Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 2/20/13
Well, Denise has a wicked flu, so I decided to watch TUF extra close this week, and deliver my version of Talking TUF with her blessing of course.  It was an interesting show to say the least, so let me catch you up with The Ultimate Fighter episode 5.   Chael Sonnen is just a solid guy.  He knew how much his fighter Kelvin Gastelum likes Ronda Rousey so in pure epic Chael mode, he calls Ronda to give Kelvin a pre-fight pep talk, and says if he wins, she’ll come by and help lead a training session.  Good people abound.  It’s a nice moment for Chael and his team, and a giddy Mr. Gastelum has another reason to dig deep against Bubba McDaniel.    Speaking of Bubba, he’s still as likeable as a cold sore and just as annoying.  Perhaps one of the least likeable guys in TUF history, (and we’ve had Junie Browning and War Machine come through the house) he is this season’s man we love to hate.  A teammate of Jon Jones at Team Jackson, his skills should be tight.    Now this is normally Denise’s gig, so I am going to keep it brief, but we see the obligatory human side of both fighters, as they discuss their hopes, dreams, fears and ambitions.  For a minute Bubba manages to sell himself as a real person, with actual goals, fears and insecurities.  It’s a watershed moment for the series.  Ok, maybe it’s not.    Chael came by the house, and led the guys in a nice game of charades.  Never let it be said that Mr. Sonnen doesn’t know how to have a fun wholesome family game night.  To be honest, I am just so impressed and blown away by Chael this season it’s beyond words.  He’s as good a coach as you can have, and genuinely seems to be a straight shooting, well spoken, inspiration to those around him.  It’s a dramatic shift from what we all got day in and day out as he prepared for Anderson Silva.  Chael’s whole shtick is world class, so it appears is his character.  We’re not done with the celebrity hook ups this week, as “The Wrestler” himself Mickey Roark comes by to talk to the fighters about perseverance and stick-to-itiveness.  Mickey is a former boxer, and had some insight to share with both fighters and coaches.  Albeit the coaches that bothered to show up to listen to him.  Jon Jones and his coaches where nowhere to be found.    It’s time for the meat of the episode as Bubba McDaniel will take on the youngest contestant ever on the show, Kelvin Gastelum.  Bubba is a huge favorite, and rightfully so.  He has the experience edge, a reach advantage and a well rounded game.  It’s going to be an uphill battle for Kelvin to secure victory and meet his dream-girl Ronda Rousey.    The first round of the fight was pretty interesting, as Gastelum got a couple takedowns, but Bubba would control the action there, and had Kelvin in trouble.  After a scramble, Bubba got Kelvin’s back and got the hooks in.  However a calm Gastelum found his way out of deep water, and back to the top position.  The first frame would end with Kelvin on top, but I scored the round 10-9 for Bubba, since he was closer to finishing and did more damage.    In the second round, you could actually see Kelvin Gastelum gain confidence and get more comfortable in the cage. He did have some issues, once again giving up his back to Bubba, but again, he was able to shake McDaniel and regain top position.  It seemed like once the switch flipped and Kelvin decided he was good enough to win, he just went out and took the fight.  He took McDaniel’s back and unlike his foe, when he took it, he sunk the rear naked choke, forcing Bubba to tap out.  It was a huge win for Team Sonnen and for Kelvin, who is both the youngest man ever on the show, and one of the genuinely nicest and most unassuming.  After the fight, an upset Bubba cried.  It has to be hard to come as far as he’s come in his career and then lose like that.  Most people feel however that he’s a prime candidate for a Wild Card spot.  So you can expect to see him back in the mix at some point.  Team Sonnen has control, and they set up Tor Troeng to take on Team Jones’ Josh Samman who earlier in the episode told team Jones he wasn’t interested in fighting next because of a nagging injury.  Oh well, you don’t always get what you want in MMA.  The episode ended as Ronda Rousey called Chael to tell Kelvin that she was really, really, excited to meet him and come help him out.  Kelvin melted and his teammates laughed.  All is well on Team Sonnen. Denise will be back next week, so you’ll get her excellent recaps, and not my drivel.  Consider yourselves lucky.
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