I missed episode two but was lucky to catch the re-run tonight prior to this weekâ€™s upcoming episode three of The Ultimate Fighter 3 on Spike TV. Episode two started flying out the gate. On the last review, I wrote about the changes in the fighter selection format. The change meant that it only took a few minutes into the show before we knew who would be the next pair of fighters. Removing the time spent on silly challenges freed up more time for viewers to get to know the fighters and their training regiment. Episode three featured the light-heavyweights as Team Shamrock kept the pressure on Team Punishment by choosing Jesse Forbes to fight Noah Inhofer.
Team Punishment (Ortiz)
To prepare for the fight, Tito Ortiz gave Noah a basketball training aid to keep his guard up. The basketball played a bigger role later in the show; so much that this episode was named after it. With some clever editing, it looked as if the basketball was gifted prior to the fighter selection. But it did not make any sense for Tito to focus on helping Noah if he did not know that Noah entering the ring this week.
Viewers got to appreciate more of Tito Ortizâ€™s hands-on coaching. But members of Team Punishment did not appreciate the fact that Tito had been giving deaf competitor, Matt Hamill, more attention. Tito even hired Matt a sign-language interpreter who signed 92 words-per-minute to ensure that Matt was not missing any instructional opportunity.
Being the father figure that he wanted to be, Tito visited the house and cooked a spaghetti dinner for the team â€“ a first for any Ultimate Fighter coach. I wondered if the fighters cared about a low-carb, high-fiber, high-protein diet, or did they simply eat anything given the amount of energy they expended throughout the training.
On the other team, Ken Shamrock decided that it was best for the team to take two days off from training. His philosophy aligned with previous coach, Rich Franklin, who did not believe in over-training prior to fights. However, Ken was the first coach to encourage recovery by doing nothing. Rich Franklin got his team to at least keep active through enjoying other sports.
What happened during the days off? And what happened to the basketball? Well, when you have a bunch of testosterone-filled men in a house with nothing to do, pranks ensue. At the fightersâ€™ residence, Jesse Forbes was portrayed as an immature and destructive youth who broke vases by shooting pool cue balls through them. This attribute perfectly raised the tension between Jesse and Noah when Jesse punctured Noahâ€™s basketball with a steak knife. Noah displayed tremendous maturity by turning the other cheek, and not confronting Jesseâ€™s mischief.