by Dean Amasinger, Special to MMAWeekly.com
After Episode 7’s suggestions that Pierce would not be
fighting it was no surprise to find out that he was to be ‘benched’ for his
quarterfinal fight against Dave.
Early in the episode you see him having a conversation with
the U.S. coach Heath and his attitude, body language and excuses show that he
had already given up in his head.
Heath made the valid point that rarely will you come into a
fight 100% and it’s just part of the fight game. Some people think that if you
did you probably weren’t training hard enough in camp. Also, it’s only pain, so
with a few painkillers and the adrenaline from the fight he probably wouldn’t
have felt it anyway.
Like I had mentioned before Dave had been playing mind games
with Pierce the whole time we had been in the house and combined with not
feeling 100%, Pierce really didn’t want to fight.
That was painfully apparent when he was called in to speak
with Hendo and Dana. Again his body language was off and he even spoke
sombrely. He reminded me of a kid trying to get a day off school by playing
Dana asked him, “So, are you able to fight?” The answer to
that question is either “yes” or “no”… but instead he reeled of a list of
excuses that in mine and certainly Dana’s mind told him that he didn’t want to
Hendo shared Heath’s sentiments that he would fight
regardless of how his leg felt. It was apparent that Hendo was disappointed
with Pierce’s attitude and commented that if he really wanted to fight he would
have made it known.
Most fighters’ attitude is like that of the Black Knight in
Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “tis but a scratch” and would even hide an injury to
get the opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity that Pierce has now missed.
I don’t think it could be said that Pierce embodies the
warrior spirit, in fact he showed the opposite of what Cameron had shown when
facing Stapes and gave in to his fear.
When Dana made the decision to pull him out of the fight
Pierce said that he was experiencing a “roller coaster of emotions,” the main
one being relief I assume. In time though I think he will feel regret at
passing up his chance.
An interesting thing I noticed that adds fuel to my
scepticism is when Dent won his fight Pierce picked him up and seemed a changed
man to the one that was just talking to Dana.
I think Dana hit the nail on the head when he said that when
Pierce got to the house he realized that he wasn’t really a fighter.
On a lighter note, I would like to apologize to anyone who
knows me personally for my embarrassing debut as a WWE wrestler. The house can
do crazy things to you and the combination of boredom and being nagged from day
one by Dave to put on a show ended with those unfortunate events.
In fairness, I had a lot of fun doing it and I think the
other lads found it funny too. We had not planned on what was going to happen
except the suplex finish into the pool so we just winged it for the rest of it.
This episode did remind me of all the fun we had while in
the house and a lot of those times were because of Jeff. He is such a funny
bloke and, as you could see, quite the performer. He would often just be acting
stupid with Dave and entertaining the rest of the team.
The next fight was between the two remaining lightweights
Jeff and Jason. Jeff had been ill for the first nine days of being in the house
and not training at all.
Considering that we had only been in the house for three and
a half weeks it was a concern that Jeff would not be able to give a good two
rounds. Jeff had bronchitis so not only was he not training but his illness was
further affecting his cardio.
Skills wise Jeff is a force to be reckoned with. As I said
on the show his throws were incredible and he is one of the few Judokas in MMA
to be able to utilize their skills without the Gi.
On the ground he is a wizard and pound for pound possibly
the best on the U.K. team. His stand up is unorthodox and he’ll be the first to
tell you that’s not where he wants the fight to be, as he so honestly explained
his game plan.
Dent on the other hand was a hard one to work out. I never
found him to be a problem in the house, he just seemed to try and keep himself
to himself and we would make small talk.
I think the thing with Dent is he is an introvert, which is
an uncommon personality for a fighter and a possible reason for his
unresponsiveness to coaching.
In his elimination fight, he was admittedly nervous and didn’t
perform, but as a guy who has gone the distance with Roger Huerta and Gleison
Tibau, I’d take his word for it.
The fight didn’t go quite to plan for Jeff, but he was able
to get a takedown and stay in top position. Instead of going for an armbar
though, Jeff nearly got a knee bar, but Dent escaped. While in guard he
attempted some ground and pound, but I think he wasted energy here, as Dent was
able to defend most of the shots.
We were screaming from the side to pass guard and when he
eventually did he ended up in mount, but Dent showed his stubbornness and was
able to reclaim guard, kick off and reverse the position.
Jeff clearly won the round and Hendo told Dent this in the
break. The second round though was just too much for Jeff; he had already
gassed and couldn’t get the takedown on the fresher Dent.
Jeff tried a scissor takedown, which he almost got but
transitioned to another kneebar attempt that again was avoided by Dent. At this
point Jeff resorted to shooting in on Dent but he sprawled and from that top
position got the anaconda.
Jeff could have done the same thing as Pierce and said I don’t
want to fight if I’m not 100%, but he chose to give it his best and go out like
All credit to Dent though, he capitalized on the situation
and won the fight.
We’ll have to see next week who will be fighting Dave in the
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