Am I the only person who covets an MP3 of the Ultimate Fighter theme song? I really want it on my iPod for when I'm fading on the elliptical. I want to bear witness to the fitness of the modern warrior.
To start the show, Mir decides that Junie needs to fight Roli. Frank Mir heads to the house to celebrate the win. While at the house, Mir questions the veracity of Roli Delgado's BJJ black belt, and Delgado's explanation is long-winded and dubious. Mir says that he distinctively remembers how he got his blackbelt; he submitted Tim Sylvia.
Junie starts with the smack talk, of course, and Roli tries to let it roll off his back while also telling the world about all his accomplishments, then compares himself to Donald Trump. Junie then makes the super bright move of trying to make a bet on the fight. Confidential to Junie: I'm pretty sure that's illegal, if not just against the terms of the contract. Junie says several times that he will end the fight in the first period.
At the fight announcement, Roli brings out his black belt, and Junie spits on it. Classy. Mir, Nog and Anderson Silva are all pretty disgusted by the spitting, and Silva points out that Junie's posturing shows his fear. Stankie says it best: "HE'S GONNA EAT THAT SPIT. Bing! Bang! Bang!" and "It's a game of kill. Fight fight kill kill."
Junie is eight pounds over, but Mir isn't worried about the weigh-ins. Foreshadowing? Yep, he's 158 at the weigh-in. Mir tells us that Junie keeps making bad decision. Yes. Yes, indeed. Not making weight is one of the unforgivable sins in the fight world, but he has an hour to drop those two pounds. Junie finally makes weight after an hour wearing a sauna suit on the bike and treadmill.
Onto the fight! The first round is almost all stand-up, with Junie gesturing several times for Roli to bring it on, but then backing up when he does. It's really odd. With about thirty seconds left, Roli tries for a takedown, but lands awkwardly. They stand back up, and Roli throws a kick that Junie uses to knock Roli down. While he's down, Junie does more of the odd gesturing but then lets Roli up. Roli then throws one of my favorite punches, a spinning backfist, which Junie answers with a series of punches. The first round ends.
Junie also has a very strange, open stance. He holds his hands open and at eye level, exposing his face. His coaches are telling him to jab, but he's not listening. When he does, he's landing punches and hurting Roli. Roli tries for a few takedowns but they're not successful. Junie continues with the odd gesturing. It's almost like he is incapable of shutting up, so he must gesture even while fighting. He even smiles when Roli punches him. Junie knocks him down but can't finish it. Roli finishes with a flurry of punches. Both camps are hoping for another round, and they get it.
These guys are exhausted at this point, and throwing everything but the kitchen sink at each other. It's mostly standup until Junie catches a leg and knocks Roli down. He then stands over Roli while they kick each other for about a minute. Roli finally gets up, and they finish the round with strong standup. Junie is getting the loser edit, so we shall see what the decision is. But now Roli is getting the loser edit. The winner by split decision is Junie. I thought that Roli had a better final round, but that's the danger of leaving it in the hands of the judges. After the fight, Junie apologized to Nog about the blackbelt spitting shenanigans. Roli is disappointed after the fight, but Stankie makes it better by telling him he loves him. Awww, Stankie.
Line of the Night: I think Roli's belt ceremony was the UPS man coming with the package and hand delivering it to him, and then he opened it, and there was his black belt. - Tom Lawlor
Captain Obvious Award: John Polakowski for telling us "I think people don't want Junie to win, because he can be a real ass sometimes." Indeed.
Super Teammate Award: Dave Kaplan, who cajoles Junie through his weight-cutting
There is no Chris Leben Award tonight, as tonight was truly about the fight and no other antics. That was a nice change.