Boy, after this episode I've really gone ahead and reevaluated my life and decided that no matter what has happened in my life, I'm pretty fortunate.
What made me go ahead and have this quarter life moment of clarity?
“I didn't have any friends in high school. Maybe one”- Eliot Marshall
Heck, I am in an airport in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati right now, awaiting a connection to Milwaukee, and I'm pretty sure I have more friends in here than one. Eliot is a good guy, so I feel kind of blessed at the way my life has turned out.....
Speaking of Kentucky, once again on TUF this week, the state's favorite son Junie Browning narrowly escaped being kicked out of the house. After last week's submission victory over “Sugar” Shane Nelson, F Ray Ahn and Junie engaged in a war of English insults in the UFC training center. What makes this remarkable is the fact that neither Efrain or Junie speak English as a first language (Efrain was born in Mexico, and Junie was born in Kentucky).
During this battle of wits, Junie saw fit to leap the cage and storm the ring as if he were an invading army and the cage wall was the French military. But Sacre Bleu! Junie gets to stay on the show because Keith Kizer was not in attendance. Had he been, Dana is positive that Junie would have had his Athletic Commission license taken away. I'm not sure how he got one in the first place, because I succintly remember taking a drug test prior to the taping of the show.
Boredom sets in easy during time in the TUF house, as one can imagine, and much has been said about the pranks that Krystof devises. I can be seen in the background of most of these, as Krystof's accomplice. Some people think that the pranks are lame, some people think they are funny, some think they are harmless, and some (like Big Nog) think that they are detrimental to the training process. Let me explain something to those of you who have never lived in seclusion from society, with 15 other dudes; you will do ANYTHING to offset boredom. I mean, you can only escape the cameras by hiding in the shower with a bottle of lotion for so long.
Freezing someone's underwear is like the holy grail of entertainment when TV isn't available. Putting sardine juice in peoples beds? All in great fun. But I side with “Diamond” Dave Kaplan when I say that in the scheme of things it was pretty lame in execution. I'm sure some of the other guys were a bit more upset, as evidenced by Vinny's reactions, but I've had enough members of the opposite sex who emitted a similar smell in the bars I've worked at that it didn't bother me.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva came to visit Team Nog. I don't have much to say on the subject, other than I'm jealous. I'm not a big Anderson Silva fan really, but he is the best in the world at 185 currently and it looked like he really got in there with Bader and some of the other guys. With a plan to drop to 185 in my immediate future, it would have been nice to see how far away from the upper echelon I am.
A small tidbit as well. If you look closely, at last week's episode (either that or it was this week's I forget) you can see Demian Maia in the corner of Team Mir. Demian was the coolest guy I've ever met. Literally, I would be him if I could. I'm not sure if he will get a proper introduction on the show or not, as one of the themes so far seems to be the cohesion on Team Big Nog, along with the seemingly vagabond nature of Team Mir.
Eliot Marshall and Shane Primm train. They will fight. Eliot is a BJJ Black Belt (under Amal Easton), Shane is a purple under Rob Kahn (Gracie Tampa). Rob Kahn is amazing on the ground, his guard is simply amazing. Shane Primm is good, I've fought him. He is young and has a pitbull tattoo, which automatically adds toughness as soon as the ink dries.
Much has been made already of the interaction between Big Nog/Mir/Team Mir regarding the pranks and the fact that Nog wanted them to stop. Let me try to remember as much about this situation as possible. Yes, we at Team Mir began the pranks with saran wrapping the underwear, freezing it, etc. Team Nog replied with putting fish in our beds. Vinny replied by peeing on Efrain's pillow. I don't recall a concerte effort by Team Nog members to get us to stop the pranks. It was always a “we will retaliate, don't worry” attitude from te majority of the team.
If Team Nog themselves would have come to us and really asked us to stop, I'm sure that we would have been receptive. But that didn't happen before Big Nog came to us first. And really, It wasn't a situation where I remember Nog asking us all to sit down for a serious meeting. It was more like, we get home from training, start to cook and eat, and when everyone was around Nog started addressing it. You can see from the video that Team Mir isn't concentrated in one area. We are spread around the kitchen, dinner table, dining room, etc. At this point, Stankie and Big Nog started addressing the situation kind of informally.
This might be due to the fact that there is a language barrier with Nog, and sometimes us non-cultured Americans have a hard time understanding and concentrating when we can't fully understand someone. Also, and I'm not saying this disrespectfully as he was one of my favorite people to be around, but Al Stankie doesn't really lend himself to a conversation where he is trying to get something done. He talks a mile a minute, with lots of cliches, and other antecdotes, and to be honest I didn't even know what he was saying for a good portion of the time.
People can complain about Eliot, Krystof, and whoever else disrespecting Big Nog, and how if he talks everyone should listen...honestly, if you are trying to get in to the UFC and are on the cusp, one of the worst things you can do is go ahead and “idolize” someone. It is detrimental as it psychogically implies that you are not on that person's level. A good portion of the internet talk about the situation is that Nog is a legend in the sport. I agree wholeheartedly. Nog seems to be a great coach, a good, caring individual and has been through highlight reel wars for the majority of his career. I would LOVE to emulate half the success that he has had.
Does that mean that I, (and the rest of Team Mir)can't have my own opinion? Hell no. It was a conversation that occured, which implies that more than one person has the right to talk. It wasn't a formal meeting where Nog was pleading with us to stop pulling pranks, instead it seemed like being chastised by someone else's father while you are in your own home. Had the Team Nog coaching staff approached it in a different manner, the outcome may have been different.
And by the way, you can see me eating and listening intently while he talks=)
My thoughts on the fight? It sucked. Eliot dominated Shane and it made me feel bad inside. I've trained with Shane and fought him. Part of me wanted him to do good because I consider him a friend, another part of me wanted him to do good because he holds a DQ win over me, and another part of me wanted him to lose so that Team Mir could gain control.
Shane did his best Frankenstein impression right into a bodylock and did his best to re-enact the film career of [insert name of random “adult” movie actress] by giving up his back, being mounted, and getting choked before getting Eliot to finish prematurely.
Wait, I've got to go really quickly. I'm still in the airport and I've already made 7 friends who want me to hang out.
Most of them are asking me through their 4 teeth (combined) about Junie's fight next week, since we are in Northern KY, and I'll tell you what I told them all....
TUNE IN NEXT WEEK to see Junie “The Lunatik” Browning battle against Rolando “The Emaciated Beaver” in a battle of epic proportions!!
Who will be the TUFest of the two?