Cleat Geeks

The Ultimate Fighter: Episode 1

As a fan of this show from the very first season, Tuf 22 appears to be a breath of fresh air. The coaches couldn’t have been selected more perfectly than they were. To Urijah Faber’s credit, he wasn’t allowing McGregor’s banter to hinder his focus during the entry bouts, yet he kept pace with the Irishman’s quips. This season has a lot of potential with these guys at the forefront. Both coaches will represent separate parts of the globe. Conor McGregor is in charge of the European fighters, whereas Faber will tutor the American squad.mcgregorfabertuf

We were treated to storylines, submissions, and fantastic displays of martial arts. This is all that a fan of the sport could ask for in a UFC PPV, and we get it free every Wednesday night. Conor McGregor could be seen from the sidelines cheering on one of his training partners, as he was defeated by a fighter who trains with Anderson Silva. No doubt the UFC saw a perfect place to insert a relevant connection to its current stars. These fighters are giving it their all, with no handouts, as they try to land the newest UFC contract.

Thanh-LeThe fighter that impressed me the most was Thanh Le (4-1). Obviously it is too early to tell at this point how the season will pan out, but he will be a fighter to watch. His combinations, and kicking technique were unmatched by anyone else who performed on this episode. Benson Henderson’s training partner (Tim Welch) may have been a tough test down the road for the European members, but he was defeated by Jason Gonzalez, so we will never see what could have been. It was sad to see Vladimir Sikic’s dreams end prematurely as well, when he dislocated his shoulder twice in his fight. He tried to muscle through it, but it ultimately caused him to submit.RyanHall

The wrestling of Ryan Hall was a thing of beauty, and may get him far in this competition, but anyone who has watched the show knows the two guys that stole the show. The second round of the fight between James Jenkins and Brennan Sevin was an absolute war. Sevin looked like Robbie Lawler in there with his mouth wide open as he threw monstrous punches. He was able to also land a couple solid knees to the head of Jenkins, but it wasn’t enough to move on. James had a couple of big take-downs, but it was his boxing that was the most impressive. This season is sure to be another great addition to the franchise, one that I am very excited to see play out. This roster may just hold the names of future UFC contenders.

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