I had high hopes for this episode, coming on the heels of
Bubba’s defeat last week. It was time
for his power twin, the self-styled “leader” Josh Samman, to put up or shut
up. I don’t really have anything against
Josh Samman. Unlike Bubba, this season’s
“man you love to hate,” he seems like a decent guy. But if he really wants to be a leader, he
needs to take it a little farther than just being bossy. Leaders lead.
It’s an action verb…which implies actual…action. Not just telling people what to do. Someday when his testosterone and ego find
balance with wisdom and experience, he may become a true leader; but for
now? He’s just an annoying pretty boy
who likes his camera time.
Josh Samman versus Tor Troeng is the core of episode
six. We’ve got a good feel for Josh –
he’s pretty much been topping out the monologue camera time since episode
one. But who is Tor Troeng? Apparently his coach has the same
question. Despite some pithy sound bites
from Tor (topping out with something along the lines of: ‘words are silver but silence is gold.’ (Oh, that old nugget from the homeland), we
don’t really learn much about Tor or what makes him tick. Even Chael admits that in the worst case
scenario – if Tor loses – they will at least have learned something about him! Chael believes that Tor Troeng has the skill
set, but he isn’t sure that the killer instinct is there. Josh, on the other hand, is a fountain of
information that includes the very interesting facts that he almost lost his
leg after tearing his quad, getting a blood clot, and needing emergency
surgery. Plus as a youth he was
primarily anti-violence. Plus he always
believed he would do something amazing.
Plus, plus, plus. Josh Samman =
no mystery there. In fact it was Adam
Cella who summed up his “confidence” (to put it kindly): ‘His confidence is high whether he is going
into fight or going in to dinner…Josh is Josh’s biggest fan.’
In other house news, Uriah Hall continues to make friends
with everyone…NOT! I have to say that I
have empathy for Uriah Hall and feel like he is getting a little bit of a bad
rap. Granted, his social skills are a
little weak and he says things out of turn, but he really is trying to keep it
real. His girlfriend comment to Adam
crossed the line, but boys are stupid and I guarantee that they have all said
much worse to each other. The other boys
are just as unwilling to accept his comments as he is to accept theirs. Why is it ok for Josh to make a demeaning
correction but not ok for Uriah to make an off color statement? Why? Because people fear his talent. And people are intolerant of things they
fear. He’s not perfect, but I’d take his
side any day over a **** stirring Bubba.
Hall is there to fight and to win and he isn’t being an overbearing
douche about it. He’s just going about
his business. So he’s not a fan of Luke
Barnatt? Big deal. I’m not either. Luke’s a bit of a whiney baby with his whole,
“the Europeans are so underestimated.”
So what?! You don’t want to be
underestimated? Then kick ass. You know who are underestimated? The Canadians. But do you hear GSP whining about it?
No. He just kicks ass. Doesn’t even bother to take names. Just kicks ass. So Uriah wants to fight Luke? Great.
Put up or shut up boys, that’s the game.
Put up or shut up.
The coaches this week were mildly amusing. I liked how Chael Sonnen broke into Jon
Jones’ monologue with his bowling challenge.
More and more I like Chael’s style and humor. I may eat my words at some future date when
he reclaims his “king of the pre-fight d-bag” persona, but for now I will just
come right out and say it, “I am a fan of Chael Sonnen as a TUF coach.” And the fact that he beat Jon Jones in three
frames of bowling, 37 to 35 makes me pretty happy to. I look forward to seeing Jones coaching in a
Team Sonnen jersey.
As the episode nears its end, it is time for the actual
fight. The “tale of the tape,” appears
to give Josh a very slight advantage (1” in height and 2” in reach), but
nowhere near enough to be definitive. Josh
starts the round strong, taking immediate control with a flurry of punches but
is unable to fully control the action.
Tor and Josh vie for control in the clinch, with each taking the
dominant position at times. Tor takes it
to the ground, but Josh is able to scramble back up after a short period of
time. Josh stayed busy and took
advantage of every strike possibility; landing far more than the less
aggressive Tor. Near the end of round
one, Tor slips and regains control of his stance, but Josh is emboldened and
drives forward, catching Tor in an unguarded moment, and quickly finishes the
fight with three quick strikes that result in a TKO.
It was a good fight.
Josh put his money where his mouth was and walks away with a $5000 bonus
for finishing the fight. And, as Chael
nearly predicted, some holes were exposed in Tor’s fight game: he lacked a
sense of urgency in the fight...and might want to work on keeping his hands
up. Perhaps Tor will return as a
wildcard, who knows? What we do know is
that Tor’s loss puts the fight control back into Team Jones hands and Josh
Samman now thinks he is the number one seed in the house. (Oh Josh, you silly overconfident and dare I
say, vain, boy. Uriah Hall is the number one seed.)
Next week’s episode will feature the surprising, but
classic, striker vs. grappler match-up of Clint Hester vs. Jimmy Quinlan. It will give us a chance to see if Jon Jones’
first pick, Clint Hester, is all he is cracked up to be, and if he is, will
leave us anticipating a future matchup between uber-strikers Hester and Hall. I am also curious to see what will come of
Josh Samman’s emergency room visit and whether or not prior leg issues are
going rear their ugly head and put an end to his fight career. We’ll find out together next week on episode
7 of The Ultimate Fighter.