The Ultimate Fighter season four middleweights put on a show of blood and guts in this week's elimination bout. It's a theme that wove itself throughout the entire show: the guts, in team work ethic; the blood, in fighter toughness.
Unlike other seasons, where the coaches decided the fighters' training schedules, in season four, the teams call the shots when it comes to training. And this week, Team No Love decided to have a day off. Now, these are veteran fighters who should know what it takes to get into fight shape, but you have to question their motivation.
Trainer Georges St. Pierre didn't hold any punches describing Team No Love's work ethic. "Some of these guys, they're very lazy," said Georges. "They think they can win a fight by using their skills. But sometimes it takes more than that."
I think the fighters who'll make it to the finale this season are the ones who'll take their training seriously and show a desire to win in the Octagon.
In the Octagon this week in the first middleweight elimination match, Team Mojo's Edwin DeWees definitely showed what it takes to fight tough. Although he dominated the first round and most of the second, his opponent Gideon Ray landed a sharp elbow to Edwin's forehead midway through the second round. The blow opened up a cut that gushed for the rest of the fight.
In fact, at one point Edwin was holding his cut with his hand to divert the blood flow as he was pounding down elbows on Gideon. Referee Herb Dean called in the ringside doctor several times, but each time the doctor cleared Edwin to continue fighting. At the end of two rounds, the judges called the fight a draw, and the fighters went to a third and deciding round. Edwin persisted, with the blood still flowing, and he won the third round. A tough win for a tough fighter.
After the fight, David Watson, M.D., from the New York State Athletic Commission, explained that Edwin was not at risk because of the blood flowing from the cut during the fight.
Dana White, UFC president, commended Edwin for his toughness. "I've seen it so many times, where a guy gets cut and he can't handle that he's bleeding. I tell you what. That kid was so composed and he really pulled the fight out. I gave him all three rounds."
In other developments this episode, to kick things off this week, Shonie Carter thanked all of his teammates on Team Mojo for helping him with his win against Rich Clementi last week. Was this a new down-to-earth, level-headed Shonie for episode two? Not exactly. Shonie nearly gave away all of Team Mojo's preferred match-ups by leaving his journal filled with the match-up out in the open for anyone in the house to see. Later, after seeing middleweight Charles McCarthy get a little skittish about prospects of fighting this week, Shonie carried the showboating that was on display in episode one into episode two. At this week's fight announcement, Shonie called out Charles, in a mock operatic voice and melody, from the Team No Love line-up only to fake him out and pick Gideon Ray instead for the elimination. The move proved to be a good laugh, even to Charles' own teammates.
All in all, it was a good episode. Matt still came through as a leader, as he did in the first week, and he was the guiding voice again in Team Mojo's corner. Kudos go to Edwin for pulling off a gritty win.