by Hector Ramirez (Team Rampage) – Special to MMAWeekly.com

To be
a successful fighter, you must have a strong mental game and if you want to put
that to the test, there is no tougher opponent than living in The Ultimate
Fighter house. 


the weeks progress, each fighter shows more of himself, his character, his
strength, and his breaking point.  This week we got to see more of
Mitrione from Team Rashad act out a bit more.  Between his snitching and
his complaining about his shoulder, Mitrione was starting to wear on his
teammates and it was a sentiment that they didn’t mind sharing with Team
Rampage.  Now is the time that bullies start to emerge, the gentle giants
get pushed to the edge, and these guys start to realize that they may no longer
be the big man on campus.


Rashad is increasingly making use of mind games by getting Marcus Jones all
riled up, knowing how sensitive Marcus can be, and by making camera friendly
irritating remarks to Rampage about how he treats his fighters.


Rampage, as the name implies, is a team; when one man suffers we all suffer. 
It’s real easy for Rashad, after a team win, to run over to the other fighter
who just lost and with a condescending grin offer a "good job, nice try,
maybe next time."  But there is a time and place for everything. 
After a fighter loses, it is not in his best interest to have a team full of
people crowd him while the doctor checks him out, especially if the fighter was
just choked out and in need of space and oxygen.  Neither is a public
forum, in the presence of Team Rashad and the cameras an appropriate place for
heart to heart conversations.  When we talk to our fighters, we want it to
mean something, so we say it privately.  But when we want to have fun and
lighten the mood with some jokes or good training action, that’s a good time to
have the cameras around.


it’s hard to provide those cameras with good training action when a fighter is
injured, and unfortunately that may have skewed viewers’ understanding of Wes
Sims.  Wes is a very experienced fighter, but as we revealed on the Aftermath,
Wes got a foot injury, a bona fide tendon injury, very early on, which hindered
his ability to train hard.  We had hoped that his length would stifle
Justin’s game and allow Wes to use his experience to better impose his own game


we saw Justin go for that arm triangle, just as we had seen with Wes’ fight
with Mir, we expected the other arm to go up and maybe even express an
expletive.  But when it didn’t, we were again speechless with shock. 

The Octagon, where Rashad and the cameras can hear everything, is not the place
to have a serious and meaningful discussion.  Instead we cooled our heads,
went back to the locker room, and behind closed doors met with the team and
offered genuine, sincere support.


still have three guys left, one of our top picks, Scott Junk, a very explosive
and powerful Marcus Jones, and a wrestler with a 7-3 pro record, Zak Jenson. 
Hope is still alive.


remember to check out my appearance on this week’s Aftermath on Spike.com and
come support me at Call to Arms: Called Out MMA November 14, at Citizens
Business Bank Arena.


you to my management and all my sponsors, Iridium Sports Agency, Call To Arms
Promotions where I will be fighting November 14 at Citizens Business Bank
Arena, Ontario Calif., Quick n Painful, Fight Doc, Sparstar, Furious Fighters,
Dog Pound MMA, Monarch Clothing, Tapout Radio, Unbreakable Mouthpieces, Mike
Dolce, Dolce Diet, Team Rampage, MMAWeekly.com, Erik Paulson at CSW, and
everyone who is making this show a success.