As with previous seasons, all applicants were required to have a professional MMA record. There were 250 potential fighters who tried out for the show, including UFC fighters, International Fight League (IFL) fighters, and former National Football League (NFL) football players.
The results of the tryouts brought us an interesting and versatile group of 16 heavyweight MMA fighters, including:
- “Big Country” Roy Nelson, the last heavyweight champion of the IFL, (who’ll apparently be fighting someone from “Bel Air,” according to Rampage Jackson. Was I the only one who caught that remark?);
- Three fighters with previous UFC experience: Mike Wessel, Scott Junk, and Wes Sims;
- Four former NFL players who have supposedly made the transition to MMA: Matt Mitrione, Marcus Jones, Brendan Schaub and Wes Shivers; and
- The streetfighting legend from youtube.com, Kimbo Slice.
Wait – former NFL football players? Can you say Jose Conseco? Oh great – here we go again. These guys have fought pro-MMA? Let’s take a look at these TUF Season 10 (prior NFL) hopefuls:
- Upon checking sherdog.com, Marcus Jones has a pro-MMA record of 4-1-0. He’s 35 years old and was the first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996. Check…
- Matt Mitrione, however, admits to never having a pro-MMA fight. He’s 30 years old and played nine games for the New York Giants in 2002. Rumor has it he has fought on an amateur level, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Hmmm…
- Supposedly Brendan Schaub played with the NFL, but he didn’t. He’s 26 years old and was the fullback for the University of Colorado, and while he spent some time with the Buffalo Bills, he didn’t actually play for them. His professional MMA record is 4-0. Hmmm…
- Finally there’s Wes Shivers. Wes is 32 years old and he played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2000. Supposedly his professional MMA record is 0-1, with an amateur record of 4-0. But then in other places it’s listed as 6-0. Interesting. Check…
So my TUFF Thoughts? 1) don’t believe everything you hear about these guys – looks like sometimes the fighters get inflated bios to make them look good and help sell the show; 2) you DON’T have to have a pro-MMA fight record to get on the TUF show – it’s not who you know, but who you know who knows Dana that counts. You aren’t seriously surprised by this, right?
And the “Legendary” Kimbo Slice? As per Dana White in a previous rant, “Other than get 10 million hits on YouTube, what’s he done to deserve to be in the UFC? Nothing,” and “I don’t consider him a real athlete. He won’t win The Ultimate Fighter. The offer’s out there if he wants to take it, but he won’t win it.” Huh. Looks like he took the offer, so I guess time will tell.
The greeting Kimbo got from the other fighters sure wasn’t warm and fuzzy, and he looked really nervous going out there. TUFF Thoughts: It was pretty funny that Big Country thought Big Country Roy Nelson was the special surprise! Even better – when Rampage gave Kimbo an out and told him he didn’t have to train, but could just sit on the bench and do whatever, Kimbo got out there and trained anyway. Shocked the heck out of me. That was class. Could be Bas’ lessons have finally sunk in through that big, bad beard of his. Still – I don’t think Kimbo will win.
TUFF Thought: After watching TUF 10 last night, I don’t think Rampage’s team has a chance in, well, anywhere on earth or below it, to beat Rashad Evans’ team. The intelligence of the coaches was never more apparent than when we watched them work out who to pick and why. Hands down, if Rashad had picked me – I’d have been ecstatic. I’m just saying.
Another TUFF Thought: Actually when I saw the new guys coming in, I thought they looked more mature than any of the previous contestants. BIG, but mature. (I always thought Rampage and Rashad were big…these guys looked like the side of a barn!) I figured we might not get all the house nonsense we usually witness – like doors being torn off, holes punched into the wall, screaming matches and so on.
Guess I was wrong. Wasn’t so bad in this episode, but did you see those coming attractions? And that stuff wasn’t even from the fighters in house – that was all Rampage on a rampage. Like what kind of example is he setting?
I like Rampage, and I’m sure he was picked as a coach because of the banter Dana White knew he and Rashad would bring to the show. I think he’s a great fighter with some excellent skills. Heck – the members of the Knoxville Female MMA Fan Association, of which I am a founding member, wear Rampage-like chain link necklaces while we watch the fights. But come on now Quinton – be a good coach this time and set a good example. And he didn’t even know who Big Country Roy Nelson was? TUFF Thought: He knew Big Country – he just didn’t want to admit that there was someone in the room who could be bigger news than Rampage Jackson.
TUFF Thought: Starting with TUF Season 7, 32 fighters had to fight each other to get in the house. I rather liked that concept, as it made the 16 fighters who were left earn their place while we got to see it happen. As in days past, this time the fighters just appeared. I’m wondering if it’s because the UFC was worried that out of the 250 fighters who tried out, most of them could whoop ex-NFL players and Kimbo? Hmmmm.
Overall it was an amusing night. The fights leading up to the show were exciting, to say the least. And what’s with Abe “Moses” Wagner? Did you SEE that canal in his head with the Red Sea pouring out? I can’t wait for next week.