Weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson, airing Fridays on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT, with re-airs on FUEL TV Sunday nights, UltimateFighter.com a week after that and UFC.tv.
The episode opens up with the guys coming into the house and checking out their new digs. James Chaney tells us that he’s been sleeping in his buddy’s garage so it’s nice to actually be in a house. Many of the other guys can’t believe the amenities they have at their disposal. Personally, I can’t believe how many frozen pizzas and alcoholic beverages they have in there. It looks like FX gives the responsibility of stocking the house to a college intern.
It’s beautiful to see relationships grow. In the case of the TUF house, you get to see them go from annoyance to eventual physical violence. It looks like Julian Lane and Matt Secor will be the relationship we witness go down that road to destruction. From what I can gather, their argument begins because Secor thinks Lane’s mohawk is stupid and Lane thinks Secor is annoying and not a good fighter. While that may not seem like much, it’s eerily similar to the personal conflict between Otto von Bismarck and Emile Olivier that started the Franco Prussian war.
The show then takes us to Team Carwin’s first team practice. Coach Carwin informs us about how serious he takes responsibility for the fighters under his care. He says that he wants to give he guys the best possible tools to win and introduces his assistant coaches Trevor Wittman and Pat Barry. All the guys on Team Carwin are impressed with their coach and set up. James Chaney sums it up by saying, “This training is a lot different from what I’m used to -- it’s smarter.”
It then immediately cuts to Team Nelson’s training where the fighters there are a little less than impressed. The overall sentiment is that they aren’t training hard enough -- Roy's called for one-a-days when most of the guys are used to working out two and three times a day -- and that they should be doing more. Roy says that he’s using the first practice to gauge his fighters’ skills and levels of technique, but it sounds they didn’t get the memo.
After the training sessions it’s time for the fight announcement where Roy Nelson declares that Neil Magny’s birthday present will be a match against his team member, Cameron Diffley. Roy tells us that after seeing Neil be put in a lot of bad positions during his fight to get into the house, he feels that Cameron (a jiu-jitsu instructor for guys like Forrest Griffin and Amir Sadollah) will be able to submit him easily. Shane Carwin thinks this is a bad fight -- for Cameron. Everyone else on Team Carwin agrees with him and believe their teammate will pick apart Diffley on the feet and give them control.
Back at the house Secor and Lane take their relationship to the next level by yelling and hurling a few expletives here and there. Basically it boils down to the classic, “You suck! No, you suck!” tête à tête amoureux that we all know and love. They eventually walk away, but soon meet again because they share a bedroom and sleep next to one another. They fight, they yell and sleep in the same room. Sounds like they’ve taken their relationship straight to the marriage stage.
We then see each respective team’s gameplans for the fight. Magny drills his boxing footwork and Coach Carwin talks about the importance of him using his jab. Cameron Diffley discusses his jiu jitsu skills, name drops a few fighters and Roy stresses how Cameron has to get the fight to the ground to win. Sandwiched in between these training clips, Julian Lane and Colton Smith prank Mike Ricci by dousing him in flour.
Then it’s fight day! Shane Carwin informs us he won’t be in Magny’s corner because he’s not a professional coach and he wants Neil to have the best chance at winning even if it means setting his own ego aside.
As round one begins, Diffley is noticeably tentative. He’s flat footed and looks like he’s just walking into a sparring session. Magny tags him with jabs, walks him down and then throws more straight shots. They briefly tie up a few times, but Magny circles out and takes the center of the cage. Around the two minute mark, Diffley finally shoots, pulls guard and works his BJJ strength. He immediately throws up an armbar. Magny defends so he transitions to a kneebar and then a deep heel hook. Unable to get the tap, Diffley takes top position, but with less than a minute he’s can’t advance and the round ends.
Round two is all Magny. He beats Diffley to the punch consistently and appears to be hitting him at will. Diffley tries to pull guard a couple times, but Magny either muscles through or beats him up from top position and gets the break. The last minute and half is spent on the ground, but Magny smothers his opponent and the round ends. When Dana reads the judges scorecards, there’s no surprise that Neil Magny wins 20-18 across the board.
After the fight we briefly get the competitor’s reactions. Diffley takes the loss in stride. He knows he didn’t perform well and commits to improving his striking to takedown transitions. He is aided in his realization by Coach Roy, who yells at his team that they need to listen to him when he calls out for action. Magny reveals that the heel hook in the first had him worried but he’s excited to make it to the next step.
As the episode ends, we get a teaser for next week’s episode. Which fighter’s late-night whistling disturbs his house mates? Whose mattress gets thrown in the pool? Will Julian Lane and Matt Secor find actual creative ways to insult one another? Find out next week! Until then, here's the season at a glance:
Team Carwin (1-0)
Neil Magny (1-0, defeated Cameron Diffley by decision in episode 2)
Team Nelson (0-1)
Cameron Diffley (0-1, lost to Neil Magny by decision in episode 2)
In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Twitter @dannyboydownes the show @TUFonFX and check out some of my other work here. Also leave some comments, thoughts or possible insults on the page. If there’s one thing internet comment threads are good for, it’s insults.