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UFC TUF Heavyweights Episode 1 Initial Thoughts

Thursday 17th, September 2009 / 09:15 Written by

The wait is over and The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 – The Heavyweights has finally started. UFC coaches Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans lead the troops this season. However, the star in waiting has been Kimbo Slice. After watching show #1, I came away with a few initial impressions of the new TUF.

My first thought always watching new seasons of The Ultimate Fighter is how many guys show up out of shape. It amazes me that guys finally get the chance at their dreams and yet still show up out of shape. By now, MMA fighters know what they are getting when they get there. Usually one or two guys show up physically unprepared, yet it looks like half the cast this season didn”t look in shape to fight.

Kimbo Slice is definitely more than just a contender. There is a serious push on the show for Kimbo. Dana White immediately made a big deal about bringing Kimbo into the lineup. It was funny because former IFL champion Roy Nelson thought he was the one getting hyped, yet in walks Kimbo. All of that hype immediately worked against Kimbo as he became a huge target of the house.

This show is stacked in Kimbos” favor. It looks like there are more inexperienced fighters in the house than ever before. There are four former NFL players on the show. It was obvious during some of the training sessions that none of these guys have a chance in the UFC. I think they would have been better off slicing it down to half heavyweights and half for another division. The mismatch in the competition fight showed the lack of depth here.

Roy Nelson by all means should be the favorite to win this contest. As a former IFL champion, Nelson is 13-4 overall in his MMA career. The biggest thing working against him from what I see is his weight. Wes Sims is arguably the other favorite. Sims was one of the dirtiest fighters in UFC history and quite honestly, I”m surprised to see him back. Sims has 37 fights under his belt and should make easy work out of most of these guys.

Rampage Jackson is on his way to becoming the worse coach in TUF history. Compared to Ken Shamrock, that says a lot. He just isn”t taking this thing serious. His advice to his fighter Abe Wagner who was being dominated on the ground in the weekly fight was, “Get up Abe!” No technique, no historical lesson, just “get up Abe.” Making matters worse, Jackson just got up and walked away when Abe wasn”t getting up. I have never seen a coach walk away from his fighters ever. That alone puts him ahead of Shamrock. It was obvious from the first season that Jackson is on the show to entertain and hype a fight. He has no interest in coaching these guys.

Rashad Evans on the other hand will become the Tito Ortiz of this series when it is over. Ortiz had a reputation for being a punk and a jerk before TUF. He changed his image overnight when people saw the way he genuinely cared about his kids. Evans is also known as a bit of a punk and cocky. Evans will come off when this is over as a compassionate coach and become one of UFC”s most popular fighters. Once viewers are aware that Rampage pulled out of the fight, Evans could become the most popular fighter in the UFC.

Finally, it just doesn”t feel the same knowing Rampage and Rashad Evans won”t be fighting. It is a feeling of disappointment whenever the two confront each other. I don”t know how Jackson was able to walk out of this fight without any legal reprecussions, but White has to do whatever he can in the future to prevent this from ever happening again. It definitely takes a lot of air out of the balloon knowing you are watching a hyped fight that isn”t and may never happen.

Get up Abe!

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About the author

Eric Gargiulo is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009.

View all articles by Eric Gargiulo

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