09-13-2007, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
| | MMAjunkie.com's Review of “The Ultimate Figher: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” Season D
(Warning: This review contains spoilers about “The Ultimate Fighter 6’s” cast members, their teams, and other info from the series’ first episode. Although we mention the first two cast members who are picked to fight, the winner is not revealed.) |
Spike TV allowed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) a sneak peak of the season premier of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra,” which debuts Sept. 19 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV.
The latest installment of the UFC’s popular reality series features current UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra and former champ Matt Hughes as head coaches. Sixteen welterweight (170-pound) fighters compete in a tournament-style format in hopes of winning one available UFC contract.
The series, which debuted in January 2005, has been a ratings juggernaut for Spike TV, and based on a solid season debut and a very quirky cast, “The Ultimate Fighter 6” will likely continue the trend.
The latest season begins with UFC President Dana White meeting Serra at the UFC’s Las Vegas training center. Seconds later, Hughes saunters through the door.
Serra wastes no time explaining that they both dislike each other and there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. Serra, after all, has been to a tear since defeating Georges St. Pierre for the title, telling anyone with a microphone that Hughes is a dick (his words, not mine). Hughes politely — perhaps even a little smugly — points out that he’s not the one trash-talking and running to the media.
“I’ve got enough friends; I need some enemies,” Serra said. “And you’re one of them.“
And a perfectly uncomfortable tone is set for the season.
The fighters soon arrive at the gym, and after a friendly (yet profanity-laced) welcome, White tells the fighters they’ll begin the audition process immediately. Cue: workout music montage.
Before the teams are picked, we learn that Joe Scarola is one of Serra’s students back in New York. Hughes pulls him aside, and in no uncertain terms, tells Scarola that Serra better pick him early in the draft or risk losing him.
It’s a smart move for Hughes. Scarola, though an accomplished jiu-jitsu practitioner, isn’t considered one of the season’s top fighters. Additionally, Hughes later confesses he wouldn’t have picked Scarola anyway. However, by telling Scarola that he may be drafted, Hughes forces Serra to use his first pick to get him.
White then gathers the coaches for a coinflip to determine teams. He says that the winner can either pick the first fighter, or he can pick the first fight. However, White says that unlike past seasons, the winning team will not pick the next fight matchup, and instead, matchmaking duties will rotate between the two teams. Additionally, he says, the team that wins the most preliminary fights will get the honor of choosing the semifinal matches — a job that was done by White in past seasons.
Serra wins the flip, opts to choose the first fighter rather than the first fight, and just as Hughes wanted, Scarola is drafted for Team Serra.
The full teams include:
Team Hughes: Dan Barrera, Blake Bowman, Mac Danzig, Paul Georgieff, Billy Miles, Dorian Price, Jared Rollins, Tommy Speer
Team Serra: Joe Scarola, George Sotiropoulos, Matt Arroyo, John Koloski, Ben Saunders, Roman Mitichyan, Troy Mandaloniz and Richie Hightower
Soon after, we learn that Roman Mitichyan had injured his elbow prior to arriving in Las Vegas. He’s whisked away to the doctor’s office, where he learns he has a broken elbow and won’t be able to fight. A world-class hissy fit ensues — one that has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
Since Mitichyan can’t train for six weeks, White sends him home — which is an absolute shame because the Hollywood actor/stuntman would have been fun to watch in “The Ultimate Fighter” house.
As MMAjunkie.com first reported, Jon “The War Machine” Koppenhaver is brought in as a replacement and takes Mitichyan’s spot on Team Serra.
The cast again assembles in the gym, and Hughes announces that Danzig — the most-experienced fighter on the cast, a former King of the Cage champion, and a recent Pride Fighting Championships fighter — will take on Serra’s pupil, Scarola, in the season’s first fight.
We then see the usual pre-fight buildup, and in the process, get a humorous look at Danzig’s vegan lifestyle as he pleads for his castmates to quit eating his food.
Soon, it’s fight time.
To find out how it ends, check out Spike TV’s season premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Subsequent episodes will airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
09-15-2007, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Looks like a wild season on the preview!
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