by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com In Episode 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck,” the fighters moved into their new residence, team selections took place, and the season’s first fight ended in a submission.
Earning their tenancy in the fighter house, the competitors got their first glimpse of the sprawling Las Vegas mansion they’d call home. They burst through the front door and raced to stake claim to their beds and rooms.
Personalities began to come out.
Jeffrey Lentz smokes cigarettes and Alex Caceres plays a mean harmonica.
The athletes were brought to the UFC gym for team selections and the mind games and strategy by the coaches immediately took hold.
St-Pierre knew that Koscheck coached Marc Stevens in college at the University at Buffalo and would likely want his old pupil on his team. So he decided to hatch a plot to sway the first team picks in his favor no matter how the coin toss went.
St-Pierre made a fake list placing Stevens at the top and made sure Koscheck was able to get a good look at it. The hope was that Koscheck would pick Stevens first giving St-Pierre the opportunity to get the fighter he wanted.
“What I did is I put him in big characters in my fake list at number one and by doing so it would lose one of his chances,” explained St-Pierre.
“As we go in to the team picks, I noticed that Georges St-Pierre is holding his team picks in his hand and it’s facing me and Koscheck,” said UFC president Dana White.
White alerted St-Pierre to be more guarded of his list and St-Pierre whispered in response, “It’s a strategy.”
A coin was tossed to determine which coach would be granted the decision of picking the first fighter or playing matchmaker for the first bout. Koscheck won the toss, but lost the first strategic battle to St-Pierre.
Team Koscheck had ranked all the fighters placing Michael Johnson at the top, but after getting a glimpse of St-Pierre’s list opted to select Stevens instead, falling for the deception.
A smile emerged on St-Pierre’s face and he chose Michael Johnson to be his first team member.
“He made Koscheck go after Stevens first so he could get Michael Johnson,” explained White. “Well-played Georges St-Pierre, well-played.”
Koscheck’s second selection was Sevak Magakian. St-Pierre decided on Jonathan Brookins.
Coach Koscheck handed his next team jersey to Sako Chivitchian, while St-Pierre welcomed Spencer Paige.
With eight fighters to choose from, Koscheck selected Andy Main next. St-Pierre picked Alex Caceres. Koscheck followed by naming Nam Phan. St-Pierre opted for Kyle Watson.
With the choices dissolving, Koscheck chose Aaron Wilkins and Coach St-Pierre chose Cody McKenzie. Koscheck’s final selection was Jeffrey Lentz, leaving only Dane Sayers standing to become the final member of Team GSP.
Marc Stevens, Sevak Magakian, Sako Chivitchian, Andy Main, Nam Phan, Aaron Wilkins, and Jeffrey Lentz make up Team Koscheck.
Michael Johnson, Jonathan Brookins, Spencer Paige, Alex Caceres, Kyle Watson, Cody McKenzie, and Dane Sayers make up Team GSP.
The Teams worked out for the first time and the fighters got to experience their coach’s style.
St-Pierre is leaving the coaching up to his team of assistants and becoming a training partner of his seven fighters.
“I’m the coach on the season, but I think I would be of better use for these guys as a training partner than a coach,” said the welterweight titleholder. “I let my coach, coach my team, and I’m more of like a training partner with these guys.”
Koscheck was confident he had the coaching advantage over his Canadian adversary having been a contestant on “The Ultimate Fighter” and having coaching experience.
“I think I have the edge versus Georges St-Pierre because I’ve been here. I spent a long time here on Season One,” commented Koscheck. “It’s been over six years and I’m back.
“I believe in mindless training,” said the American Kickboxing Academy trained Koscheck. “Mindless training is, guess what, you guys just show up and train. I’ll tell you what to do, and if you listen to me you’ll achieve your goals.”
Coach St-Pierre announced the first pairing. He allowed his fighters to decide the match-up and Alex Caceres asked to fight Jeffery Lentz, so the match was made.
ALEX CACERES “BRUCE LEE ROY” VS. JEFFREY LENTZ
Caceres came out throwing kicks: front kicks, high kicks, spinning back kicks. But Lentz landed first with a glancing kick off of Caceres’ jaw. Lentz used his size and strength to press “Bruce Lee Roy” against the cage and controlled him most of the round. The Team Koscheck member took Caceres down in the round and in the closing seconds executed a judo throw, sealing the round on MMAWeekly.com’s scorecard.
Lentz pushed forward in the second round looking for the knockout. In a scramble from the clinch position, Caceres secured a takedown, but Lentz ended up in top position. Lentz began a ground and pound attack and Caceres went for a triangle choke. Lentz picked him up, elevated him, and slammed Caceres to the canvas, but the submission only locked on tighter. Lentz was forced to tap despite proclaiming on the first night in the house that he wouldn’t tap out to a choke.
Alex “Bruce Lee Roy” Caceres advances in the competition. Lentz can only hope he’ll receive a wild card slot or replace an injured fighter for a birth back in.