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MMA: The Ultimate Fighter Episode 2 Recap
Last week, Team Dos Santos took a 1-0 lead over Team Lesnar. This week they got to choose the matchup.
Dos Santos' latest cardio training session had one of his fighters throwing up right off the bat. Lesnar's training session didn't look quite as
intense, focusing more on fundamentals. But Lesnar had harsh words in regards to his team's focu,s and they seemed to get the message.
Keon Caldwell, the last overall pick and the fighter who threw up earlier in the episode informed his coach that he intended to leave the
show to be around his daughter. While his teammates and coaches tried to talk him out of it, they also acknowledged that if he already wanted
to leave after only a couple days then he probably didn't belong in the house after all. After a brief reality check from UFC president Dana
White, Caldwell reconsidered leaving and opted to stay in the house to fight. It's a smart move, because fighters who leave the house are notorious
for NEVER getting another shot in the UFC.
The fight announcement came up and Junior Dos Santos chose Javier Torres as his fighter to go against Chris Cope from Team Lesnar, once again
pitting a top pick from the Brazilians team against a bottom pick from the Americans team. Cope acknowledges the fact that Torres is the more
skilled fighter but that he needs to win this fight to show he's got more heart. The strength and conditioning coach on Team Dos Santos was a
former training partner of Cope's, however, and had some good insight on the major holes in Cope's game for Torres to exploit.
After a tough training session, Keon "the quitter" Caldwell once again decided he's leaving the house and cited his daughter as the main
reason he's in the house but also the reason he wanted to go home. I don't really know what to make of Caldwell, and it seemed like neither his
coaches nor teammates did either. White then went out of his way to basically call Caldwell a fraud and said "good riddance" so he can get
a real fighter in the house to take Caldwell's place.
The fight started off with the two fighters clinching against the cage fighting for position with Torres landing some knees and short punches.
Cope struggled to get off the cage as Brock Lesnar pleaded for him to relax and gave some other instruction that was ignored. Cope worked his
way off the cage, and the two fighters took the center of the ring and exchanged punches. Torres taunted Cope after taking a few punches and
then easily took Cope down. Cope got back up and landed a few good shots, and Torres taunted again before pressing Cope back to the cage.
At that point, neither fighter could really find an opening and the round ended with the two men circling each other.
Round 2 began with more of the same clinching from Torres after eating a couple punches. Lesnar pleaded with Cope to break free from the
clinch every time he gained separation, but Cope seemed more interested in throwing knees rather than moving away so he could strike. The
fighters stayed clinched for more than the first two minutes of the round before Cope broke free and some action took place. Neither fighter
looked particularly comfortable standing although Torres thought it would be funny to dance around. The last three minutes went by with a lot
more clinching and a couple good leg kicks landed by Torres for a pretty boring ending to a pretty boring fight. If I had to guess, I would've said
Torres won the fight after two rounds.
However, leaving it to the judges means anything can happen and they declared the fight will go to a third round based on a draw. The round began
with lots of movement and good leg kicks from Cope. Cope seemed to be the more in-shape fighter, and Torres' pace looked slow to start the
third. Torres then went for a takedown attempt that failed, and Cope landed right on his back. Torres seemed too busy taunting after getting
hit in the third round to actually realize he may be losing on the judges' scorecards. With two minutes left, Cope began landing more frequently,
and Torres' lack of conditioning was evident. The round ended with the two fighters again in the clinch, but Cope being the more active fighter
and clearly landing more shots. Cope won the fight and will move on.
Team Lesnar has now evened the score 1-1 and will have the next selection of fight match up. Lesnar admitted to being frustrated by his
fighter not quite following the game plan, but a win is a win, and Lesnar can't be too upset. Cope did exactly what he said he'd do and
showed that heart can overcome skill at any given time.