With the power to pick the next fight back in the U.K.'s hands, I couldn't believe I didn't get picked again. Even though I didn't look all that good in my match versus Rob Browning, I was the most expereinced lightweight in the house. When I heard Ross Pearson's name called out I almost took a step forward, excited and expecting to be picked. But then Bisping called out Richie Whitson's name and I knew I'd have to wait it out just a little longer. Even though I didn't get picked, I was still excited to know who I'd finally be fighting. Immediately after Ross and Richie squared off, both Jeff Lawson and I made eye contact knowing we were going to be the last two lightweights that were going to lock it up.
Now on to the "bash room" incident. I believe it happened after one of our morning training sessions had taken place. Seeing how there was no showers in the upstairs U.S. room, I had to shower in one of the two downstairs U.S. rooms. After getting showered and cleaned up, I believe I was shaving and I could hear a bunch of the guys talking about Jason Pierce negatively. For a second, I thought about just ignoring the whole situation but the more I heard them talk about Pierce, the more irritated I got. He wasn't there to defend himself.
Talking behind someone's back is bad enough, but doing it when you know you are being filmed is below the belt. In Pierce's defense, he probably beat the toughest guy in the preliminary fights to get in the house. He beat Steve Berger, who was already a UFC vet and a fighter that I had been following for many years as a fan. Pierce injured his foot pretty badly in that fight and it stayed swollen and irritated, making it pretty hard for him to get in any quality workouts. Luckily for the rest of the U.S. team, no one else had any serious injuries that were bothering them.
I think the coaches challenge was one of the most memorable days next to the fight days for me. Nobody knew what the coaches' challenge was going to be be until we pulled in and started walking to the tennis court. The thought of Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping squaring off in a game of tennis was hilarious. Luckily for us, tennis seemed to come pretty natural for Hendo. He pretty much dominated Bisping from start to finish. Not only did Hendo make himself 10 G's but he also won each one of his team's fighters and coaches $1,500. I think the money we made that day was the easiest money I've ever made seeing as Henderson did all the work. It was a nice change of pace for U.S. team, since we were still trailing the U.K. 3-2 at the time.
Some footage that I myself have just now seen and had no idea of while staying in the house was that of Cameron Dollar getting drunk and venting out some of his emotions out on the deck. I kind of feel for the kid now after watching this episode. He's really young and apparently has some family issues. I didn't know about those. I'm lucky to have a very close family and I hope Cameron gets a chance to have a better relationship with his parents. I don't know where I would be without the family and friends that I have honestly. The confusing part for me is everytime Cameron and I were around each other, he would come of as cocky and arrogant. Then when he did his interviews he came off as a level-headed, honest guy.
After watching Richie's first fight, and training with him, I thought he was going to win for sure. I think the fight was even until the unintentional knee to the head by Ross. I believe the knee broke Richie's nose. Being the stud that Richie is, he tried to shake it off and only took a few seconds break and had the referee restart the match. From that point on, it appeared that Richie couldn't find his timing and Ross was able to start scoring more and more with his strikes. Late in round one, Ross hit a beautiful double leg and Richie tried scrambling back to his feet which he is really good at doing but this time he gave up his back. Ross quickly transitioned from a rear-naked choke to an armbar which would ultimately end the fight as Richie was forced to tap out. It was tough enough seeing Richie lose but now knowing that the U.K. was winning 4-2 made it even worse. In a best case scenario, both Pierce and I would both have to win our fights just to even up the odds for the semifinals.
I just want to say that I was excited as hell to be getting a chance to represent the U.S. against the U.K.. Even though I didn't get along with some of the other U.S. guys in the house, it doesn't mean that I don't love my country. I hope all the U.S. guys have successful careers and live out happy lives, just the same I would never want to have to live in house with 16 guys ever again. Until next week, see ya!.
Team USA fighter Jason Dent is blogging each Thursday for Cage Writer. Watch Dent on "The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K." each Wednesday night (10 p.m. ET/PT) on Spike TV.