Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mitch the Intern's TUF 11 Recap: Episode 3

*Editor's note: Mitch the Intern is an NYU undergrad whose favorite Wednesday night pastime includes the TV in his dorm room, a green beanbag chair and two hits of acid.  Enjoy.*

It's always been there, alluded to, hinted at but never spoken of or addressed outright.  Until tonight.  Yes, I'm talking about "the ghey" (pronounced "the gaaayyyyyy!"), and this season more than any other looks to embrace that coveted, catered-to demographic with a fighter who exhibits a number of traits that come across as… how shall we say… ghey (pronounced "Heyyy boys!")?  That's right.  Nestled within the fresh and fiery TUF formula, hidden behind the fire that burns between once-great champs-turned-coaches Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, is a competitor with a collection of mannerisms that allude to summers in Provincetown, circuit parties in South Beach and a tiny, pink Bichon Frise carried around in a Kate Spade purse.

We'll call this competitor "Joe Feminine".  More on him later.  But first…

Dana White gathers the troops for an announcement, an air of doom and gloom pervading the TUF Training Center.  What's going on?  Did someone manage to escape the house, hitchhike to White's neighborhood, find his mansion, punt his cat into the pool and flee into the night?  All assembled stand at attention, fearing what may come.

"Chevy Camaro," bellows White.  "You are a two-door muscle car and an American classic, but that tooth ache you've been complaining about?  It's a cracked radiator.  You're out of the competition."

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief that it's not them getting booted off the show, then quickly make like they're sad to see Chevy Camaro go, patting him on the back as a violin plays softly in the background.  He departs, his motor sputtering and steam billowing out from under his hood, and when his engine dies in the parking lot he must be towed.

"Yes!" Liddell exclaims, and proceeds to do a victory dance.  "My team is now 2-0."  He hi-fives a grappling dummy, and trainer John Hackleberry Finn hands him a juice box.

"Uh, that doesn't count as a win," says White.

"Waaagh!" Liddell shouts in dismay, and crushes his juice box in his hand, spraying all nearby.

White informs Ortiz that he must now pick a replacement from the ranks of those who sucked too hard to make into the TUF House for real.  He ponders his choices, and picks Sucky McSuck.  "God, I'm glad to be back," says McSuck.  Whatever.

The clock strikes 2:00 am and it's freaky time in the TUF House.  The camera zooms in on a pair of young men in their underwear, groaning, touching each other firmly.  Somewhere, a bar in Chelsea falls completely - and uncharacteristically - silent.  Yes, folks, the ghey (pronounced "mmm, girl, you better work it!") has arrived.  Sure, it's just a friendly deep-tissue massage among cast mates, complete with hot oils and lubricants, burning incense, a disco ball and the Village People singing "YMCA" on the stereo, but this little scene seems somewhat different than the usual TUF fare.  No, this tableau is clearly ghey (pronounced "oooh, I'll have the apple martini!").

"Uh, this is clearly ghey," says Ronnie Kray from the next room.

"Here is something you can't understand - how I could just kill a man!" Cypress Hill chimes in.

"Oh, there's nothing wrong with two young men rubbing each other in the middle of the night," says Joe Feminine, posing in the doorway of their room as he were strutting his stuff on a runway in Milan.  "Now which one of you wants to ejaculate into my fruit salad?"

And somewhere, at a bar in the Castro, a pin drops onto the floor and clatters loudly, the only sound in the usually raucous establishment.

It's time for Liddell to pick the next fight, and in typical Liddell fashion he chooses grappling coach Jake Shield's right sneaker to take on the waste paper basket.  The assembled all scratch their heads.  After about 15 minutes of back-and-forth, White convinces him to pick actual humans.  The Iceman calls for Hawaii Five-O to fight Dumb as a Bag of Hammers. 

Training montage time.  Heavy bags are hit.  Focus mitts are punched.  Push-ups are pushed.  Drama flares when Cypress Hill rebuffs Joe Feminine's advances.  "Guys, please stop," implores coach Ortiz.  "There's no fighting in mixed martial arts."

Um, Tito?

Anyway, Hawaii Five-O and Bag of Hammers fight.  Or, more accurately, they wrestle like kids on a schoolyard, eager to impress that girl by the monkey bars and not too keen on getting their hair mussed up.  It goes into the third round, and when the hugfest comes to a close the judges are left holding the ball, forced to decide who gets to go to recess and who gets detention.  Hawaii Five-O is awarded the "W".  He raises his arms in victory, his muscles glistening in the light.

"Woof," says Joe Feminine.  "Did it just get hot in here?"

No, Joe.  Just ghey.

(Pronounced "sweetie, you look fierce in that dress!")

Predictions for Strikeforce: "Nashville", or "STFU! The Damn Thing Is Free!"

Say what you want about Strikeforce and its latest CBS offering – “This is make or break for them,” “Where’s my damn Fedor?” or “I have trouble finding Nashville on the map.  Is it in France?”  But the bottom line is this: we get to watch Dan Henderson stomp Jake Shields, Gegard Mousasi put his fist through King Mo’s torso and Shinya Aoki detach Gilbert Melendez’s leg and toss it into the audience, and we get to watch it for free.  So shut your trap!  Predictions:

    • Jason Miller is fighting Tim Stout, which is the equivalent of speeding up an entire season of MTV’s “The Real World” so it’s condensed into one 15-minute mass of confusion.  And no, I have no idea what that means.  Miller via rear naked choke and funny faces.
    • Aoki sucks at wrestling and striking, but the dude is the master of grievous injuries brought about by slick submissions.  After Saturday night, Melendez will be walking with a limp for at least two months.
    • Muhammad Lawal is a very promising up-and-comer with heavy hands and a killer wrestling background.  Unfortunately, his biggest win to date is against Mike “I washed out of TUF” Whitehead.  Mousasi is going to smoke him like a hookah stuffed with funky Armenian tobacco.
    • I have no idea what that means.
    • Henderson versus Shields?  Bye-bye Jake.  We hardly knew ya.

Weekend Schedule

This weekend is a busy one if you like combat sports.  Friday is Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat 29 in Atlantic City, and as usual, the card is stacked with a ton of top Northeast talent.  Then on Saturday you have the latest edition of Strikeforce on CBS, which is woefully short on Kimbo and Fedor but it does feature someone named Dan Henderson taking on Jake Shields.  I don't know who this Henderson cat is, but MMA on free TV is MMA on free TV, so…  Also on Saturday night is Take On Production's April installment of the New York Showdown, which is a Muay Thai card in the heart of Flushing Chinatown in Queens.  Expect MMA Journalist to at some point this weekend pick up his BlackBerry and write a word or two and possibly snap a pic.