Results could be mixed if you paired a bad student with a good teacher. But pair a good student with a bad teacher and the student could make things work out on their own. Tonight’s episode was an exploration into this phenomenon.
If there was some method behind Ken Shamrock’s madness, he certainly had not divulged it. Ken gave another pep talk after the team’s recent loss in the middleweight division. Ken was not winning over any fans this season, nor was he winning back his team with speeches that failed to motivate. Team Shamrock’s laid-back approach got on the nerves of a few of its members. His team was envious of the intense training and hands-on coaching that had been the modus operandi of Team Ortiz.
Tito had been grooming his fighters for a career by showing them the skills, training, discipline and work ethic that a professional fighter needs to succeed. Ken had been focused on keeping his fighters fresh to win this tournament. It was a contrast between a long-term vs. short-term vision.
Regardless of whether or not Ken was pushing them, Team Shamrock did not stay stagnant. Every fighter on the team found ways to keep active, whether it was running stairs in the backyard, sprawling and shadow boxing. Who could sleep when the opponent is training hard to bash your head in?
Fire Water aka Lip Lubricant
Since the UFC reinstated alcoholic beverages in the fighters’ residence for season three, there had been more interesting and revealing conversations. When the contestants had some fire-water in their bellies, their lubricated lips loosened up. A few episodes ago, it was Ed Herman. This time around, Michael Bisping proclaimed freely that he was tired of Team Ortiz and Team Shamrock; that he was only looking out for himself. The sympathetic ears of Team Shamrock fighters shared his sentiments. Michael’s apologies the morning after were merely a drunkard’s remorse that did little to hide his true feelings.
The Fight Announcement
It looked early on like a vendetta was brewing between Mike Nikels and Michael Bisping. Bisping was annoyed with Nikels impersonating him. Everybody felt that it would be a good fight. However, we have to remember that these people were in a contest. Michael Bisping felt that he could best exploit a match-up against Kristian Rothaermel. Michael was a striker going up against Kristina’s jiu-jitsu grappling skills.
Michael took control of every aspect of this fight. He sprawled beautifully and defended Kristian’s takedown attempts very well. On the second sprawl, Michael realized he was pushed up against the fence and beautifully jumped out into the center of the ring. Every time both fighters stood up from a clinched position, Michael had the presence of mind to let fly heavy punches, elbows and knees.
The hard shots stunned Kristian and cut him up on the top of the head and a few other spots. When Kristian was able to keep Michael on the ground, Michael was still the aggressor sending up punishing elbows, and hitting Kristian flush on target. Michael was getting the best of every exchange and it was apparent that Kristian was slowly giving up. On a few occasions, Kristian did not seem willing to get up to resume the fight. Finally, the referee John McCarthy stepped in and stopped the fight when he realized Kristian was not defending himself anymore.
Team Ortiz retained control and went up 3 – 1 against Team Shamrock. I wondered what kind of pep talk Ken will have in store for the next episode?
An Uninspiring Episode
The reality series seemed like it hit the wall as excitement is slowly dwindling away from The Ultimate Fighter 3. The downside to the fast matches was that the filler footages failed to captivate the television audience. Previews for the next episode revealed some sparks between Tito and Ken. Sadly, the most exciting thing this season could be if and when will Tito and Ken slug it out, since Tito had recently pulled out of the July pay-per-view fight against Ken Shamrock due to a recent knee injury.
Update: Tito Ortiz recently changed his mind and would like to find Ken Shamrock at UFC 61.