Spoilers included in the below recap of TUF 12, episode two...
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – 14 lightweight prospects have fought their way into the house on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck. Now the real work begins, as teams are selected and the tournament begins.
After a night of getting settled in the house, the fighters make their way to the gym to find out who they’ll be training with for the next six weeks.
Coach Josh Koscheck looks at Michael Johnson as his number one choice before the selection process begins.
“I think he’s probably the best athlete we have here on the show,” said Kos of Johnson. But the opposing coach, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre wants to get a strategic edge, so he lists the fighter Koscheck used to coach in college wrestling, Marc Stevens, in bold letters on the top of a sheet of paper he makes sure to dangle in front of his rival.
Koscheck wins the coin toss and opts to pick the first fighter, and he takes Stevens, playing right into GSP’s hands.
St-Pierre picks Koscheck’s number one choice, Johnson, in response.
“Well played George St-Pierre, well played,” said UFC President Dana White.
When the dust settles, here’s how the teams look:
In the first gym session following the picks, GSP sets the tone by becoming a training partner of his squad, letting his assistant coaches Greg Jackson, John Danaher, and Phil Nurse lead the way. And his philosophy is clear.
“I did not choose any fighter because he was the strongest or had the best pedigree on paper, but guys I know I can help,” said St-Pierre. “For me, this show is not about winning, this show is not about me. I’m not selfish. This show is about the guys. It’s their show, it’s their time to shine.”
On the other side of the gym, Koscheck has his own thoughts on the competition.
“I think I have the edge on Georges St-Pierre because I’ve been here,” said Koscheck, who is joined by coaches Bob Cook, Teddy Lucio, and Daniel Cormier. “I spent a long time on season one, it’s been over six years, and I’m back. I believe in mindless training. Just show up and I’ll tell you what to do. If you listen to me, you’ll achieve your goals.”
Since he lost the initial coin toss, St-Pierre picks the first fight, and he chooses Alex Caceres from his team to face Team Koscheck’s Jeff Lentz, a fight Caceres requested.
At the bell, the two 21-year olds engage, with Caceres rocking Lentz briefly with a knee. The New Jersey native shakes the blow off and after landing a kick, he ties Caceres up against the fence. After some jostling between the two, Lentz lifts Caceres for a slam but after almost getting caught in a guillotine choke, he puts his foe back down and again bulls him into the fence before getting the takedown with under two minutes left. The two scramble back to their feet, but after a stalemate against the fence, referee Herb Dean breaks them. The two proceed to trade kicks and punches before a late takedown by Lentz just before the bell.
In the second, Lentz is the aggressor once again, and he quickly smothers his foe against the fence. In response, Caceres gets a takedown, but Lentz ends up in the top position and in control. But out of nowhere, Caceres slaps on a triangle choke. Lentz tries to slam his way out, but it’s no use, and he’s eventually forced to tap out.
With the win, Team GSP takes a 1-0 lead in the competition and retains control. Here’s how the teams look:
Alex Caceres 1-0
Jeffrey Lentz – Eliminated on episode two by Alex Caceres
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