Team Tate Coach Ricky Lundell’s TUF 18 Episode 5 Breakdown

October 9, 2013

Ricky LundellComing off of a much needed win in Episode Four, Team Rousey had the opportunity make their first fight pick since the devastating loss of Shayna Baszler in the first fight.  With this selection, they chose to match English kickboxer David Grant against Team Tate’s Louis Fisette, who lost his initial fight to gain entry to the house to Chris Holdsworth.  Looking at the initial size, Grant certainly has a seeming advantage over the smaller Fisette, who admitted early in the season to simply being naturally tough, but Louis didn’t seem phased.

Fisette admitted that he wanted a stand-up war with the known kickboxer. The plan did not work out well for him, however, and he was beaten by rear-naked choke in the second round.

That marked yet another victory for Team Rousey and left the bitter taste of defeat in the mouths of Team Tate.  Sitting down with Team Tate Assistant Coach Ricky Lundell on the Bishop Gorman gym floor brought back that discomfort in one of our more awkward interviews.  Well, sorry about another loss.  I feel like much of this episode built toward that ending though.  Let’s begin with the game of Truth or Dare:  Anthony Gutierrez said that he thinks that Louis (Fisette) is the “Weakest Link” on your team, while Louis is sitting there.  Do you think that affected Louis?

Ricky Lundell:  I think that Anthony’s comment was based on wins vs. losses and as far as the record went, Louis had already lost a fight via submission, yet was in the house.  That made him “the weakest link” to Anthony.  No one wants to be picked last or considered that person, so I’m sure it kind of got to Louis.  I think that Louis has a lot of skills, but one of his biggest problems is he needs to put on some weight.  He’s under-looked at; he is out-bullied in fights.  He walks around at an entire weight class lower.

Anthony likes to joke around, but said what he said.  I think that Louis should have let it roll off his back instead of letting it get into his head, and I think it did a bit.  Louis was a great asset to our team though, despite not being chosen for Team Tate, especially because he had sweet earrings.  Why do you think Fisette said he wanted to stand up with an opponent like Davey Grant?  He knew the strength and background of Grant, right?  Was that part of what you discussed with him in training?

Ricky Lundell:  I am not exactly sure why he would say that he wanted to stand up with Davey.  David is an incredible kickboxer.  The fact that Louis tried to stand up with Davey, for the amount of time that he did, was rough.

I really didn’t get to work one on one with Louis on this one.  We only worked on getting off the cage in a group training session.  Most of his training came from the two head coaches.  I would like to work with every fighter, of course, but we have a lot of coaches and not a lot of time.  What were Louis’ main weaknesses going into this fight?

Ricky Lundell:  Louis’ weaknesses going in were mainly his strength and his lack of discipline.  We knew that he didn’t like to work out. He said that.  I have to say that going into a show like “The Ultimate Fighter,” you gotta be ready to fight three or four fights right off and be prepared to win the show from the beginning.  I do not think he was prepared.  I mean, he lost his first fight to get into the house, I think that shows that he was not ready to win the show. Period.  He was tough… but tough doesn’t win TUF.  Julianna is quite the homemaker of the house.  She seems to be cooking a lot – not the food that most nutritionists would recommend though.  A lot of fighters are complaining about weight.  What do you think?

Ricky Lundell:  As a fighter, you are in charge of your own food.  It’s nice of her to be cooking Chris all those enchiladas. (laughs)  It’s like a poison apple.  These guys need to be in control of their own worlds.  They choose what to eat and what not to, it can’t be about hurting someone’s feelings.  It’s their careers.  Let’s mention a little about the weight gain, as it forces a weight cut issue.  Not sure if you saw that last week we lost a member of the MMA community when Leandro “Feijao” Souza died in Brazil from a stroke during his weight-cutting process.  What are your thought on the topic?

Ricky Lundell:  Wow.  I hadn’t heard about Souza’s death; that really sucks.  I mean, I am not a big advocate for cutting weight. When I was a competitor, I dropped one pound competing for USA in the FILA World’s.  I have never been a fan of the big weight cuts.  I would rather have the speed and agility to outwit the elephant.

Jordan Burroughs just put out an article on not cutting weight.  I think that if you want to be a clinch fighter, you have to use strength that comes with being bigger and probably having to play the weight-cutting game.  If you want to be the faster, in and out, speedy and agile fighter, stay small and use the bulk against your opponent.  Obviously, I am a fan of the latter.  Your style of fighting makes a big difference in how much weight you want to try to cut. That’s terrible though; it’s dangerous.  My sentiments go out to his family.  When you watch Ronda’s mom, the AnnMaria De Mars, what did you think?

Ricky Lundell:  Ronda’s mom is a hardcore competitor.  I can see where Ronda gets her competitive edge from, indeed.  My parents weren’t as competitive as that, so it’s hard for me to really grasp that type of a parent, or that type of a drive. However, it worked for Ronda.  I did respect her mom for caring enough about her child to really go out there and push her child.

And, as a side note, for all people who watch that, they should know that it’s Ronda who chose to become the champion.  At no point could her mom go out there and win for her daughter. There are other parents that push their kids, and you’ll never know their kids because they don’t have that extra whatever it takes to become the champion that Ronda has.  You know, I respect Ronda for having the drive and I respect her family for having the drive and motivation to push themselves and her.  I wish we saw that more in our country.  We don’t.

As far as her mom in practice, I admire the fact that she watched the team for a bit before jumping in with them.  I think she took the educated approach.  She went to the house and looked for the “switch” with Davey, using his family to motivate him in the fight.  Despite having not really known or trained with him, she felt a compassion for and a dedication to Team Rousey.  I found that to be highly respectful and helpful within the dynamics of their team.  I was impressed.  Again, that being said, it’s not what I am used to.  Okay, talk about the Edmund eyebrow joke.

Ricky Lundell:  Ah, the Edmund joke.  Please note to the one article that thought I was Dennis Hallman, I am not. (laughs) I think the mask fooled everyone into thinking I was involved; I wasn’t.  That funny and cool guy is Dennis.  I am less of the funny man, and more of the “let’s beat the other team with wins” guy.  I kinda thought that we wouldn’t poke at the other team anymore, and we would drop any of the jokes, but I guess that’s why they didn’t ask me to join that one.  Lastly, let’s hear your fight comments.  I know it didn’t go your way, but what would you like to say about it?

Ricky Lundell:  With the fight, there were several spots where Louis drove him to the fence and could have gone for the takedown, but he didn’t.  Again, I don’t know why he didn’t want to get to the ground.  He let Davey get on top of him and wow.  David is huge compared to him, and he let Davey on top of him.  At the end of the first, the slice over his eye was bad.  I think we could’ve actually called the fight after the first.  Yeah, I think that the cut is what broke his spirit.  I think that when someone sees their own blood, they lose a lot of heart.   At one point, Louis said he could barely see.

Davey is true to his name. David Grant is a dangerous fighter.  He is a giant 135er standing up and if he gets you on the ground, his ground and pound is effective.  He has a great career ahead of him.

If Louis can get his personal life and head together, I mean, maybe he can come back a better fighter.

The next fight chosen by Team Rousey is also the selection that Team Tate wanted, so it should prove to be another epic battle between the women.  Jessamyn Duke will go against Raquel Pennington in what is sure to be a hard hitting, emotional battle that Coach Lundell ensures us we will not want to miss.

Ricky Lundell, Assistant Coach for Team Tate, will be checking in with readers each week as the season progresses. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram and let him know your thoughts.

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