UPDATE: WE’ve added Rafael Kayanan’s commentary at the end of the post.

Tonight’s episode is no drama—all FIGHT! Maybe this will slow this season’s ratings decline. Finally we get to meet this season’s killer nerd, Joe Lauzon, a quiet internet computer-fiddling type, but Dana warns that “This kid will rip your ****in’ head off.” He’s up against Brian, who has a lot of fights on his record but hasn’t emerged as much of a personality.


At last we get a flashback to Lauzon’s infamous fight vs Jens, in which the kid destroyed Jens Pulver in his first UFC bout via vicious knockout.

Brian talks about knowing that Joe beat his coach. Jens shows the equanimity he’s displayed all season, saying, “I’m not going to hate on anyone, that’s just me being bitter and him doing his job. I forgot to bring my fight.” Jens also tells Brian to forget about the fact that Joe beat his coach. Yes, and try not to think about pink elephants while you’re at it, Vulcan Brian.

Brian admits that he got into fighting to stay out of trouble in real life and his hope is to somehow outlast Joe’s furious onslaught and Joe will burn out, which isn’t a very confident game plan. He also makes unclear metaphors about soiling underwear, and that puts him firmly in our underdog column.


Indeed, as the Vulcan vs Ferrenghi fight begins, Joe immediately slams Brian in a very dominating way and starts raining down damage. Brian clearly has some skills but is outclassed by Joe’s insane attack. At one point Brian does the Captain Kirk vs Gorn rollaway, and Joe actually smashes his elbow into the mat! Brian escapes to his feet, but Joe jumps right on his back and chokes the living shit out of Brian, with as BJ puts it “All your might!”


Dana sums it up “Joe comes out like a beast.”

Jens has the best line of the night. “I’m glad he’s good. That way I didn’t get knocked out by a bitch.”

Brian is saddened. “I wish I could have that minute back.” And admits he was “cremated.” Brian has a funny way with words. Although Brian has the presence of mind not to sob like a baby like everyone else on the show, he does suspiciously bury his head in a towel and shake for a moment or two.

Now we’re up for Corey vs Rob Emerson in Rob’s 2nd chance. Emerson says Corey isn’t as good as Nate (something I have no problem believing) so he’s pretty confident. Emerson also demonstrates a training move generally known as the “downward dirty dog.” Why can’t we have more of these sweaty training montages? Everyone would be happy!


We cut to a warm moment between Corey and Jens walking along a desolate Vegas street. Corey talks candidly about his “two” MMA fights, and admits he lied about how many fights he’s had to get on the show and when he auditioned, he didn’t even know who Dana White was. Jens’ response? “Who cares?”

Cut to fiery Corey revealing that he’s got his talking abut himself in the third person game down just fine: “He is trying to break me! They are trying to give Corey Hill a reason to quit! That shit is not happening!” This is accompanied by footage of Corey wailing on a training dummy in a dominating fashion.

Rob wears his revealing sport thong for the weigh in drawing groans and a “That’s just not called for” from hereditary enemy Nate. Speak for yourself, Nate.

Dana handicaps the fight saying Corey’s freakish height (6’4″) will give everyone a problem but 5’8″ Emerson’s skills will make it interesting.

The second fight begins with 30 minutes to go in the show…. we smell a decision.


It looks like Rob is fighting a preying mantis, and no one is very comfortable. Corey is raw but aggressive, but Emerson can’t overcome the reach advantage. Then it goes into a bout of prolonged circling as they feel each other out. Emerson is afraid to go in.

In the corner BJ gets super excited; he’s the Matt Serra of this season, repeating things endlessly. “Punch and fight, Emerson! Start kicking the leg!” The entire round is a lot of stand-up with both fighters landing some punches but no real damage.


First round looked pretty even to me, In the second Emerson is more aggressive and clearly does a lot more damage, and ends with Corey in a leg lock. But the judges think Corey won the first round, and it goes to a third sudden victory round.


Both guys look gassed. But Corey has a bit more snap to his punches. In the end, Emerson is more afraid of getting into Corey’s octopus punch, and lands a few leg kicks, but Corey keeps moving forward more. BJ can tell that Emerson needs to do more damage and his “Explode Emerson!” will haunt the nightmares of all who heard him yell it 95 times.

Dana thinks no one looked impressive but that Emerson won, but the judges saw it unanimously the other way. Corey’s awkward aggression won the day. After the fight he admits it was his VERY FIRST MMA fight. AW surprise twist ending! Wait double twist! Dana knew it all along, but figured “The kids had so much raw talent we figured we’d give him a shot.”

Dana: “Emerson should have jumped in and won that fight, but he didn’t do it, he was fighting not to lose.”


Emerson shows remarkable self-awareness for this season, and admits that’s the problem he’s had with his whole career. “I don’t know what to say, I thought I won the fight. It’s not going to be easy sleeping these last couple of days.”

Rafael’s take:

Fight 1:

So far, Joe is the fighter to beat from BJ’s team. His intensity coupled with his skills will give problems with a lot of the fighters on the show who tend to take awhile longer to get going. He is also relentless and showed that he can mix strikes and grappling well. His future opponents has to take Joe off his rhythm by either hurting Joe by catching him early or have better defensive and counter skills. There’s actually a good chance that Joe can be caught by setting him up when he’s in mid flurry. He’s displayed that he can lose accuracy when he gets carried away when he elbowed the octagon floor – elbows are close range strikes and to pull that far back and miss so horribly can be disastrous against a higher level opponent. However, so far no one on the TUF show except perhaps Diaz has shown they can hold up against Joe.

Fight 2:

Lots of circling and both fighters need to work on cutting off the other’s footwork. Corey looked good in the training sequences, but again the comment I made in another post about how bad training habits eventually filter into one’s fights is evident here as well. Corey hits the mitts and slumps his head down to be able to focus better on the shorter trainer holding the mitts. At his height that is a disadvantage. He does not need to lower head level against opponents who are so much shorter than he is. If he develops a better jab and follows it with a strong right cross he could knock a lot of opponent’s out or keep them at bay from getting those leg kicks in on him. Corey can exchange a strong right punch for a leg kick if he learns to time it correctly. Rob’s leg kicks exposed Corey’s weakness but perhaps the punishmnet Rob received from his last fight may have caused him to be more tentative. There’s nothing worse than bruises getting hit again a few days later. This fight was much harder than it needed it to be -with more experience Corey could develop an arsenal of crisp striking combos. If he develops kicking abilities and better submission counters he will be a force on the TUF scene.

Two fights next week and the debut of…WEEMS!


  1. Lauzon’s my favorite to win it now. You could almost see Jens crapping his pants. That no hooks-in rear naked choke was spectacular.

  2. You mentioned previously that you’d gotten some flak for covering TUF here on the Beat. I have to say, while I can see why people would say that, I think that given the near ubiquity of comics with fights in them, that writers and illustrators would benefit from watching UFC bouts. With the UFC gaining popularity, anyone who watches it for a while will develop a new set of expectations which they’ll bring with them when they consume media, including comics. So, writers and artists who want to help their readers stay in the story need to be up to speed.

    Just a few examples:
    1) The big swing: Having seen so many guys swing as hard as they can in actual fights, it is really easy to spot when someone is “over-swinging” or aiming their strike too far away from their opponent to be believable (like the classic “clothesline” in professional wrestling). It is also really easy to spot when somebody is softening the strike, making contact and noise, but taking all the gas out of it (again, for me, pro-wrestling has been spoiled!).

    2) The one punch knock-out we see so often in comics and movies is actually pretty rare. It happens, yes (Arlovski vs. Buentello, etc), but not all the time. Sometimes a fighter will get hit right on the chin, and get “rocked,” but not knocked out. Don’t usually see that happen in comic fight scenes, but there’s no reason writers couldn’t use it more. Also, in movies and comics, typically when someone gets knocked out, they usually stay out for the rest of the time the striker is on scene. But in fights, knockouts can last four minutes or four seconds. So maybe more opponents could be getting up sooner, and returning to the fight, or deciding to flee. Or maybe getting up but being wobbly for a while, which would happen all the time in the UFC if it wasn’t for the refs in the ring and the expert medical staff on-site. But when everyone who gets hit gets knocked out in one shot, as a reader, I get bored.

    3) As an example of increased knowledge of fighting improving my reading/viewing experience instead of lessening it, sometimes in anime (for example, Princess Mononoke, or Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), they’ll show someone get knocked out when being hit in the abdomen. I always thought that was boloney (I was so, so uninformed) until I saw a UFC bout where one fighter (was it David “The Crow” Loiseau?) did a spinning back kick, hitting his opponent in the liver area, making him collapse with an agonized expression. There was another liver-shot knock-out in the TUF 4 finale, when Pete Sell pounded Scott Smith in the lower ribs area, about two seconds before Scott Smith came back and knocked Pete Sell out with a punch on the chin (definitely one for the “best knock-outs of all time” reel).

    So, from where I sit, thanks for covering TUF. I think ultimately it will be good for comics if more writers and artists get familiar.

  3. Please keep covering whatever catches your fancy. Since most major sports reporting outlets are having a crisis of confidence in their reportage on MMA it should fall to the better blogs and independent journalists to be ahead of the curve. The MMA fighters are the best athletes on the planet and deserve more credit, cash and consideration than they are getting.