The Ultimate Fighter 13, Episode 1 Recap
Mar 31, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck
by Jake Cardwell
TUF 13 Ep 1
We start off, as usual, with Dana White waiting in the gym for the 14 fighters. Dana welcomes the excited fighters to the show, and informs them there are no qualifying bouts. We are informed that this season will feature the wildcard bout, which is a good thing for the show to have. Dana introduces the fighters to the coaches, Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos. The two men appear to be on good terms and shake hands. What does it say about Brock that they have to talk about his college wrestling while Dos Santos’ MMA record is boasted?
The coaches are given two hours to evaluate the fighters, which I like. Brock says his plan was to put some of the fighters through a cardio test to see if they are in shape. Dos Santos says he doesn’t speak much English, but they all speak the fight language. He has his guys go at it a little bit in the octagon to see what kind of fighters the guys are. Dos Santos mentioned the difference in a approach, saying Brock seemed for focused on cardio than actual fighting.
Lesnar questions the fighters as to why they are there, all of the fighters say they are there to fight in the UFC and be the best they can. He says Len Bently is at the top of his list.
Dos Santos has two fighters wrestle, Shamar Bailey and Ryan McGillvray, he impressed with both. He is also impressed with Myles Jury. Myles hurt his knee a little bit, but claims he will be fine.
Lesnar wins the coin toss, and chooses to make the first pick, allowing Junior to pick the first fight. Lesnar had a great quote “if I can’t get the best guys, we’ll have to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.”
The teams are picked as follows:
Lesnar: Len Bentley, Charlie Rader, Tony Ferguson, Clay Harvison, Myles Jury, Chris Cope, Nordin Asrih
Dos Santos: Shamar Bailey, Ryan McGillivray, Javier Torres, Ramsey Nijem, Zach Davis, Mick Bowman, Keon Caldwell
Chris Cope seems displeased with the team he is on, while everyone else is either happy or indifferent.
At the house, the teams each have separate bedrooms.
Dos Santos is excited to have the first fight pick, and is very pleased with his team.
At a team Lesnar training session, Brock is concerned about Dos Santos picking Myles to fight. It turns on Myles has a torn ACL, and is informed he cannot fight. First episode, no fights yet, and we already have someone pulled due to injury. Dana has to remove him from the show, very unfortunate for Myles. Myles claims he will go forward with his career. Chuck O’Neil gets Myles spot, and is pleased to be on Lesnar’s team.
The teams come together for the first fight announcement: Shamar Bailey vs. Nordin Asrih, his first pick, against Lesnar’s last. Dana says not to doubt the last pick, and Nordin blames his poor showing at evaluations on jet lag. Lesnar and Dos Santos wish each other luck.
Nordin thinks Shamar has better wrestling, but he has better striking, and doubts Shamar’s conditioning. Nordin’s striking in practice looks very crisp and clean
Shamar points out the gap between European and North American MMA. Dos Santos praises Shamar’s strength, speed and confidence.
On the morning of the fight, Shamar reads his Bible, while Nordin, a Muslim, does his prayers. An interesting contrast.
Elimination Match #1: Shamar Bailey (Team Dos Santos Pick 1) vs. Nordin Asrih (Team Lesnar Pick 7)
Round 1: Shamar comes on fast and goes right for a take down, getting to side control. Nordin is holding on to Shamar’s head, but loses it. Shamar struggles to maintain balance at first, and is attempting the Salaverry. Shamar tries to go to north south, but that allows Nordin to stand. Shamar gets another take down, and stands up to land a decent shot and pass to half guard. Shamar is landing some decent ground and pound, but nothing overly damaging. Shamar tries to pass, but losses position, and reclaims half guard. Nordin briefly attempts a Kimura, but abandons it. Good work by Nordin in keeping half guard, and not allowing Shamar to pass or do much damage. Shamar is doing just enough work to not get stood up. With 20 seconds left, Shamar stands, before going back into guard before time expires. 10-9 Shamar.
Round 2: Nordin throws a head kick, but misses and slips. A knee bar attempt by Nordin briefly keeps Shamar at bay; however, Shamar shortly obtains full mount. Nordin pushes off the fence, briefly giving up his back, but ends up on top, and goes for a guillotine, but Shamar passes to side control and Nordin lets it go. Shamar briefly gets the Salaverry and lands two or three good shots. Shamar holds Nordin in side control for the next minute landing knees to the body and elbows. Shamar mounts again, before Nordin gives up his back. Shamar opts to punch instead of going for the rear naked choke, and Nordin turns back over. Shamar postures up and lands some big shots on Nordin. Time expires with Shamar on top. 10-9 Shamar.
Winner: Shamar Bailey via Unanimous Decision (20-18 across the board)
Not the greatest fight, but not boring. Shamar is pleased, as he didn’t use all his tools. Lesnar explains to his team how powerful wrestling is.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad first episode. I don’t like when the first episode is full of boring stuff, and there was nothing boring going on here. The fight wasn’t the greatest, but it was engaging enough to watch unlike some TUF bouts. The preview at the end of the episode did a good job hyping up the season. Plus it’s always nice to see Matt Hughes (he was in the trailer)