Finally, it’s the long awaited semi-finals, and I have to hand it to Big Daddy, after all of the crap this show has piled on this season, I’m definitely emotionally invested in who wins these fights. If Marilyn wins, I’ll probably develop severe and permanent pathological anger issues. Please don’t do that to me, Big Daddy.
Please, don’t turn me into this woman!!
Be brave and take the jump with me…
Because these last episodes are back-to-back, I’m just going to pretend that it’s all one episode with lots of fighting. We start off with a little subliminal prodding, just in case ten weeks of teasing hasn’t been enough to get us pumped up.
What a wonderful symbol for gushing masculinity.
Our first fight of the evening is the light heavyweight match between Ryan Bader and Eliot Marshall. There’s not a lot of pussyfooting around in this episode, instead we’re going straight to the guys training, starting with Ryan. Apparently, Nog has become Ryan’s personal training partner, which means that they get to beat the crap out of each other on a regular basis.
I love that Nog doesn’t bother with head gear for these sessions.
Some oddly light and rather effeminate piano music heralds our arrival into Elliot’s training session. I can’t help wondering what the editors are trying to imply here. Anyhoo, Elliot does his mortal best to sound humble, but he still comes off sounding a little like a douche. Especially, when those bitter notes creep into his voice as he acknowledges that Bader is the favorite to win the show. “Coach” Frankie is of course unable to accept that a fighter on his team could lose. After all, his fighters understand that team spirit, loyalty, and support don’t matter, because ultimately there’s no team in the ring.
Eliot is all about jiu jitsu. But, what I don’t understand is, if he’s so into jiu jitsu, why didn’t he spend more time teaming up with Vinny instead of Shrek. After all, Vinny’s jiu jitsu is seemingly better than Eliots, as Vinny has already beaten him in competition and he holds a few world titles. It just seems like it would have been a golden opportunity to learn, instead of spending his time trying to teach Shrek how to beat Vinny. The ways of Eliot are deep and mysterious, so I’ll probably never know. But, Eliot is kind enough to explain the philosophical difference between wrestling and jiu jitsu. In wrestling you’re trained that, if you hit a wall, you should push through, but in jiu jitsu you’re taught to search around for an open door.
It looks like Ryan might understand the concept of an open door as well.
The music amps up and we head into the pre-fight dressing rooms, where Eliot has ditched his humility for a catchier slogan, “Bader gets to choose where he wants to lose.” To help Eliott get in the proper frame of mind, “coach” Frankie takes a few minutes before the fight to beat the crap out of him. Personally, I’m thinking that Frankie just wanted to beat somebody up.
The semi final fights go for three five minute rounds, so lets hope our boys are in shape. We start with a little standup and Eliot connects with a head kick to Bader’s head. Then we have a little back and forth and a quick crotch check on Bader’s part. Okay, good to go. Bader throws a few kicks that Elliot catches. And in the background. Frankie is yelling out the number three like a preschooler with turettes.
Ryan takes Eliot down and rides him over to the cage landing a few punches along the way.
Then Ryan decides to take a short nap while Elliot searches for an open door.
After his brief nap, Ryan manages to land a couple more punches and some elbows. It looks like Eliot is getting a little desperate. Then Ryan gets to his feet swinging as the bell rings.
In the corner, “Coach” Frankie explains to Eliot that he’s not getting close enough to Shrek, but every time he threw three strikes the third one landed. So, ONE, TWO, THREE. I’m a little suspicious that Frankie just learned to count that high so he’s using his new number as much as he can. We go back for the second round and Eliot lands a kick. Then Ryan catches a kick and drops Eliot.
We get to watch some more writhing, as Ryan one again rides Eliot up to the cage. It looks like Eliot might be working to get a triangle, but Ryan is covering him like an immovable 205 pound piece of steak. Frankie’s yelling that Eliot needs to push up the pace because Ryan’s not really doing anything, he’s just holding Eliot in place. Obedient to his coaches commands, Eliot wriggles a little harder which inspires Ryan to pick him and slam him on the ground. Ryan Bader is one strong slab of beef.
After a little more of this, even the ref gets bored and separates the two of them. This is a nice thought on the ref’s part, but his effort is completely wasted, as Ryan takes about a minute before he takes Eliot down again.
Seriously, how can a jiu jitsu black belt be this completely helpless against a take down. Ryan lands what looks like a solid punch and then the bell for the second round rings.
As we go into the third round, an unhappy Shrek is pacing in the background and warning Eliot “you can not go to the ground anymore.” Apparently, Shrek’s words failed to register in Eliot’s tired brain, because Eliot catches Bader’s leg and drops him.
We have the requisite wiggling and then Eliot starts some pretty serious bucking, causing Ryan to grab onto the cage and sort of body surf over Eliot to maintain his position.
“Coach” Frankie encourages Eliot to continue this because Bader’s losing points every time he grabs the cage, but I think Frankie’s really yelling this so the judges won’t forget to dock the points. The ref separates the boychiks and they stand up just to go back down again. I’ve got to say that it doesn’t seem like Eliot’s black belt Brazilian jiu jitsu is helping him a whole lot. Once again, the ref separates the fighters and both of them are looking pretty beat. Eliot throws a kick and misses, and Nog reminds Ryan to put his hands back up and move. I’m pretty sure Ryan just thought, ‘the heck with this, I’m ready for another nap.’ He takes Eliot down again, where they stay until the final bell.
It’s pretty clear that Ryan won the fight and, from the way Eliot tosses his mouthpiece in disgust, I think he agrees. So, it’s a win for Bader, but I’ve got to say that I expected more from him. For once I’m agreeing with Big Daddy, and Big Daddy’s not too impressed.
“Coach” Frankie continues his tradition of not-so-gracious commentary and gives Ryan credit for winning the fight on limited skills, since he’s not really a fighter just a wrestler. I have to say that, in his blog, Ryan sounds pretty horrified by his performance in the fight and is promising to show some much better skills in the finals. Eliot is struggling to accept his loss gracefully, so I have to give him credit for not being a complete douche. However, the atmosphere in the blue team locker room is seriously grim. I feel kind of bad for Eliot when he protests that he did his best and nobody seems to believe him.
“I didn’t just lay there. I mean, I tried. I didn’t just lay there did I?”
The very embodiment of support and encouragement.
Moving on to the lightweight fight, Phillipe Nover is matched up against George Roop. At the weigh-in, Phillipe Nover is working his bad boy persona by sporting some snazzy shades.
I love the way it looks like he’s flexing everything, including his lips.
I like Phillipe and I really like watching Phillipe fight, but, as a character on TV, I like George Roop more. So now I have a heartbreaking quandary. I really want to root for Roop, which sounds a lot like a campaign slogan. However, I like watching Phillipe fight a lot more, and I really don’t believe Roop has much of a chance. Especially with a broken hand and two days out of being banged up in a fight with Hugger John.
I think it’s safe to say that Big Daddy is planning on proposing to Phillipe as soon as this season ends, because he’s clearly enamored and can barely wait to bed him, or at least start making some money off him.
I’m gonna get me some of that.
I’m beginning to think that “coach” Frankie just shuts his eyes during the fights, either that or he’s completely delusional. If he had actually watched Phillipe’s previous fights there would be no sane way that he could believe Roop has a chance.
Superman used to stand like this right before he would fly away.
Phillipe is really good about giving his opponents respect. He tells us that George Roop is a very qualified fighter and he’s the tallest guy that Phillipe’s fought so he’s taking the fight very seriously. It would have been so refreshing to hear “Coach” Frankie describe his team’s opponents in similar terms.
On the other hand, Roop is as impressive as hell, when he tells that he’s as ready as he can be, while one of his eyes is almost swollen shut and his hand still looking like a balloon. Seriously, I whine more about typing recaps with a broken nail, than he does about having to fight with a broken hand.
Note to Dana: Please give this guy a contract.
For once, “coach” Frankie and I are on the same side when he says that he thinks Roop is going to fight even harder because of the injured hand. Frankie goes on to tell us in a deadly serious voice that, if a war broke out, Roop is the guy that he’d want next to him because he wouldn’t blink. On the other hand, I’m not sure that Roop would want Frankie next to him, since Frankie is pretty much in the everyman for himself school of thought.
Once again, Phillipe morphs from a gentle soulful nurse to a scary assassin.
The fighters touch gloves and BAMN!! Phillipe goes out swinging and just runs over George.
George ends up on the ground with Phillipe on top and then George sweeps him over really nicely. Go George!! Woohoo!!
Phillipe keeps his head and with some concentrated struggling, wraps George’s arm behind him into a kimora arm lock. At first I didn’t think George was going to tap, but when Phillipe has his arm locked at a totally painful angle he taps, thank you, Lord. I really didn’t want to see an arm get broken.
I could have beat him.
Living proof that it’s possible to be a gentleman and a mma fighter.
Going right into episode 12, Mini Big Nog’s team now has two fighters in the finals.
Woohoo!! Go Red Team!!!
Vinny’s not at all nervous about fighting Shrek, which I totally have to respect, because who wouldn’t be nervous about fighting this guy?
On the other hand, despite appearances, Shrek’s a thinking kind of guy. He’s got a plan to deal with Vinny’s jiu jitsu skills. According to Shrek’s carefully considered analysis, if you punch a black belt in the face, he becomes a brown belt, and if you hit a black belt with a combination then you get a white belt.
As the fighters go to touch gloves, I’m a little surprised to find myself rooting for Vinny. So far this season, I haven’t been a big fan of Shrek’s or Vinny’s reality TV personalities. However, I really like watching Vinny’s jiu jitsu and I have to say that most of his later blogs made a good impression on me. Reading his thoughts about the show, made me think that he might sound like an idiot on camera partly because he’s really young and shy.
Anyhoo, Vinny and Shrek face off, and Shrek’s got that weird hands off to the side head bobbing thing going that makes him look like the walking dead.
For not being a stand up fighter, Vinny is definitely making an effort, except that no strikes are landing. Vinny throws a kick and it misses. Then Vinny takes Shrek down. In the background “coach” Frankie can be heard giving Vinny all sorts love. Vinny captures Shrek’s head in a leg lock and starts beating the crap out of it. Shrek manages to pull loose and and stands facing Vinny on the ground while everybody shrieks at him to back up like Vinny was a Cobra ready to strike.
Shrek registers the advice and backs up so they’re both on their feet. Vinny lands a nice kick. But, Shrek goes into zombie mode and starts advancing, landing some painful looking kicks on Vinny’s legs. Vinny lands a head shot and people are begging Vinny to take Shrek down. Vinny goes after Shrek flailing and falling. On the second fall, he catches Shrek and then in a matter of seconds he submits Shrek in an armbar.
After the fight, Vinny gives Shrek a big hug and taking Shrek’s hand, raises his arm in respect. Way to go Vinny.
So the light heavyweight finale will be a matchup between Ryan Bader and Vinny. I have to say that I’m not holding out much hope for Ryan at this point unless he manages to catch Vinny with a knockout punch. I’m also a little curious to see the difference in how Vinny will deal with Ryan’s wrestling techniques. On another note, I can’t help wondering if Eliot and Shrek aren’t regretting some of their overconfidence in the weeks up to the semi-finals.
The last two light weights to fight in the semi-finals are Marilyn and Efrain. And, as you might expect, Marilyn’s training hard, well, actually, whining hard.
I don’t want to be too hard on Marilyn. I’m sure within the multitude of separate personalities vying for control of his body there is one that trains hard. Sadly, that personality has been taking a nap during this season. Marilyn’s initial interview is with his confident personality and he tells us that he just has to keep focused and he should win the fight.
But, during the actual training session, Marilyn’s jerkwad ‘blame it on the world’ personality rules supreme and starts whining that he hasn’t had the mat time he would get at home and he feels like he’s gotten worse since he’s been training on TUF.
I like to think Marilyn is God’s revenge on Frankie for being a douche.
The upshot is that Marilyn doesn’t want to fight anymore, which is pretty hard to stomach after watching Roop go in to his fight with legitimate problems and never complain. Marilyn’s biggest complaint is that he doesn’t want to lose on national TV. Are you kidding me? At this point, losing on TV is small potatoes compared to most of the crap you’ve pulled on TV this season.
Actually, Marilyn is just an actor that Big Daddy planted to torture Frankie.
Later in the evening, Marilyn, Vinny, Roli, and Shane Primm are sitting outside by the pool. Marilyn is, of course, running his mouth about how Ryan Bader won’t have a chance on the ground with Vinny, and how nobody on the red team including Nog has much jiu jitsu. Shane Primm demands to know where Marilyn gets off saying this stuff since he’s not at the practices, but everything’s still fairly peaceful, until Marilyn’s cocky delusional personality takes over. This personality starts saying that Marilyn’s going to be the greatest fighter in the UFC. Shane very sensibly tells Marilyn that he’ll believe when he sees it. It must be like an insane version of the Brady Bunch in Marilyn’s head. For some reason, he morphs into a complete homicidal maniac, and wings his glass full force at Shane. This time the glass throwing is much more successful than the previous attempt at Kyle Kingsbury at the beginning of the show. As the glass shatters everywhere, Marilyn jumps up and starts throwing some punches at Shane, while he’s still seated.
This is so much more fun than in practice. Here you guys never hit me back.
Roli and Vinny intervene, while Shane P., who is legitimately pissed off, gives Marilyn some very good advice, “Take your medicine dude.”
Marilyn interviews that he fucked up big time and the house isn’t the place to fuck up. However, I beg to differ. So far this season, the house seems exactly the place to fuck up, since there haven’t been any consequences whatsoever. None of the fighters think that Marilyn’s staying, but we’ve heard that before.
Big Daddy comes over and takes Marilyn downstairs to discuss the situation. Once seated, Dana proceeds to ask the question that most of us have been wondering, “What the fuck is wrong with you? I can’t figure out if your retarded, bipolar, or are afraid of failing.” Personally, I’m guessing that Marilyn has a separate personality for each of the categories, so really the answer is all three. Marilyn not wanting to admit to being developmentally disabled or mentally ill, goes with the low self esteem option.
Big Daddy is touchingly proud of his insight and says wisely that Marilyn’s one of these guys that will do anything to avoid losing. Marilyn babbles about the pressure of being a poor innocent country boy thrust into the spotlight and the pressure of being Frankie Mir’s first pick. A choice that I’m suspecting Frank is seriously regretting. Big Daddy reminds Marilyn that he should have been kicked off the show three times. Then, going on to analyze further, he suggests that Marilyn wants Big Daddy to kick him out of the house so he can go home and say that he would have won the entire thing. I think that’s probably a pretty accurate analysis of Marilyn’s insecure, blame-it-on-the-world personality. But, what’s bothering me right now is that Marilyn’s legend-in-his-own-mind personality has surfaced and it feels like he’s totally playing Big Daddy.
I can’t believe this dickwad is going to let me stay.
Marilyn mutters that he’s not a very good reality star and Big Daddy points out some totally sage wisdom that the general public really needs to grasp, “Reality stars are idiots.” He goes on to say that Marilyn is a great reality star, but the question is if he’s a good fighter. I like this because you can see that it kind of pisses Marilyn off. So, basically Big Daddy doesn’t want to lose Marilyn at this point, because it would make the last semi-final fight totally anti-climatic. Big Daddy goes up to talk to the other fighters because he doesn’t want them to think that he’s showing favoritism to Marilyn. Which is totally bizarre because he’s so totally shown favoritism to Marilyn this entire season, but whatevs. The ways of Big Daddy are deep and mysterious, but I’m guessing that they always lead to money.
Big Daddy calmly points out to the boychiks that he’s been forcing them to share their living quarters with a complete nut job, fruit loop for the last six weeks, so would they mind it very much if he kept Marilyn for another few hours? You know, just long enough to fight. Efrain, of course, wants to keep Marilyn to fight. I have to say that, in all justice, Efrain should get his crack at Marilyn, and then a few free shots at Big Daddy for inflicting that lunatic on them. The fighters vote to keep Marilyn, and Big Daddy utters his now famous line, “This isn’t survivor where you vote him off; beat him off.”
I mean that in every possible sense.
As a result of all this nonsense, Marilyn gives a touching interview thanking Dana for believing in him and I’m left feeling slimy and more than a little nauseous.
So, are we going to get to the fight already without anymore drama? Not quite. On the way to the fight, Marilyn casually announces that if he’s loses this fight, he’s not going to fight anymore. If only I could believe him.
For his part, Efrain has been waiting for a chance to take a shot at Marilyn since the first day of the show. While I have the chance, I’d like to note that Efrain’s blogs rocked over this season. They were funny and insightful, and definitely won me over. I’d probably root for anybody squaring off against Marilyn, well, maybe not Frank Mir. If it was between Frank Mir and Marilyn, I’d probably laugh, get bored, and turn the channel. But, putting the question of “coach” Frankie aside, at this point I’m rooting for Efrain because I’ve become a fan.
Marilyn enters the ring first, and promptly sits his ass on the ground. It looks like a major act of disrespect, but from the way he’s mumbling to himself, I’m thinking his train’s finally driven itself completely off the reality tracks.
I wonder whose hand that is.
Efrain comes in to the ring and eyes Marilyn like a hungry tiger that sees a blond bunny rabbit.
The fighters touch gloves and Marilyn steps back to take an additional second to stretch. WTF? I really wish Efrain wasn’t a gentleman and had just jumped him when Marilyn was bent over.
Definitely not the move for Marilyn to make, when he inevitably ends up in prison.
Marilyn seems a little surprised by Efrain.
Why the hell is he punching me?!
For the first minute, the fighters engage in a little standup with some jabs and kicks, then, Efrain takes Marilyn down. But it doesn’t last long and Efrain is back up, while Marilyn is still down. Efrain throws some punches before Marilyn gets back up. And, then, when Marilyn does get up, Efrain connects nicely with Marilyn’s face.
Marilyn backs Efrain against the cage, but Efrain looks like he’s got Marilyn is some sort of headlock and he’s taking the opportunity to rain some elbows on Marilyn’s head followed by a knee.
The boychiks move away from the wall and Marilyn is looking a tad bit tuckered, while “coach” Frankie can be heard in the background chanting his mantra “1-2-3. THREE!! 1-2-3.” Marilyn kicks and misses and that’s the end of round 1.
As we start round two, it looks like Marilyn’s trying to pick up the pace. He goes to take Efrain down, but he gets nothing but beat up for his trouble. Maybe “coach” Frankie can get one of those loop pedals to replay his chant of “3″, so he doesn’t lose his voice. Efrain takes Marilyn down and throws a few punches, before lying on top of Marilyn and elbowing him. At this point it’s pretty obvious that Marilyn is ready to cry for his momma and beg to go home. Faces of pain:
In the end, Efrain submits Marilyn with an armbar, and the red team pours in to the cage to celebrate, while Junie runs to the locker room and slams the door.
“Coach” Frankie is completely disgusted with Marilyn’s performance. Especially, the part where Marilyn wouldn’t listen to his chant of three. And, above all else, Frank Mir ain’t no cheerleader, so if Marilyn isn’t going to listen to him, Frankie’s just going to go sit in the corner.
I can suck my thumb if I want to.
But the funniest part of Frankie’s interview is when he admits to taking some pleasure in watching Marilyn get beat. LOL
Happily, Marilyn has now decided to quit the sport because it’s finally become apparent to him that he’s just not as good as he thought he was. Sadly, his next career choice is flipping burgers, and this is definitely not a person who should be trusted around flames or hot grease.
Then like an unexpected but awesome dessert, Mini Big Nog reminds us that if more of his fighters were to win in the semi finals, he would get to shave “coach” Frankie’s head. And out come the clippers…
This is a man who has just had a very bad day.
On a last note, just to keep me from being too happy, the editors insert a shot of Marilyn assuring that he will in fact keep fighting.
I’lllll be baacck!!
So, Gasmii, are you happy or sad about these fights? I’m guessing Vinny and Phillipe for the contracts, unless Ryan can really pull something impressive out, but will see…
I’m so sorry this recap is later than normal, life totally got in the way this weekend. Love you all and I’ll see next week for the finale on Saturday!!