It’s a new season. It’s a new cast. We’re recapping each episode. Let’s get down to business.
What do you need to know? There are 16 welterweights fighting for one UFC contract, even though we all know they are going to get a shot anyway, provided they don’t fight on the show like Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas. The coaches for this season are current UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra and the former welterweight champ, Matt Hughes.
The first episode surprised me in that it jumped right into things. It didn’t focus on the fighters and the house as much compared to earlier seasons, maybe a change in strategy to get those who hate reality television and only watch for the fights to stay tuned.
One of Serra’s BJJ students, Joe Scarola happens to be on the show. Hughes joked with Scarola that he was going to pick him first if he had the chance, obviously starting the mind games. Serra won the coin toss, got the first pick, and selected his boy. Matt Hughes went ahead and picked Dan Barrera with his first pick. The teams ended up looking like this…
Team Serra: Joe Scarola, George Sotiropoulos, Matt Arroyo, John Kolosci, Ben Saunders, Roman Mitichyan, Troy Mandaloniz, Richie Hightower
Team Hughes: Dan Barrera, Mac Danzig, Tommy Speer, Billy Miles, Jared Rollins, Paul Georgieff, Dorian Price, Blake Bowman
Only two things of note happened during the course of the show.
Roman Mitichyan was forced to leave the show after fracturing his elbow during the fighter evaluations for Serra and Hughes. He was replaced by Jon Koppenhaver, who will join Team Serra. Mitichyan put up quite the fit and it’s kind of obvious that he isn’t that familiar with the way things go on in this country.
The other was the fight. Hughes showed no mercy and pairing up the experienced Mac Danzig against Serra’s protege in Scarola.
The fight started out on the feet but quickly went to the ground, exactly where Serra and Scarola wanted it to be. Danzig stayed on top and Scarola did a nice job of keeping Danzig in tight and preventing him from inflicting any damage. Scarola reversed position and wound up on top of Danzig but Danzig quickly locked in a triangle joke that forced Scarola to tap out with only seconds left in the first round.
Hughes’ plan worked like a charm. Next week looks pretty eventful as Scarola contemplates leaving the house and Serra has to “kick a bitch off the show”.
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