, I have to agree with White to a point. Yes, many of the elimination bouts were exciting, but some were also incredibly one-sided.

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