by Roli Delgado for MMAWeekly.com
First off, losing sucks. I was having a lot of trouble establishing my stand up against George Roop. Although the fight was much closer than Frank Mir had stated. If I was that “lost” in the stand up, they would have brought back someone else and I would have at least one bruise or black eye right? I admit though, Roop won the fight. He had better ring control and kept the fight standing.
I must say, two “bean poles” clanking shins and elbows did leave me with a horrible limp on my way to the airport. In fact, my shin was so bruised from Roop checking one of my kicks that I couldn’t throw a back leg round kick and had to grapple for the first couple of weeks with a shin pad on.
So, I was on my way home and had a layover in Dallas. Luckily when I landed, I checked my voice mail and I had a message from one of the producers to call her back ASAP. She said that they may want me back if I was willing? Willing? Seriously, even though I felt like refried dog crap and was limping like crazy it was a silly question. The opportunity to train for six weeks and fight on Spike TV is something that I could never pass up. I was flattered and appreciative of this second chance.
When I walked into the house, it was like an out of body experience. It was just like I expected it, a bunch of guys just hanging out and eating. I noticed in the pantry some of the items had individuals’ names on them.
I saw some vanilla creamer with Brian McLaughlin’s name on it. He was the reason I was getting my second chance and in my opinion was one of the favorites for the show. He had a great grappling resume and an impressive 5-0 start in MMA. Looking at his name reinforced how lucky I was. He deserved to be there more than I did.
I am really thankful that I ended up on the Red team. I had met “the Fainter” Felipe at the tryouts and had already started a friendship with him. Training with him would be a bonus. Plus we had a great kickboxer in John Polakowski and Efrain was a great wrestler, so between the four of us, I knew we had some good training sessions coming up.
Now the fight, Ryan Bader vs. Tom Lawlor. We all new this would be the first fight. Match-up wise it made a lot of sense to knock Tom out early. He is a great fighter, but styles make and break fights and Nog had faith in Ryan’s ability to implement a winning game plan. It was a pretty even fight until Ryan made space and set up a huge knockout punch. Even though the fight was short, it showed the talent that these two guys had. Tom had a tough break having to fight Ryan right off the bat.
This cast is a combination of some of the best characters and fighters ever to be seen on The Ultimate Fighter. I believe this season will go down in history as one of the best and I look forward to watching the season as much as all of you!