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September 18, 2014

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Episode 2: Choosing sides

After a first episode filled with nothing but fights, it’s time to pick teams and let the drama unfold inside the TUF house.

Join the Las Vegas Sun and let’s check it out.

The Episode:

Clayton McKinney starts off the episode by saying nobody remembers the guys that got beat. It’s true. I don’t think I could name one of them.

Chris Camozzi had the roughest fight of anyone just to get in the house. He reveals he had one of his teeth broken and he already has a mouth infection because of it. McKinney already has a bum shoulder. Tough way to start the season.

Ha, a sleepy Dana is on hand to explain the rules of how to pick the teams. Tito wins the coin toss and gets to choose whether he wants to pick the first fighter or the first fight. He opts to pick the first fighter and takes the easy going Canadian, Nick Ring.

Teams end up looking like this…

Tito: Ring, Kyacey Uscola, Kris McCray, Jamie Yager, James Hammortree, Clayton McKinney, Chris Camozzi

Liddell: Kyle Noke, Rich Attonito, Charles Blanchard, Josh Bryant, Brad Tavares, Court McGee, Joe Henle (last pick)

Tito’s team immediately becomes ‘Team Punishment,’ nice plug for the clothing brand. It also becomes the favored team immediately, as Tito’s fighters and even Dana say they don’t really get Chuck’s strategy. I will admit, Tito’s team does look better off from the start, although I like Chuck’s first pick a lot in Noke.

Chuck defends his picks, he says he and Dana disagree on fighters all the time and that he picked the tough guys.

First Chuck workout. He’s got coach John Hackleman, boxing coach Howard Davis Jr. and Strikeforce middleweight Jake Shields on his team to help out. Of course, being from Strikeforce, not a lot of attention on Shields here. He wasn’t even introduced.

Tito workout. He’s running around from the very start, yelling and showing guys how to do things. He’s got Saul Soliz and BJJ black belt Cleber Luciano as his assistant coaches.

Ortiz elects to push McKinney hard despite the fact he’s got a shoulder injury. He looks like he’s kind of torn on how he feels about this. Like he’s a little irked by it but doesn’t want to say anything. He predicts that the first fight Liddell will choose will include either him or Camozzi from Tito’s team, because they’re both banged up.

Fight announcement time and Liddell elects to match up Kyle Noke and Clayton MicKinney.

Kris McCray promises his two buddies Yager and Tavares that no one will sleep in the house tonight. The three leave the room shortly after with air horns. Three o’clock in the morning and the prank begins. Shockingly, nobody looks that thrilled about it.

Next morning Kyacey still pretty upset about it. Yager starts to egg him on by doing an impression of him walking into their room the night before in his basketball shorts to shut them up. Less than four days in and we’ve already got out first little rivalry brewing.

McKinney gets a visit from the doctor and is pretty shocked to hear there’s nothing seriously wrong with his shoulder. It’s a bad bone bruise. Tito gets on his back more for babying the injury.

No problems on the Noke side of things. His coaches only have good things to say about him and he says part of why he’s here is to open the door for more Australian fighters.

Tito brings in a piñata for his birthday. Built to resemble Chuck. Filled with single dollar bills. Would have been better if it were 20s says the look on Yager’s face. But it seems like the team enjoys it.

First, first round fight of the season. Who you guys got? I like Noke to take it by TKO.

Lots of feeling out by the two to start the fight, much slower start than any of the ones we saw last week. Noke misses with a right hand, McKinney grabs him from behind and tries to throw him to the ground. He gets him down, gets in top position but Noke showing some strong jiu-jitsu moves into an armbar attempt and then straight to a triangle choke.

McKinney is embarrassed, says it was a terrible way to lose. Ortiz forces him to stay out of the locker room and work on getting out of a triangle choke. McKinney sticks around and does it for him.

Best Moment:

Chuck says he was looking at the Tito fight as a tuneup, but now is already motivated to put a real beating on him.

One of the main reasons for him feeling like this is that Tito said in an interview that Chuck was an alcoholic and that Dana had to run an intervention to basically save his life.

Chuck says he’s so angry about the comments that he might even drop Tito in the gym. And in his words, “Knowing that Tito is such a (expletive), he’d probably press charges.”

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