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Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

Posted on: April 15, 2009 11:59 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2009 12:41 pm
 

What's going on America?!? My name is Frank Lester, and I am a professional Mixed Martial Artist. A few facts about me: I am 24 years old, 5 ft 11 inches and fight at 170lbs; I am the proud father of Jordan Marie Lester, a beautiful 20 month old baby girl who is the love of my life; I have been working as a personal trainer and training MMA for about the last 2.5 years; prior to that I served as a US Army Infantryman for 3 years which included service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

I am the guy who comes in at the very end of episode 2 as an alternate. I got the call for the welterweight division when Christian Fulguim was not able to make weight. Yes, I am an alternate.  NO I am not Lil' f---in Junie Browning!!  Me & Rob may both have been alternates, but that's as far as any similarities go. What should be known about Rob Browning is that he isn't the way he was acting. Everything he did in the house was an act!  He told me himself that he was going to do as much crazy, retarded, attention grabbing stunts he could think of while he was in the house.  His brother told him that was the best way to get noticed. I think the saying goes "Any publicity is good publicity" and  he did enough stupid stuff  to get his desired 15 minutes of fame on The Ultimate Fighter. That's the last time I will mention his name. As far as I was concerned, I was there for one reason, and that was to "Fight". 

I got the call from TUF on Friday asking me what my weight was and if I could make 170 by Sunday would I like to try and fight my way into the house as an alternate.   I told them that I would love the opportunity to fight on The Ultimate Fighter and that I was about 10 pounds over on weight. I "stretched the truth on that one" and was walking around at 186 at that exact moment. I was told that I would be leaving San Diego the very next morning at 6am.   I immediately began cutting weight. I threw on my sweat suit and headed over to the gym down the street from my house and began running on the treadmill. I ran 8 miles in 2 hours at a relatively slow pace and managed to drop 6 lbs. I knew after I weighed myself following that run that I was going to make weight with no problem.

I then went home and with the help of a close friend began packing up everything I thought I would need over the next 6 weeks.  I truly believed that I was gonna make it into the house. I had no idea who my opponent would be, but I felt as if it was my time.   My marriage had recently ended and I missed my daughter immensely.  This was the big break I had always wanted and I got it at the time I needed it the most.

When I got in to Las Vegas nobody from the show would tell me exactly what was going on. They just took all my old clothes and provided me with what was allowed to be worn on the show. I was taken to the ultimate fighting training center, put in a room and told to wait  This room ended up being Team USA's locker room of sorts.  The room was completely empty except for the overwhelming smell of sweat and numerous pairs of cut-off bloody hand wraps on the floor. There was also a large hole in the wall where somebody had obviously punched right through a picture of Chuck Liddell that was hanging up. I'll be honest and admit that I was somewhat overwhelmed by the experience that was unfolding.

Shortly after my arrival, I was told that it was time and that they wanted me to walk through a certain set of doors. I had no idea what was waiting for me behind those doors. My heart started to race as soon as I  walked in the room and saw Dana White, Dan Henderson and his coaching staff, and a group of guys already in Team USA jerseys.   Dana, quickly explained what was going on and called me out to face off with Kiel Reed, who was to be my opponent to earn my spot in the house. I was not there for any of the other American fights to get into the house. All I witnessed was the aftermath of those fights on the faces of the guys that had won and earned their place on Team USA. I wanted to feel the same pride I saw in their faces. 

After Kiel and I faced off,  we were all bussed to the house. It sucked being in the house for 3 days and not having earned my spot yet.  I was constantly around Kiel Reed.  It seemed like no matter where I went in the house he was always around. It was an uncomfortable situation for all four of us who had not yet won our spot on the team.   I heard Kiel was telling people that there was no way I was gonna win the fight because I was from California and I lived the easy life in the sun. Whereas he was from Iowa where it's cold and had lived a harder life.   After the fight when I looked into the camera and started saying "Cali baby.. what?!" that's what I referencing.  Kiel came off as arrogant as hell to me and I hate  guys who act like that.

Warming up before the fight , I felt a little nervous. However, once I got in the cage I calmed down a bit.  Kiel came out tough and hit me with a big right hook right on the button that dropped me.  His ground and pound wasn't very good and gave me enough time to recover.   To be honest, he wasn't nearly as strong as I thought he would be.  Once I felt I had fully recovered from the right hand,  I started to make my way back to my feet. Kiel must have thought I wasn't very tough and decided that going for a standing guillotine choke was a good idea.   In reality, all he did was help me to fully stand back up and  take over the thai clinch, so that I could start my own attack.  I took over the clinch, hit him with a knee in the forehead, and then a big left hook which I could tell hurt him. 

He immediately tried to take me down again. As he went for the takedown, I began to crossface and sprawl.  Kiel drove me into the fence, which actually helped me re-gain my base. He then switched from double to an outside single, so I reached for the kimura looking to sweep. Instead of him letting go of the single leg knowing I had the Kimura locked in, Kiel decided to try and  muscle through it.  He did not know the deal! My former coach and training partner used to drill this Kimura sweep from the single leg with me every week!!  I knew exactly what I was going to do when he continued to hold that single and power through it. Did I know he was gonna get knocked out as I scissor swept him with the Kimura, No. However, I did know that Kiel was either gonna tap from the pressure I put on his shoulder and elbow joints, or that I was gonna roll him, end up in top position and ground pound him until the ref stopped it! 

I tried to shake Kiel's hand after the fight, but he refused. That type of  poor sportsman is rarely seen in MMA. We all talk smack before a fight, so I do not hold it against him that he said in interviews Lester will be heading to the hospital after the fight. Remember, after the fight was stopped Dan Henderson says Kiel was lucky he didn't break his arm. Maybe Kiel wasn't so lucky?! One of us did go to the hospital after the fight.  It wasn't me.  I got my USA Team jersey and moved into the house. For the next 6 weeks I represented my country while Kiel was recuperating.

 

 

Comments

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2009 6:57 pm
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

A good assessment of the fight. Dana White had it right that is was good fight before Kiel got knocked out, and shaqdooger that the leverage of the kimura contributed to Kiel "bouncing his head off the canvas".

Frank won the fight and I wish him well. Good luck.



Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: April 23, 2009 1:46 pm
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

I watched that fight, and Frank actually never looked dazed or out of it at all. He bought his time, and spent it perfectly. I love how after the fight Kiel was saying how he beat himself and Frank didn't beat him, but sometimes we can be our own worst enemy...haha! As far as him not shaking Lester's hand after the fight....theres no need for that. No matter what, you have to show your opponent respect, no matter the outcome. Ya sure, there's always going to be trash talking before the match, but as soon as that match is over, you almost always see the guys from the UFC shake hands........what a baby.




Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2009 2:06 am
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

Frank good win. The bottom line is a Win is a Win...Period. Good Luck in the house and bring the USA some wins. I understand Fighters have to be a little cocky because you have to believe that you are the best but after a bout their should be some respect shown and Kiel did not show any of that and thats what bothers me about that fight...GO USA 




Since: May 18, 2008
Posted on: April 20, 2009 6:54 pm
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

Nice win, nothing like having the other guy knock himself out for you.

 

Hopefully these updates happen a little more often than last season.




Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: April 20, 2009 6:13 pm
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

Whether you won by a "fluke" or not, I do firmly believe that sometimes you can create your own luck.  In Frank's case, the kimura that you had in place or were setting up created Kiel's "self-KO".  Were it not for that hold, Kiel's head and body wouldn't have been in position for that KO.

Regardless, more importantly, I believe how you carry yourself AFTER the match is often a more important judge of character than how you performed during the fight.  I do believe Kiel was a skilled fighter and he may still have a good future ahead of him in the sport, but fans will definitely remember how he carried himself after that bout.  There's confidence and arrogance, and frequently it's a fine line between the two.  But Frank carried himself with humility after the fight.  Whether someone thinks Frank was "delusional" in his own assessment in the ring, that's a matter of opinion.  We all saw it, but there were only two people in the octagon fighting and Frank was one of them, so may be a better judge than some as to what was going on.  That may not always be the case but, in this case, I agree with Frank's point of view.

Good luck out there!

 

 




Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: April 17, 2009 6:58 pm
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

I can only imagine what it was like to leave home (Regarless of it being sunny Cali) and step onto a plane headed to 6 weeks of uncertainity in the form of fighting. I dont think anyone can be prepared to walk into a ring with Dana White and a team of very qualified fighters watching and not be really nervous. So much weighs on every fight while in that house, and having to live with your opponents and remain focused must be incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, regardless of the outcome of the fight, your opponent Kiel didnt remain humble and wrote checks with his mouth that his ass couldnt cash. I understand shit-talking makes for good tv, but remaining humble and appreciative of the opportunity you've been given goes much further in Fan's minds.   




Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: April 17, 2009 5:59 pm
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

Great fight, Frank, never mind Trey....

I just love these armchair fight critics who think just because a guy is on top he's winning.  Kiel didn't get mount, he didn't take Frank's back and he didn't inflict any damage from the top.  Whoopdee dang do!

The fight was similar to some of the technical work we saw in the Guida/Diaz fight, which I personally thought Diaz won.

Frank sunk in a deep kimura, which is not JUST a submission move, but also a point of leverage.  Quite obviously, Kiel didn't have the right answer for it and ended up bouncing his head off the canvas. 

A win is a win, great work, Frank, I look forward to reading your updates as the season goes on.   




Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: April 16, 2009 1:43 pm
 

Intro to myself& The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 3

I watched the fight.  Your attitude about how you were in control of the fight is quite amusing.  You were losing.  There's no other way to look at it.  As he was driving you to the canvas, he hit his head on the mat and knocked himself out.  The reason Henderson said he's lucky you didn't break his arm is because you had an unconscious man in a kimora.  Not because you were so dominating like you're making yourself sound.  He couldn't tap being out cold so he was lucky you didn't break it in that sense.

I hope you represent the US well and beat your UK opponent.  However, it would be nice for you to show a little humility and realism and accept what really happened in the fight, which was in fact a fluke.  I'm not saying you wouldn't have won if the fight went on, but how it ended was a fluke.

The one thing I did find correct in your dilusional assessment is the fact that you appeared to be stronger and he was wasting too much energy trying to strong arm you with takedowns.  He probably would've wore his arms out quickly had the fight gone on.  And yes, his ground and pound appeared to be weak, but I think you can chalk that up to strngth as well. 



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com