The fact that we have to live with (or suffer through depending on your perspective) the shortened season means we are quickly coming up on the finale. This week we kick of the quarterfinal round with the first two of the four fights. To help sell that fight to us we open on Shamar who seems to be having back issues and Chris, his opponent this week who just happens to wander on by whilst Shamar is disclosing this fact. Chris, probably in an attempt to celebrate/get under the skin of Shamar, let’s off one of those “wooo”s that Shamar hates so much. It is the first of many many more to come.
Next up is a pop in with Ramsey’s training camp. Dos Santos is telling him to avoid his cross and to do so by staying active and moving around.
Now we have moved ahead chronologically and the whole cast is gathered and Dana White is there to introduce the guest star of the week and this week it happens to be one of my least favorite fighters, Brian Stann. He is on hand to give us a lecture/commercial about the US Marines…how they made him the fighter he is today, blah blah blah. I sure hope he got paid for that speech but somehow I think that he is probably too dumb to recognize when he is being used.
Clay Harvison= 170
Ramsey Nijem= 171
The next day is fight day and Ramsey is feeling a little under the weather. So much so in fact that he throws up right before the fight. In any case he is ready to soldier on and soon the fight is ready to start.
Clay Harvison vs. Ramsey Nijem
Round 1– The round and the fight itself are something of a joke as it is all over before it even begins. Harvison charges in and attempts to use his striking. Nijem sidesteps it and takes the back. He works his magic and within moments Harvison is tapping to a rear naked choke. It really did go down that quickly.
Ramsey Nijem def. Clay Harvison via Submission (Rear naked choke), Round 1
Dana White come into the forefront for a few minutes first as he echoes Junior Dos Santos’ sentiment that Ramsey just may be the best fighter on the show this year. Then they cut to Clay leaving the cage and apologizing to Dana for his performance. Dana reminds him that he has nothing to be ashamed about as he found through a busted hand that had a bone sticking through the skin just a few days prior.
Then the focus turns to the build up for the Shamar/Chris fight and the premise is that Shamar wants to kick Chris’ ass because he is constantly running around the house screaming. I’m willing to buy this storyline because I know people like Shamar who let the silliest things get under their skin. I’m also not turned off by Chris and his insistence on using that to attack Shamar. Every time the two step foot in the same room this episode Chris is hooting and hollering.
There is a quick comical scene that finds Chris trying to squeeze some last second advice out of Nordin who lost to Shamar in the opening round. Nordin tries to tell him that he is on the wrong track but Chris insists on finding a way to slap a guillotine on his larger opponent.
Chris Cope vs. Shamar Bailey
Round 1– The opening frame would have been something of a snooze had the outcome not been so surprising. What we got was a 5 minute display of Bailey constantly trying to take Cope down and Cope just simply blocking it and landing shots as Bailey refused to relinquish the hold. Bailey did get a few good shots in but the round has to be deemed a failure for him based on how many times he tried to score points and how often he failed. Cope looked outmatched in there but a disastrous gameplan by Bailey allowed Cope to steal the round. 10-9 Cope
Round 2– This round is the same and different at the same time. Shamar is still fixating, to a degree, on the takedown and still cannot pin Cope to the mat. But what he does do well here is box and the more time he spends boxing the better he does. Cope is still looking stellar with his takedown defense but less so in the stand up game. Cope is having some success with the counter punches that he is able to land when Shamar charges in. Ultimately the round is razor close, we’re going to give it to Bailey 10-9 however considering how little time is left in the episode and how much more dominant Cope was in round 1 I’m guessing that they are going to disagree with me.
Chris Cope def. Shamar Bailey via unanimous decision
Nope my instincts were right. This is fairly huge and pretty gosh darn funny as well considering that Bailey got so bent out of shape over the whole noise issue. Shamar, FYI, is in total shock over the decision but he was supposed to be this expert wrestler and Chris was supposed to be the easy win yet he could not get him down even once.
To make matters worse Shamar follows Dana White out of the gym and basically blames the boss for his loss. You see Shamar was trying to put on a show and not do one of those boring fights and that is why he lost. Dana, rightfully, pointed out that he tried, repeatedly, to take Chris down. At this point Shamar starts referencing a back strain. Yikes, that was painful to watch.
To me this episode was decent, good for the season but still a great example of what ails the series. Lame product placement played a prominent role as Brian Stann’s bought and paid for pep talk was nauseating to say the least. Then there was Brock Lesnar’s overt reference to the Burger King logo in the center of the cage which rolled directly into a Burger King commercial.
On the other hand the cooked up drama between Chris and Shamar satisfied me and not just because it ended in a pretty upset. Next week we get two more quarterfinals. In their preview for next week’s show they had a clip of Tony lunching over a couch at somebody and cracking his head on the table behind it. I mean anything that has that type of footage you pretty much have to watch and with that in mind I’m sure I’ll see you back here next week as we recap TUF for you.
Tags: Brian Stann, Brock Lesnar, Chris Cope, Clay Harvison, Dana White, Junior dos Santos, Mixed Martial Arts, Ramsey Nijem, Shamar Bailey, The Ultimate Fighter, TUF