Here’s this week’s report card:
F – Julian Lane’s Temper
Lane was eliminated last week after suffering a decision loss to Team Carwin’s second pick Bristol Marunde. Visibly discouraged by the setback, Lane was crying in his dressing room. Secor was later poking fun at Lane in the kitchen. Having already reached a mental low, Lane was easily provoked by verbal jabs and the switch was flipped in his head as he completely lost control. Lane said he missed his family and would willingly start a fight to be sent home. Usually a troublemaker himself, Secor walked away and a fight was averted. Lane’s maturity is undoubtedly a question mark after this incident and it could hinder his future chances of securing a contract with the UFC.
D – Coach Nelson Cricized, Yet Undeterred
Roy Nelson’s methods are clearly not working and he was finally confronted this week. It’s about time. Despite his elimination to Neil Magny on Episode 2, Cameron Diffley took the stand on behalf of his team. Diffley approached Nelson about his once-a-day training regimen, while other team members complained about Nelson goofing off and wasting time during practice. The effort was admirable, but Nelson didn’t get the hint. Colton Smith stood up for Nelson, claiming he’s a proven winner and he knows what it takes to succeed. Nelson being an effective coach is up for debate, but much to the chagrin of many eager prospects, he’ll stick to his routine whether they like it or not.
C – Mike Ricci’s Temper
One of the favorites to win the whole season, the Canadian prospect Ricci was the victim of a juvenile prank from Nic Herron-Webb, who put his mattress on a gazebo outside. Typically cool-tempered and well-maintained, Ricci had enough of Herron-Webb’s immature habits and he came close to making a grave error and initiating a physical altercation. It wasn’t nearly the reaction we got from Lane earlier in the show, but Ricci needs to avoid the drama and focus on his ultimate goal instead of picking battles inside the house. Ricci made his thoughts on the Alaskan clear: “Webb is just a bum in my opinion… I hope Igor just smashes this clown.” As fate would have it, Ricci got his wish.
B – Igor Araujo Prevails
The emotional Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has overcome poverty to make a run at a UFC contract. Araujo is truly fighting for milk and bread, while other cast members dwell on insignificant obscurities. With a 22-6-1 record, Araujo has now settled in the U.S., where he trains under Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in New Mexico. Coach Shane Carwin brought in UFC veteran Eliot Marshall, one of Araujo’s former training partners, to help the Brazilian prepare for his bout this week. Araujo was picked to fight Herron-Webb, whose likability factor is low among housemates, and probably viewers as well. Araujo dominated Herron-Webb in the first round, but the Alaskan mounted a comeback in the second. UFC president Dana White thought the fight merited a third round, but Araujo came away with the decision after two. Maybe a third round was warranted, but at least the good guy came out on top.
A – Matt Secor’s Temper
Usually one of the first fighters to cause headaches inside the “TUF” house, Team Carwin’s Matt Secor, whose unpolished professional record stands at just 1-1, took the high road this week. And for that, he deserves recognition. When Lane got in his grill and tried to provoke a fight, Secor could have easily obliged. Instead, Secor did the mature thing by walking away and attempting to verbally calm the situation. With seemingly superior competition surrounding him, Secor’s days as an active competitor this season could be nearing an end. Secor had an easy way out, but he chose to fight another day. Secor’s markedly matured handling of the conflict deserves our highest grade this week.