On the previous two shows, Team UK's preliminary fights went off without a hitch. The Americans? Not so much. Two team members still need to be picked because of one fighter contracting the funk, and another one not making weight. So far, the team that has its crap together is the team who likes fish and chips and using the loo. Two spots still need to filled on Team USA.
The house looks like it was decorated by patriotic gang members on acid. There is one paining of Lady Liberty who looks more ready to fight than Cyborg did on Saturday night, and an anthropomorthized Big Ben with a scythe in his hand. When the two teams meet, they instantly break into a song and dance from "Oliver!" No, not really. They do the manhug, talk a bit. Santino DeFranco admits that he doesn't understand a lot of what they are saying, but their accent is cool. My thoughts exactly.
Who is the first guy who wants to get drunk and start trouble? Robert Browning, the brother of Junie. He decides it's a good idea to throw eggs at everyone. It's pretty clear that he is trying to fulfill a certain role, and that is the role of idiot. Also, the guy who likes to urinate in the shower and try to get Jason Pierce to start fighting with him by smashing an egg on his chest. Please remember at this point that Robert has not yet made it into the house, as he still has to go through an elimination fight.
Side note: This is what was wrong with the UFC not kicking off Junie Browning for his antics last year. It opened the door for every other moron -- including, but not limited to his brother -- to come and try out for the show. Well, Zuffa, you reap what you sow.
To try to avoid some of the problems of last year, the guys sit together and decide on some house rules. Basically, "no boogers, no piss, no shit, no bodily fluids." Well said.
Dan Henderson realizes that there is a weird vibe at his practice with two elimination fights still in the offing, but he just wants the guys to work through it. They work on wrestling, since wrestling barely exists in the UK. Damarques Johnson becomes the team cheerleader at the end, and spews out a mostly bleeped out speech that ends in "U-S-A." Somewhere, Lee Greenwood is singing.
Let the mind games begin
Apparently, Michael Bisping had some problems getting a visa for the fights so he missed the American elimination bouts, but he is here and ready to go now. While he is getting coffee in the kitchen, he overhears Johnson talk about how great the practice was. Bisping tells the guys that his boys will whoop them, which instantly gets into Team USA's head. Mission: Accomplished.
At the Team UK practice, the British boys are not taking it easy. They are going hard from day one, and they clearly have a chip on their shoulder.
Back at the house, Browning shows that he is an idiot, saying in his interview to put another shrimp on the barbie. Oh, honey. UK fighter James Wilks gives Browning the nickname Fifteen Minutes.
The trash talk for the fights begins with the usual "Bull Durham"-esque platitudes. Guess who said what and we will think about sending you a cookie. I'm going to win today ... Everyone has two arms and two legs ... It's easier to punch a face than to punch a clock ... This is the most important fight of my life ... He doesn't want it as bad as I want it.
Kiel Reid vs. Frank Lester, welterweight: Reid, an Iowan who has trained at Miletich, goes to his strength early and takes Lester down. On the way to getting back to his feet, Reid attempts a guillotine but doesn't complete it. When trying for a takedown, Reid slams down Lester who is working on a kimura, and knocks himself out. Lester wins by Reid being stupid. After the fight, Reid asks, "Why did you stop the fight?" and won't shake Lester's hand. That may have something to do with Lester celebrating like he just won the UFC championship belt.
Robert Browning vs. Jason Dent, lightweight: Browning says that he is ready to prove what the Brownings are about. You mean, besides destructive alcoholism? Robert has the same, weird stance as his brother, and starts in with kicks to Dent's legs. Dent is fighting rather defensively, and doesn't show anything impressive for the first few minutes besides a very good sprawl on both of Browning's takedown attempts. That turns out to be effective, as he uses his sprawl as an opportunity to unload punches onto Browning's head. Browning lays on his belly, and does nothing to defend himself, so Steve Mazzagatti stops the fight. Dent is moving in the house, and I will thankfully not have to write anything about a Browning again during this season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Henderson says, "I was happy to see him go. I didn't want to deal with that."
Finally, both teams are assembled. Dana White flips a coin to decide who chooses the fights first, and in a change from previous seasons, the right to pick is going to alternate between teams. In the past, after the initial coin flip, the team with the fighter who won was able to pick the next fight. Team USA wins the coin flip. Bisping continues his antics by telling Team USA that his boys are ready to fight right now. Henderson wisely sits, smiles and nods, but says nothing.