This isn’t going to be like the other reviews. I am not going to give you a synopsis or summary, I am going to do an actual review and give you my opinions and criticisms of the show and its characters. This show has a different feel to it than the other shows, mainly because Leben was gone and Southworth was gone. A lot of the big players on the show removed, the show focused on its more minor characters, Diego Sanchez and Josh Rafferty. Well Leben is obviously back now but the show wasn’t really about him.
Speaking of Leben, Team Couture should just be called Team Quest 2. Its blatant favoritism for his actual team, and the main reason he lost so much early on the show was because he used his first 2 votes to pick Leben and Quarry which left him with a weaker LHW selection. Quarry is out because of an injury and its strange how the show really didn’t focus on the drama of Randy causing the injury. Alex S. apologized for the incident but it was Randy charging at him and tackling him into Nate in the first place. Then Nate speaks about bringining someone back who is respectful and is not a trouble maker, and he brings back Leben. I don’t know if he was trying to be ironic, my guess Nate doesn’t really show a comical side but I sense that was his dry sense of humor saying all that and picking Leben. People really shouldn’t be upset with his choice though because Leben was the only real choice, out of all the eliminated fighters, Leben was still the best. Another note, I never heard mention of Leben and Quarry on the show being from the same team as Couture outside of the show and their closeness must look strange to the outside viewer and would make some of the house problems less dramatic.
From episode one, I felt the favorites were Quarry, Leben, and Sanchez for the MW’s and Griffin, Southworth, and Swick for the LHWs. With Southworth gone, I feel Bonner is also up there as a man to beat if not THE man to beat. Quarry I thought had a really good chance of taking it all but I guess we will never find out. Diego right now is the zen master to beat, but no one has yet exploited his size in the show, he is a natural 170lber and moved up to MW for this opportunity. He is by far the best grappler on the show though, some say Florian who is a BJJ black belt but he does not have the takedowns and wrestling of Diego, and Diego has done better than Florian in no gi, beating Javier Vasquez and Pablo Popovitch in competition and being undefeated in MMA.
In the team competitions hosted by Willa Ford (who is super HOT and the best speaker out of all the UFC girls up to date), Team Quest 2 did it again turning the tides and winning another team competition. Enter Josh Rafferty as the new lead for this episode. He was built up a little bit over the last couple of episodes, now you see what he is really like. He basically comes off as a coward and doesn’t really feel he has a chance of winning this whole thing and doesn’t want to face his old teammates because he knows in training they were whipping him. What did Rafferty expect? Like he said, ultimate fighting is not a team sport and sooner or later everyone fights and there can be only one. What surprised me was he admitted he has no skills on the ground and is only so so on the stand up. Then what is he doing on this show? Why is he even fighting for that matter? He didn’t want to fight Florian at all, and you could see he would rather see Leben fight. Leben though just fought and it would make no sense for him to just come back and fight again. It was up to Rafferty, and seeing how Leben couldn’t defend Koscheck’s takedowns, I don’t think he wanted any part of Koscheck either. He picked Diego in my opinion because he felt he had a puncher’s chance with him, and by calling out the baddest dude of the lot, he would not look as bad in his loss.
On one side you have undefeated KOTC welterweight champion and Gaidojiutsu Jackson Submission Wrestling expert Diego Sanchez against Team Meat Truck middleweight fighter trained under Jorge Gurgel and Rich Franklin, Josh Rafferty. The fight went like it should have, it was a one sided war like Germany invading France on both occasions. Diego was sending a message to Dana and all the other MWs that if you pick him, this is what happens. What’s funny is Josh Rafferty and his old teammates went to talk to Diego who was already in fight mode to kind of calm him down a bit (I think everyone knew what Diego would do to him and Florian and Koscheck didn’t want to see their old teammate be brutalized, at the same time it didn’t seem like either of them would have as much problem fighting Rafferty like he did with picking them). It looked like Josh went there to ask him to go easy on him, its just competiton, lets try to win not hurt each other. Diego didn’t seem to care, it was just business to him. As funny as Diego is, at that moment, he looked like the emotionless bully in the school who you somehow ended up getting into a fight with, and as much as you try to talk your way out of it, its already set and to him its not personal, just business and there is no way out, at three o’clock you fight. Maybe at lunch, you shouldn’t have told him he talks like a retard.
What did we learn in this episode that I think everyone knew except Rafferty? That this is business and there is no friends in business. Even Quarry and Leben I think would have fought each other, that’s how Team Quest is.
The end of the show had some technical difficulties and you didn’t really know what the next episode had in store but Josh was out of the show now and there is only 9 fighters left with the live televised fight just weeks away. Rafferty proclaims he will make it back to the UFC, I wouldn’t bet on that but I really hope he proves me wrong, I always like to root for the underdog.
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Sam “The Professor” Yang