September 27, 2005

by Ken Pishna
Jorge Gurgel and Jason Von Flue (Photos courtesy of TheUltimateFighter.tv)

Last week, Rashad Evans did away with Tom Murphy in one of the most uneventful fights over the span of both seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Despite any significant show of domination in the fight, Rashad did a little showboating throughout the bout and this is where Week 6 picked up…

Following the fight with Tom, Rashad entered the Team Hughes dressing room to show his respect for the team. Before he left, Hughes had a few choice words for Rashad, telling him that he hated the showboating that he displayed during the fight with Tom and that if any of his guys did that, they wouldn’t be fighting for him.

When Team Hughes met for their training session, Matt was obviously still pretty upset about Tom’s performance in the fight and commenced to taking it out on his team. Not only did he put them through endlessly punishing drills, he basically pummeled the crap out of both Luke Cummo and Jason Von Flue. They even had to call in the medics to take a look at Von Flue, whose face bore the brunt of Matt’s fury.

In the ultimate contrast of coaching styles, Rich Franklin took it a little easier on his fighters and had them swimming at the YMCA pool.

This week’s challenge, for the welterweights, was called “The Scarecrow.” Basically, the welterweight fighter is paired up with a heavyweight teammate, climbs onto his back and proceeds to climb around his teammate back to where he started. They tracked how many revolutions the fighter made and how long it took to do so.

For Team Hughes, Joe Stevenson was paired up with Mike Whitehead to go first. Joe made revolution after revolution around the bigger man, all the while poking fun at Team Franklin and especially Jorge Gurgel, who would be up next. Pretty funny that Matt’s lack of tolerance for showboating didn’t seem to apply hear. I guess that’s only a rule for his fighters when they’re in the ring.

Joe completed a marathon of 204 revolutions in about an hour and forty minutes. When he was finally done, Rich surprised everyone by forfeiting the challenge. Jorge was upset at his decision, but in the end, Rich spared any of his team the physical ramifications that Team Hughes suffered from such a challenge. Both Joe and Mike dropped to the floor in pain and took days to recover.

Winning the challenge, Team Hughes selected Jason Von Flue to fight Jorge Gurgel. Matt’s theory being that if he had to put up one of his fighters against a seasoned veteran like Jorge, he may as well put up one of his fighters that he didn’t really care too much to lose.

After uneventful weigh-ins, the fight was on. Jorge and Jason kept the fight on the feet for most of the time. Through the first round, it was Jorge that was getting the better of the striking and appeared to have won the round. They battled back and forth, but Jorge seemed to be doing more damage and was a little more accurate.

During the second round, the two started strong once again, continuing to trade strikes. But shortly into the round, Jorge tweaked his knee and from that point on, he didn’t look the same. Jason started to overtake him and looked to steal away with the second round.

The third round progressed much as the second round ended, with Jason again slugging it out with Jorge and getting off the more effective strikes and rocking the Brazilian Jiujitsu expert. Jorge finished the round strong, but it was too little, too late as Jason won the unanimous decision.

It will be interesting to see how they fill all of the air time that Jorge was getting, now that he’s going home. It appears that unlike last season’s intense focus on the fighters, TUF 2 is starting to zero in on the contrast between the coaches. Matt is building up to be an ultra-competitive, heavy handed, impatient dictator; while Rich’s style is more of the teacher and “fighter’s” coach type of personality.

Coming Up on Week 7:
Team Franklin struggles with Jorge’s loss, heavyweight mud wrestling, Matt has to give up a welterweight, and another heavyweight battle.