‘TUF’ Recap: Uriah Hall is Mad, Bro
“What the (blank) is wrong with me?” That’s how the latest episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” starts, with Bubba McDaniel wondering why he didn’t win his fight against underdog Kelvin Gastelum.
Although McDaniel did not win, the general consensus is that he would be a solid choice for the TUF ‘wild card’ slot. “Just keep your head up,” Jon Jones tells him. “You’re gonna get that wild card, man. I got a feeling, bro.”
McDaniel is probably the most opinionated, brash contestant on the show. So if you don’t like those type of guys and root for the underdog, you were happy to see McDaniel get choked out last week. This week, Josh Samman, another Team Jones fighter that likes to spew, is scheduled to fight Team Sonnen’s Tor Troeng. Will it be another win for the strong, silent types?
“I’m from Sweden, so they don’t know much about me. I think it’s good for me, so I’m gonna keep it that way,” Troeng says. Every Tor (pronounced Thor) needs a hammer, so his teammates construct one for him, making one with a pad and some duct tape. It’s pretty rad and will make for a great prop if he chooses to walk out with it.
The solid bond enjoyed by Team Sonnen starts to show cracks when Luke Barnatt and Uriah Hall get into an incident during sparring. Barnatt complains that Hall hit him too hard, while Hall doesn’t see anything wrong with it. “He’s not really a team player,” Barnatt says of Hall. “He’s an individual. Mentally, his attitude sucks. Uriah’s got a big ego. He’s an ego-driven machine.”
Meanwhile, Josh Samman has taken on the role of coach back at the house, leading some of Team Jones in conditioning drills. The ones not participating — like Dylan Andrews — are getting rather annoyed by him. “I don’t know what the (blank) he’s doing,” Dylan Andrews says. Adam Cella says that Samman is the ‘Dad’ in the house. It’s easy to see why. “Can we agree that Sunday we’re gonna do a fridge cleaning?” Samman says. Samman is clearly ‘that guy’ on this season of TUF.
Team Sonnen’s cracks begin to spread when the guys are discussing potential matchups for the final four. Hall says he would probably like to fight ‘Bigs’, meaning Luke Barnatt, and Barnatt isn’t happy about it. “That’s not something you joke around about. He’s being a selfish (blank),” Barnatt says. I found it to be an innocuous comment from Hall, as the guys were just thinking out loud. It’s starting to seem like Barnatt is a bit too sensitive, thinking things through too much. He somehow thinks that Hall wants to be on Team Jones, and Barnatt wishes he was. Hall says he made a mistake in saying he would want to fight Barnatt, but that he did it jokingly.
Hall puts his foot in his mouth again when he’s hanging out with the Team Jones crew by the fire in the back. He takes exception to a little dig that Cella makes, and asks Cella if his girl is “a b—- like you”. Whoa. While Barnatt may be overly sensitive, Hall is much too easily put on the attack.
“Uriah is a loose cannon. Anything will set him off,” Collin Hart says. “To bring someone’s girlfriend into it, he had to dig deep and get all the hatred out of his heart to find that one.” Hall apologizes, but it’s clear he’s trying to distance himself from the other guys, or just horrible at small talk.
Hall won’t apologize for one thing though, his dislike of Josh Samman. He tells Bubba McDaniel that he think Josh is a dick. Hall is quickly alienating everyone in the house. Maybe he’s feeling the pressure of being the favorite to win it all after his amazing knockout of Cella. Maybe he’s looking to intimidate.
The drama breaks for a spell as the two teams head to Red Rock Casino to take in the fights and do some bowling. Chael challenges Jones to a three-frame game of bowling, with the winner having to don the other guy’s jersey for a coaching session. If Sonnen wins, Jones has to wear a Sonnen jersey and vice versa.
Sonnen walks up and nails a strike in his first frame. “The question isn’t whether I can bowl, the question is whether Coach Jones can bowl,” Sonnen says. Sonnen beats Jones 37-35, with Jones doing a fake run out of the building to the sound of laughter from both teams.
Both fighters make weight and it’s on to the fight. There’s a lot of pummeling up against the cage in the first minute, with Samman landing the only quality strikes. Tor scores with a knee to the midsection, and ends up in top position when Samman tries an outside leg trip. Frank Mir gives Samman some solid instruction and Samman is able to get back to his feet and land multiple right hands on Troeng’s face. Troeng is looking a little gassed and Samman lands some really hard knees to the body. Troeng is backpedaling with his hands down and Samman charges in and lands a 1-2-3 combo that flattens Troeng. Game over. Very impressive performance by Samman, certain to turn some heads.
Team Jones has control and selects Clint Hester from his team to fight Team Sonnen’s Jimmy Quinlan. And we’ll see you here next week for another TUF recap.