Grading this week’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” on FX:
Roy Nelson’s Fight Selection Methods
Team Nelson regained control of the matchups following Joey Rivera’s upset over first-overall selection Sam Alvey last week.
Nelson’s questionable tactics in matching up Cameron Diffley against Neil Magny on the second episode cost him right off the bat, as Diffley lost a one-sided decision.
It got even worse for Nelson this week. The big-bellied heavyweight had his team pick straws to determine who would compete. The honor would be bestowed upon Julian Lane, the last pick on his team. It goes without saying Nelson is not taking his role as a coach and strategist seriously.
To make matters worse, Nelson seems increasingly paranoid about his fighters not following his game plans. On the other hand, he did teach Lane a valuable lesson or two on how to approach his fight with Bristol Marunde.
Julian Lane’s Attitude, Cardio and Rationale
Nelson’s tactics to pick who would fight may have been far-fetched, but Lane should be held accountable for digging his own grave. After all, Nelson left his opponent up to him.
Not only was Lane struggling with all aspects of his conditioning training, he was clearly disillusioned about his next move.
Instead of challenging one of Team Carwin’s weakest links, Matt Secor for example, Lane was inclined to decide between two of the favorites this season in Mike Ricci and Bristol Marunde.
Ultimately, he picked Marunde. The rest is history.
In glimpses of next week’s show, we can already see Lane picking fights with his housemates. In the words of Ricci, some of these guys just aren’t “seasoned.”
Bristol Marunde’s Weight Debacle
One of the hot topics on this week’s show was Marunde’s struggle with cutting weight and Roy Nelson’s post-fight paranoia.
Prior to this season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Marunde has always competed at 185 pounds. He entered the “TUF” house coming off a loss to former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in March.
The task of shedding those extra pounds has not been easy. When he weighed in, there seemed to be some confusion among the members of Team Nelson about whether the scale was properly balanced.
We’ll never know if the weigh-in was legitimate, but Marunde handled the situation like a professional.
Conversely, Nelson chose to approach the subject with UFC president Dana White after Marunde already defeated Lane, as opposed to actually bringing it up when Marunde was weighing in. White was completely bewildered by Nelson’s accusation, and rightfully so.
“You can’t fix stupid,” said White. “You just can’t.”
We’ll have to grade Nelson with an F, while Marunde deserves an A. On the subject of weight cutting, we’ll meet somewhere in between.
A Night at the Movies
Some relief and occasional distractions for the fighters is never a bad thing. This week, they got to enjoy a private screening of “Here Comes The Boom” starring comedian Kevin James.
Everyone seemed to have a good time.
Bristol Marunde’s Attitude and Potential
The 30-year-old Strikeforce veteran knows it’s make or break time in his career.
Looking to gain an extra edge, Marunde’s dedication in dropping to welterweight is beginning to pay off as he advanced to the next stage this season.
Marunde’s performance was not a career-best, but he was one step ahead of Julian Lane. Marunde is looking to prove his worth as Team Carwin’s second pick following the elimination of No. 1 pick Sam Alvey last week.
With determination, experience and a strong coaching staff behind him, Marunde could make a statement as the season progresses.