Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 2/27/13
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.
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