by Cindy Ortiz (photo courtesy of theultimatefighter.tv)
Season 2 TUF competitor, Eli Joslin, shocked millions of viewers Monday night when he walked away from the opportunity of a lifetime; the chance to compete for a six-figure contract with the UFC and perform in the octagon, the premiere proving ground for MMA fighters on the planet!
Eli Joslin is the 26 year-old American Bulldog breeder out of Yosemite, CA with a professional MMA record of 1-0. Joslin competed in the Gladiator Challenge in March 2005, defeating Anthony Vera via TKO 10 seconds into the first round.
Joslin, an avid Oakland Raiders fan and former linebacker at Mariposa High School is a self-professed modern day gladiator who claims he has been fighting his entire life. Joslin’s confidence in front of the Spike TV cameras during the opening minutes of The Ultimate Fighter (episode one) which aired Monday night, bordered on pure arrogance at times. He told fellow competitor, Marcus Davis, that he was going to be “slinging ‘em and he could take a punch, too” and “if they could weather his storm, more power to ‘em!”
Joslin even shared a little story with the Spike TV cameras regarding his first time in the ring! He said, “I looked over at the guy across the ring like his f**kin’ head was a piñata and I went over there and started smashing his head until the candy came out!”
Wow! Could Joslin be the Tank Abbott of 2005? Did the UFC finally have another bad-ass heavyweight in their grips who liked to “sling dogs” and punish his opponents? I was hopeful, but it turns out Joslin was… well… hopeless!
After just one day of training, Joslin called Dana, Matt and Rich to the fighters’ house for a closed door meeting… and quit! His reason? He “couldn’t take all the cameras in his face; they were freaking him out!” Seems the experience was, “too much like being in jail” and he was too anxiety stricken to continue. He wanted to be clear with Dana and the coaches, however, that he wasn’t quitting because he couldn’t cut it… and he didn’t want them to think he was a being “a bitch!”
All three of them tried to talk Eli into staying for at least a few days and assured him the anxiety over the cameras would lessen. He obviously had his mind made up because later that night, Eli called his housemates together, said his goodbyes, and left. They were visibly pissed off because Joslin had basically been a waste of time and a waste of space. He took a spot on the show that could have gone to someone else more worthy of the opportunity, and he gave up after just one day.
When Joslin started his “don’t think I’m a bitch” speech with Dana and the coaches, I was hoping Dana would fire back with something like, “Not another f**kin’ bi-polar fighter!” Now, I bet Dana’s pimp hand is strong, so he could have followed up that line with a swift smack that would have just slapped the taste out of Eli’s mouth for wasting his time, as well as his dime! Too bad “you can’t always get what you want!”
Viewer’s blanketed cyberspace with comments about episode one and I ran across some pretty interesting and colorful opinions about Mr. Joslin! Seems no one was buying the explanation that a trash talker like Eli could develop a love/hate relationship with the cameras that quickly! There had to be more to his story than he and Spike TV were willing to share. Somebody had to know something!
Last night, I found a thread on the TUF forum that had been created by one of the season 2 fighters, addressing some of the “behind the scenes” things viewers missed. One of the things Spike TV didn’t air was the real reason Eli Joslin bailed! Seems Mr. “Modern Day Gladiator” didn’t quit because he couldn’t take all the cams… he bolted ‘cause he couldn’t take all the slams!
According to fellow heavyweight, Seth Petruzelli, this is what went down:
“Well the real reason Eli quit was because the 1st day of training… the hell day, we (me and him) were paired up for live takedowns and submissions. Let’s just say I never had so many slams and subs in 1- 30min session! Then later that day… cause it was 2 a day (workouts), he was paired up with Keith Jardine… Keith did the same thing to him. Eli then told us “wow, you guys were throwin’ me around like a rag doll,” then started coughing and acting like he was getting sick or something. The next thing we knew, he was leaving ‘cause of the “cameras!” lol
A TUF forum member posted a comment about 15 minutes later stating, “I knew it wasn’t the cameras. I knew he thought he was gonna get stomped. He could at least lose and not go out like a bitch, though, or get cut or w/e, go out like a man. Stupid Eli stole a place of a real fighter.”
Seth followed up to this post with:
“Yea, we all hated him after he left cause everyone knew what Keith and I did to him… he should of stayed and got beaten like a fighter.”
Well, there you have it, folks! Eli didn’t bail because of the cams… it was because of the slams! Thanks to Mr. Petruzelli, the mystery is solved!
Fans of TUF and the UFC can check out theultimatefighter.tv and pay a visit to your favorite fighters “forum fan club!” Quite a few of the season 1 and 2 cast members are on the threads everyday and appreciate hearing what the viewers have to say. Dana and the coaches have fan clubs, too! See you there!