by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighter Season 3: Episode 3
By Damon Martin, MMAWeekly
Season 3 of the Ultimate Fighter is in full swing now and episode 3 continued the long line of team members praising Tito Ortiz for his training methods, while Team Shamrock seems to continuously question the UFC hall of famer.
As the episode opened, replays showed Team Ortiz light heavyweight Noah Inhofer pulling out an armbar victory over Jesse Forbes in the first fight of the 205lb weight class. Forbes was Shamrock’s first pick at light heavyweight in the team selections and his loss had to be somewhat upsetting to the coach who seemed to put a lot of faith into a fairly inexperienced fighter.
Personalities are starting to show through, and the longer the fighters live together in basic isolation, the tempers are starting to flare as each one begins to seek out a possible opponent from the opposition. Rory Singer, who is a professed neat freak, tried to keep the house as clean as he could considering he was basically picking up after 15 other guys and his annoyance from the dirtiness in the house got under the skin of Team Shamrock member Solomon Hutcherson, who stated he would love to take out Tito’s #1 pick.
But friendships are also starting to form between members of opposite teams as well. Josh Haynes and Ed Herman shared a few drinks and talked about their past relationship training at Team Quest, while Herman’s disdain for Tito Ortiz not picking him for his team continues to fuel his fire. Solomon Hutcherson from Team Shamrock and Kendall Grove from Team Ortiz also made fast friends even naming their union “Team Dagger” vowing to take their partnership all the way to the championship bout in which then they would square off for the contract.
Ken Shamrock decided to let his team take it easy the night after Jesse Forbes’ loss with a trip to the local driving range. Many of the teammates again seemed to question Shamrock’s motivation for the outing, and obviously most of them were not avid golfers. Tito focused on his teams’ cardio conditioning, and as everyone knows, ever since his loss to Frank Shamrock some years ago, he has hammered home that he would never tire out in a fight again. Michael Bisping, a favorite in the light heavyweight division, commented that Tito’s training sessions are hard but he believes that he is also a very good coach.
As the announcement came in, Team Ortiz had the pick for the next fight in the middleweight division, and Tito put Kendall Grove from his team against British bad boy, Ross Pointon. Tito finally acknowledged the obvious tension coming from Ed Herman whose biggest grudge seems to be not being picked by the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. Ortiz admitted that he should have picked Herman but now will focus on playing mind games with him instead, something Tito has done very well in pretty much all of his fights in the UFC.
Kendall Grove, who hails from Hawaii, spoke about the pride he has coming from the islands and how much he wants to carry the six figure contract back home with him. The same sentiment was uttered by Ross Pointon who is one of two fighters (the other being Michael Bisping) from Great Britain. Pointon’s teammates tried to give him some tips for his upcoming fight but he seemed uninterested in listening, more intent on how he would “smash Kendall’s face in.”
Kendall seemed focused the day of the weigh-ins as he dropped the last few pounds to make it to 185lbs, while Pointon came to the gym alone, accompanied by none of his teammates, looking to cut a final 6 pounds before the official weights came in. Both fighters were confident going into the fight but Pointon’s lack of ground fighting worried many of his teammates, not to mention Kendall’s almost 8 inch height advantage coming into the match-up.
As the fight began, Kendall looked sharp with his punches, working to the inside of Pointon’s power, and eventually drove him against the cage, securing a nice takedown, putting the British middleweight on his back. Pointon did show very good composure not panicking when the fight hit the ground, managing to get back to his feet a few different times but just couldn’t stop the repeated takedowns. Eventually his inexperience defending submissions caught up with him as Kendall sunk in a standing rear naked choke, and Pointon tapped out as the fighters crashed to the canvas.
Kendall Grove now moves onto the semi-finals and Team Ortiz continues to control the fight schedule with the light heavyweights back up for elimination next week.