- MIKE DOLCE: WHAT IS AN ULTIMATE FIGHTER?

June 5, 2008
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by Mike Dolce for MMAWeekly.com







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Mike Dolce’s Ultimate Fighter 7 Blog: Week 10

 

Punch Drunk

 

First off, allow me to apologize for not submitting last
week’s blog. I love writing this piece and was personally disappointed in not
being able to fulfill my weekly commitment to you and to this web site, BUT
(there’s always a BUT isn’t there?) I truly have a good reason.

 

Really!

 

You see, I’m currently training in the mountains of Big Bear
Lake, Calif. with the UFC light heavyweight champion of the world, Quinton “Rampage”
Jackson. And, as well equipped as Big Bear is for helping athletes prepare for
major sporting events, it is poorly equipped for out-of-towners who are
accustomed to “fancy” cable television and even fancier high-speed Internet
access. I was simply unable to watch the show until this Monday when my good
friends at Spike TV were able to rush me out a copy.

 

Briefly, last week’s episode was pretty much just about the
fights, which were comprised of Team Forrest versus Team Forrest in a double
feature. Dante Rivera was defeated by Jesse Taylor and Matt Brown was defeated
by Amir Sadollah.

 

For some on Team Rampage, these fights were anti-climactic,
as there was not a vested interest in the outcome. But not for me.

 

I was honored to be asked by both Dante and Matt to corner
them for their bouts. I have said this before, but when one of your peers asks
you to step into battle with them, there is no higher compliment and thus far,
I have cornered every single fight on “The Ultimate Fighter 7,” even when my
own “team” was not fighting. This fact makes me very proud.

 

Moving on to this week’s episode, what can I say?

 

At the risk of pissing a bunch of people off, I’m going to
tell you.

 

Personally, I knew something was seriously wrong with this
production when, as a sequestered, professional athlete in the midst of a major
sporting event, I could not obtain a free range chicken breast for almost 48
hours of repeated requests, but a bottle of tequila, a half rack of beer and a
funnel could be delivered in twenty minutes at any time of day or night with a
single belligerent phone call. All under the guise of trying to determine just
who was The Ultimate Fighter…the epitome of professional athletics.

 

To me The Ultimate Fighter is a term that should be reserved
for a gentleman-athlete who stands above his peers, not just in his ability to
perform within the confines of competition, but within the confines of civility
and life.

 

Call me an old-fashioned square but, “It is the Ul-ti-mate,”
right?

 

That is a very definite term with no room for flaws, inside
the cage or not.

 

Is Spike TV, The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC or our rapidly
growing fan-base really interested in finding the next great representative
that can cause the most destruction to a rented home while getting drunk,
pissing his pants and sacrificing his dignity?

 

I don’t think so.

 

Are they looking for a house full of socially inept, moral
delinquents that couldn’t channel their mental energy into anything more
meaningful than a wall mural of penises and vaginas?

 

What was once a ground-breaking format that introduced the
world to the most exciting combat sport in history, has slowly degraded into a
low-brow compilation of alcohol induced, frat boy antics that could serve to
destroy the very concept it was intended to create.

 

I have an idea.

 

Take the alcohol out of the house that is supposed to be
filled with the next generation of professional athletes. Fine the athletes
for any destruction of property or lewd conduct, or better yet, send them home.
Force the athletes to treat the set, the production and the sport with the
respect it deserves and then see who makes it through.

 

In essence, turn this into a test of mental and physical
fortitude while bringing out the best in each competitor. Do not coerce the
worst.

 

It still baffles me that I could not bring a Bible onto the
set with me. Not even for fifteen minutes on a Sunday morning. But, if I
wanted, I could consume as much top-shelf alcohol as I wanted, for free,
twenty-four hours a day?

 

As a testament to that option, would you believe that some
of the cast members showed up to the fights drunk? Some made it a point to get
trashed just to go to the weigh-ins and fight-picks? Would you even believe
that some of my fellow cast members showed up to team practices too drunk to
participate in any meaningful capacity other than captivating the cameras with
their slurred speech and bouts of random uselessness?

 

Believe it friends, because it happened, often!

 

Funny as it might have seemed in their minds at that time, I
found that type of behavior to be disrespectful. It made a mockery of the UFC
and every athlete that has sacrificed so much for an outside chance of making
it as a professional mixed martial artist. Privately, each showed remorse for
their behavior. Unfortunately, not so much for their own self-respect, but
with concern for, “How do you think that will look on TV?”

 

“Why the heck are these guys even here?” I thought to myself
daily.

 

Though, I didn’t have to think long. Most of these guys
were here simply to be on television.

 

I must have forgotten that. I was just there to become “The
Ultimate Fighter.”

 

 

Mike
Dolce is a cast member of Spike TV’s
“The Ultimate Fighter 7.” He is also a strength coach,
sports nutritionist and author of
“The DOLCE Diet: Living Lean.” For more information go
to his website www.MikeDolceMMA.com

 

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