September 12, 2005

by Ken Pishna
The show kicked off with a recap of Week 3 in which Jason Von Flue entered the house and immediately landed on Jorge Gurgel’s bad side. The picture was painted as Rob MacDonald getting on everyone’s nerves, especially Matt’s, with his talk about his injured shoulder. Rob then faced Brad Imes in a heavyweight elimination bout and “couldn’t even” get out of the first round… umhhh… despite a torn labrum. Jeeze, can you imagine that? What a wuss!

There was a lot of talk about the fight and how happy Rich Franklin was to finally have his team get a win. “I don’t care about the challenges, I’m training fighters. All I care about is whether or not they can fight in the ring,” commented Rich.

The next bit of the show was spent showing what a loud mouth Joe Stevenson has been. Apparently, he has been drinking, joking, and being generally loud and obnoxious. Sounds a bit like Chris Leben, eh?

The better portion of the first half of the show was spent on Jorge Gurgel. Every time you turned around, Jorge was forging a new allegiance with someone. He started by strategizing with Marcus Davis and Anthony Torres, who are both on his team. Then, the next thing you know, he’s scheming with Joe Stevenson, who is on Team Hughes.

Not done yet, Jorge then returned to Marcus to form a “super secret” alliance and ended up talking him into selecting Joe to fight if they win the challenge. All the time, Marcus believes in this alliance; while what is really happening is that Jorge is putting all the time he has invested in watching reruns of Survivor to good use.

All the scheming comes to glorious fruition for Jorge as Team Franklin wins the Hang Man challenge. Three welterweights from each team were hanging from a spider web looking set of monkey bars with the team with the last remaining contestant winning the challenge. With no striking involved, it was Jorge that ended up hanging out for the duration and eventually forcing Joe to drop by using his legs to push him down.

After Dana White talking trying to talk Team Franklin out of pitting their best against Hughes’ best because he’s worried that both fighters will end up injured, Marcus Davis, holding true to his alliance with Jorge, still selects Joe Stevenson as his opponent.

The talk leading up to the fight was that Joe is the superior grappler and will want to get this fight to the ground and, if he does, he will be successful there. Being a Golden Gloves champion, the other side of the coin is that Marcus could knock Joe out if he can keep the fight standing. The build-up is setting the stage for the classic grappler vs. striker match-up.

The fight went pretty much as it was talked out ahead of time. Marcus and Joe spent the first minute and a half dancing around the ring, feeling each other out. Joe then pushed the action, landed a single leg, and then picked Marcus up and slammed him down a la Matt Hughes.

Once on the ground, Joe trapped one of Marcus’ arms from side control and proceeded to drop forearms and elbows down with brute force until Marcus finally had no choice but to tap out. Referee Steve Mazzagatti really should have stopped the fight much sooner than the tap out, but that’s another story for another day.

Following the break down of the fight, Marcus revealed that this fight was a do or die for him. At 32 years of age, he felt that he either needed to win here and make a career in the UFC or hang up his gloves. In the end, although disappointed in one aspect, Marcus was still happy to get to go home and see his son and two daughters.

Coming Up On Week 5:
Team Hughes struggles as the injuries start to mount and Team Franklin’s training takes a turn for the bizarre. As the drama continues to build, Matt continues to get under the skin of Jorge.