October 14, 2010

TUF 12, The Ultimate Fighter 12“The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck” episode 5 saw special guests in both training camps, a change in matchmaking control, and a celebration turned poor sportsmanship.

Josh Koscheck, determined to stop the bleeding of being down 3-0 to Team GSP, brought in fellow American Kickboxing Academy teammate and No. 2 ranked welterweight Jon Fitch to assist his fighters in training.

As motivation, coach Koscheck told his team, “We can only do so much as coaches and bringing in the right people for you.  Sooner or later you’ve got to sack up, put your balls on the line, and go out there and kick somebody’s ass.”

Back at the house, Alex Caceres was up to his usual antics.  As a prank, he put bleach in Nam Phan’s fabric softener, but didn’t realize teammate Michael Johnson used it. Johnson was not happy at the possibility that his entire wardrobe may have been ruined.

“It pissed me off pretty bad to even know that somebody would even do that to run the risk of (expletive) up somebody’s entire wardrobe like that,” said Johnson.  “Completely immature if you ask me.

“Hopefully Bruce LeRoy calms down a little bit,” added Johnson.  “I think he’s starting to realize that everybody is a little fed up with him and just sick of him in general.”

Georges St-Pierre brought in Muay Thai specialist Jean Charles Skarbowsky to spar with his team and the Frenchman didn’t take it easy on them. Georges warned his team of Skarbowsky’s reputation and urged them to respect him in sparring.

Assistant coach John Danaher added, “What Georges is trying to tell you is this could be the best experience of your life or the worst and we have no (expletive) clue which it is going to be.”

Apparently Skarbowsky likes to drink heavily and does so before sparring.

“Jean Charles only sleeps like three hours a night and before practice he, like, gets wasted.  He drinks a ton of alcohol and just goes in there with a bunch of MMA fighters and effortlessly beats them up,” said Team GSP member Dane Sayers.

“Sparring with Jean Charles is awesome, but at the same time it sucks,” recalled “Bruce LeRoy.”

“That guy was brutal.  He beat us all up and was drunk, so that guy can fight,” commented Cody McKenzie.

St-Pierre remained in control of the match-ups with Kyle Watson’s submission win over Andy Main in episode 4.  He picked Spencer Paige to fight Nam Phan, a true East Coast vs. West Coast match-up.

Not to be outdone by St-Pierre bringing in boxing legend Mike Tyson, Koscheck brought in Chuck Liddell to talk with his team.  Liddell was sporting a black eye courtesy of Rich Franklin in the main event of UFC 115.

Liddell reminded the UFC hopefuls to enjoy it and have fun and, being true to form, took a shot at his nemesis Tito Ortiz as well.

Prior to the weigh-ins, Koscheck began teasing St-Pierre, pulling out his best French accent.  “Kiss me now and I’ll leave MMA,” said Koscheck.

St-Pierre didn’t give his opponent much of a reaction, but Koscheck’s constant clowning is angering the champ.

“Stuff like that, it bothers me deep down inside,” said St-Pierre.  “For sure I wanted to say something.  Inside I’m enraged.  I want to do something about it.  I want to disrespect him, but I want to stay true to who I am.  And being disrespectful, it isn’t who I am.”

Spencer Paige was the first to step on the scales, officially weighing in at 154 pounds.  Team Koscheck’s Nam Phan came in at 156 and the fight is official.

A playful rift between Team GSP’s Cody McKenzie and Koscheck emerges and looks destined to escalate.

Paige and Phan explained what goes through their minds right before a fight. Fear and doubt, replaced by focus in the span of seconds, was told by both.


Paige was aggressive early firing off kicks to the legs and body that were landing cleanly.  Phan began checking the leg kicks and counter punching with right hands, but Paige was in control through the first half of the round.

With just under two minutes remaining, Phan caught a leg kick and took Paige to the ground.  From there Phan pounded away with punches while standing above the downed Paige.  With 30 seconds on the clock, Phan passed to side mount and applied a Kimura that had Paige wincing in pain, and that’s how the round ended.  MMAWeekly.com scored it 10-9 for Phan.

Between rounds Paige alerted St-Pierre, “I think my left foot is broke.”

St-Pierre advised him to not think about it.

It was clear in the second round that Paige was injured, limping at points with an expression of frustration on his face.

Phan began landing hard and often and in a scramble was able to get Paige to the canvas where he had so much success in the first round.  But Paige quickly worked his way back to his feet.

Paige displayed a lot of heart, but Phan won the mostly stand-up round.  The judges tallied their scorecards and all agreed Phan won the fight.

Phan gets Team Koscheck their first win and the pressure of being down 3-0 was released in celebration.  The slaps of high-fives and hollers echoed in the gym.

Koscheck seized the opportunity to rub it in was St-Pierre and team were leaving the Octagon.

“Don’t pout tonight,” commented Koscheck, and St-Pierre was offended by the show of bad sportsmanship.

“There’s bad losers, but there’s bad winners too.  Josh, he was very cocky.  He said bad comment to me.  It’s only directed toward me, but also it’s disrespectful for Spencer,” said St-Pierre.

Team Koscheck and Team GSP locker rooms are located next to each other and share a wall.  Team Koscheck beat on the wall and yelled in celebration as St-Pierre encouraged Paige to keep his head up.

St-Pierre’s facial expression was one of anger as he and his team sat listening to the gloating next door.

Next week’s episode will feature two fights, as we further narrow the field.