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05-06-2007, 10:21 AM
Week five: Gabe canít cut it
By Joe Lauzon
Friday, May 4, 2007 - Updated: 02:41 PM EST

(Brockton native Joe Lauzon, a UFC lightweight fighter and member of the cast of TUF 5, will give exclusive insight to bostonherald.com readers immediately following each weekís episode. Here is his commentary on Episode 5.)
Episode 5 should be called "Trimming the Fat." In all honesty, as a team we tried our best to ensure that Gabe didnít miss weight. We were constantly hounding Gabe about watching his diet more and working out harder. There is a saying: You can lead a horse to water, but you canít make it drink. In this case, we could lead Gabe down the path to making weight, but we couldnít get him to stop eating.

Gabe would have a "healthy" dinner of salad and bell peppers while we ate pasta at night after training, and he would be miserable about it, but he would be doing what he needed to do at the dinner table. However, later on he would be snacking on things, or just pounding bowls of cereal. You canít do the diet correctly some of the time, and then forget about it later. Everyone on Team Penn knew that Gabe was way overweight, but he constantly assured us he would make the weight. It got to a point where we couldnít do anything else, and had to just hope that Gabe could deliver on what he was promising. Missing weight would not only affect him, but it also affected fight selections.
We all knew about the show months before we left home. We only had a few weeks notice to know if we were 100 percent on, but we knew that the opportunity was there and we were expected to be in fight shape and ready to go if needed. Everyone else in the house did what they needed, and made weight. Gabe couldnít have been dieting, or else he wouldnít have come into the show so heavy. He had gone to Thailand for a few weeks before the show, and blamed his weight on eating horribly over there, but thatís not an excuse. You either find a way to eat healthy, or you donít go. It wasnít the first time Gabe had been to Thailand, so not knowing isnít an excuse. He really dropped the ball before we were even in the house, because he willingly put himself at a huge disadvantage.
Once in the house, we knew from Day 1 his weight was an issue. Someone having trouble with their weight should be doing cardio every single day and doing whatever was needed to get into shape. We would be in the gym drilling and working out and he would be walking on the treadmill. Other times, he would miss practices to go and get colonics. Gabe didnít lose any real weight when he went for the colonic. He would be a pound or so lighter and then put it back on the next day. Gabe said he found out after he missed weight that getting a colonic can cause dehydration, so that would explain him floating off a pound or two and then putting it back on. To recap: The colonics didnít make him lose any weight, he missed practices, (had a tube inserted), and was rewarded with a burning diarrhea sensation. There arenít even any jokes here. And he did this three times.

05-06-2007, 10:21 AM
On top of slacking in the gym, Gabe should have been following a strict diet because if you donít make the weight it doesnít matter how you perform or how you feel ó you donít get to fight. Brandon Melendez is huge for 155, but he still made the weight because he would do whatever was necessary, both in the gym and in the kitchen. Brandon was starving himself and absolutely miserable to make the weight but he manned up and got it done.
I am lucky in that I know my body well enough that I could make weight in 24 hours notice with ease, regardless of what I was eating. I could get away with eating some less-than-healthy food like ice cream cake (my favorite) and other things. Gabe wasnít in such a situation and should have been staying clear of anything like that, but he was still eating ice cream cake, cookies and whatever else. At another point, about two weeks into the show, he got up to 178 pounds because of all the sushi he ate. He had a couple weeks to really diet and get his weight under control, and here he was higher than ever. Itís impossible to lose weight if you donít have any self control.

The actual weight cutting process was brutal at the end, for both Gabe and the rest of us. I used to cut down to 145 pounds, and can honestly say it was the worst thing I have ever experienced. Nobody likes cutting, but you have a target weight and you donít stop until you meet that goal. Talk to serious college wrestlers and they will have horror stories about cutting weight and passing out in the sauna. When I was cutting to 145, I would be in bed, laying in the fetal position and shivering as I tried to fall asleep to make it stop. Itís that bad.
We didnít honestly know if Gabe even wanted to make the weight, and at this point, only he knows for sure. Gabe said from the beginning he was there to get all the camera time he could get and he succeeded in that. In all that scheming, though, he lost sight of the primary reason he was there in the first place, and the thing that would enable him to achieve that goal ó fighting. Did Gabe ever want to make the weight at all? Maybe he was just trying to ensure his cut to 155 was dramatic and then everyone would be saying, "Gabe is the man. He was way overweight but he cut it all and manned up?Ē To be perfectly honest with you, we were completely unsure as a team, and many of us still are.
The last few hours leading up to the weigh-in were rife with drama. You only get to see bits and pieces, but it was an endless cycle of this: Gabe complaining and wanting to leave the sauna, Gabe falling over due to weakness, Gabe falling off the bike in the sauna, Gabe telling us to put him back in the sauna while refusing to get off the ground on his own as he cried that he needed our help, and of course, Gabe lounging by the poolside au naturale. Gray was a great teammate and was sincerely trying to help him with the cut. He was ready to help Gabe from the minute the fight matchup was announced, but Gabe said he had it all under control. Gray went above and beyond what Gabe deserved and showed why he was a captain of his wrestling team ó heís a leader and a great teammate.

05-06-2007, 10:22 AM
In the end, Gabe missed the weight. Iím sure he pissed off a lot of people as officials were brought in for a fight that didnít happen. Both teams met at the gym and Dana told Gabe how much of an opportunity he screwed up, and sent him home. Team Penn is down to seven members. The part that was aired was just a tiny sliver of what Dana said. Danaís attention was focused on Gabe and as I stood next to him, I wanted to cry. You know that feeling you get when you were a little kid, and you just know you did something really wrong and are caught? It was like that. I know it was Gabeís fault, but in the end it was a team effort, and another loss for Team Penn.
This may seem a little harsh on Gabe, but Iím not going to pull any punches ó thatís probably why youíre reading. Gabe went in there and was willing to do anything to get some attention. Be careful what you wish for...
Rob Emerson really impressed Dana in his loss to Nate Diaz, so he had been brought back into the tournament. Dana gave Team Pulver 24 hours to choose the next two fights. The following day, those matchups were announced: I will be fighting against Brian Geraghty, and Corey Hill will be fighting Rob Emerson. So we will have not one, but two fights next week. Tune in to see if Robert and myself can get Team Penn back into this.
Thanks as always.
Visit Joe Lauzonís website at www.joelauzon.com

05-06-2007, 06:31 PM
I read this yesterday, good review.

Did anyone read Gabe's review of the episode?