Cageside Wrap Up - The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos (Episode 2)


The show begins, and coach Brock Lesnar says that he hates to say it, but he expected to lose that first fight.  The massive wrestler said he wasn't impressed with the wrestling of the group, and didn't come across optimistic when talking about polishing their skills.  After seeing Lesnar do some work with his team, we find that Keon Caldwell, of Team Dos Santos is feeling a little home sick.  Surprise, surprise.  We cut to commercial after Dana White walks into the TUF gym looking to speak with Keon.

A short chat with Keon seems to set him straight, and remind him that even though he misses his daughter, he's THERE for his daughter.  We jump right into the fight announcement, where Junior dos Santos picked his team member Javier Torres to face off against Team Lesnar's Chris Cope.  Team JDS discusses the pick, and they feel that Torres can control Cope on the mat.  Looks like we might be seeing a very similar fight compared to last week.  Team JDS trains, and Torres is focusing a lot on ground and pound...but we get to visit our friend Keon, who looks to be having a rough time in training, and then tells Dos Santos that he'd like to go home.  Sure enough, Keon Caldwell becomes the first fighter this season to leave the TUF house willingly.

Lesnar works with Cope, but Cope is understandably the underdog in this fight.  After a training session, Lesnar gives a pep talk built around "any given Sunday", saying that every dog has his day.  At the house the night before the fight, Cope is rolling with a team mate, but other members of the team aren't sure that using up that nervous energy the night before a fight is a good idea.  

The first round wasn't quite the shut out I was expecting, and Cope held his own for a "part time fighter".  Torres did most of his work with control in the clinch, landing knees, and a solid take down as well.  Cope landed decent elbows from the clinch, some knees of his own, and a handful of inside leg kicks.  There were few notable exchanges, but they were even in the stand up.  Cope will have to avoid letting his back touch the cage if he wants to get this fight finished, or at least to a sudden death round.

The second round was much closer, Cope not letting himself be controlled nearly as much this round.  Although Torres easily took the striking exchanges, Cope's new control and attack in the clinch allowed him to steal the round.  The judges declared it a draw, leading to a sudden death round.  At this point, Torres could run and gun, and secure the round with jabs and leg kicks, Cope on the other hand, might want to try his luck at shooting for a take down.  Cope looks exhausted, and I'm not sure he'll be able to take it, but he put up a better fight than his team mates expected him to.

Cope took the first two minutes of the third round with winning striking exchanges, plus control and strikes in the clinch.  Torres was the one finding his back against the cage much of the time during the round.  At striking distance, Cope was landing leg kicks of his own, and attempting to land a right straight.  With just over a minute left in the final round, Torres was getting desperate, lunging with a superman punch that lead to a clinch that Cope once again took control of.  The round ended with Torres fighting for a take down he couldn't get, and it looked like Cope upset the favorite.  Sure enough, the judges saw it the same way, and Cope edged out Torres.  Lesnar was ecstatic with the win backstage, pleased with Cope's heart and determination.  Team JDS were understandably bummed, as they listened to Team Lesnar celebrating next door.

The preview for the next episode is more intriguing than the last, with one of Coach Lou of team Dos Santos pushing the team hard, and a cut resulting from the hard training.  We then get a clip of JDS letting him know who the coach is.  In regards to team Lesnar, the team seems to think that Cope is "playing both sides" and sharing info with Team Dos Santos.  Will Cope suffer the wrath of Lesnar?  I sure as hell hope so.


Team Lesnar:

Len Bentley

Charlie Rader

Chris Cope

Clay Harvison

Tony Ferguson

Nordin Asrih

Chuck O'Niel

Team Dos Santos:

Shamar Bailey

Ryan McGillivray

Zachary Davis

Keon Caldwell (Replacement announced next week.)

Mick Bowman

Ramsey Nijem

Javier Torres


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