It’s a big, two-hour special tonight, as the two semifinal fights are fought on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck. Team GSP’s Michael Johnson squares off against Team Koscheck’s remaining fighter, Nam Phan. In the other semifinal bout, Team GSP teammates Kyle Watson and Jonathan Brookins battle for the remaining spot in this season’s final.
1. Team GSP coach John Danaher thinks that Kyle Watson and Jonathan Brookins are the best two athletes on the show and should have been the finalists for the series. Can’t say that I disagree that those are two fighters that I have been the most impressed with over the course of this season. One really introspective dude (Brookins) and Matt Hughes’ BJJ coach (Watson).
2. Koscheck is shown dicking about and his team is complaining about the lack of training the last few weeks. These leads to Marc Stevens slagging him back at the house (it’s a hell of an impression, btw), that Koscheck walks in on. He mentions that people do dumb things when alcohol is involved.
3. The yellow team are getting on Nam Phan for playing the “nice guy role,” and buddying up to Team GSP. He’s looking for little hints and clues about Michael Johnson and his skillset. Brookins isn’t falling for it, as he’s concerned that even if Nam is being nice now, he’s probably baggin on him behind his back.
a. Wearing funny boxers to a weigh-in will ALWAYS get a good reaction. Watson (155) and Brookins (156) both make weight, but it still stinks that these guys will have to fight one another so soon, right John Danaher? Kyle Watson vs. Jonathan Brookins should be a really good fight.
4. Kyle Watson vs. Jonathan Brookins – Great start on their feet by Watson, but Brookins looked vicious trying to finish the fight at the end of round 1. He started the second round trying to ground and pound Watson and Watson had no answer for him. In the second, each time Watson tried to get free, Brookins was back on him in an instant, always looking to advance and finish. Michael Johnson (one of Watson’s corners for the fight) told him that he needs a knockout and right after seeing Brookins get the double leg takedown with 3 and a half minutes to go, I was pretty bummed. For being two of the more “athletic” fighters, this was a lot of “wrestling vs. grappler,” with the wrestler winning out this time. Watson got busted open right at the end of the fight and was just plain dominated.
Winner: Jonathan Brookins by decision
5. Jonathan Brookins is a humble, likeable kid. Can’t wait to see him in the Finale.
6. “If this MMA thing doesn’t work, he can open up a plumbing business ’cause he was cleaning those pipes.” – Sako Chivitchian re: Nam Phan’s “shower ritual”
7. Watching Nam Phan train for his semifinal fight by himself with no teammates or coaches, proves what a bunch of bunk these shows can be once people “give up” on the idea of winning. I bet that if Nam wins, Koscheck will be all up on his nuts trying telling him that he “knew he could do it”. Ugh.
a. …then we come back from commercial to get Koscheck defending his Phan’s ability to do whatever he wants because he’s winning! Dana is even giving Nam the edge, despite the fact that Johnson was everyone’s first pick.
b. It’s “Big Baby” Glen Davis in the house! Dana likes to bring cool people around for this stuff, eh?
8. I don’t hunt, but Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2011 looks pretty sweet.
9. Michael Johnson vs. Nam Phan – Great first round, lots of striking from both men, but Johnson looks pretty tired and Nam has two cuts that are JUST starting to bleed like crazy. Huge body shot from Phan gets a big “OHHHHHHH” from Dana White. He’s got to be fun to watch show with. Nam Phan put big hooks into the body on Johnson (still tired) and Johnson closes out the last minute of round two on FIRE. To start round 3, Phan jumps and pulls guard after a missed flying armbar or triangle. He rained down some slick elbows to the head from the bottom position. Once they ended back up on their feet, these two knew that they both probably had a round a piece. Nam keeps grabbing his left hand as though he broke it. Lots of great back and forth action.
a. “Michael Johnson was all heart and ball, man” – Dana White on his fighting through the big body shots and pushing out this decision.
b. Winner: Michael Johnson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
10. So, our Lightweight finale for The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck will be Michael Johnson vs. Jonathan Brookins.
My pick: Jonathan Brookins. The kid has already fought for WEC in the past and looked like a stud on the show. That’s just my opinion, though.
Question for you guys: what was your favorite fight from this season?
Tags: "Big Baby" Glen Davis, Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011, Dana White, Georges St. Pierre, Glen Davis, gsp, Jonathan Brookins, Josh Koscheck, Kyle Watson, Michael Johnson, Nam Phan, Spike TV, Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck, The Ultimate Fighter, The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck, TUF 12