The well publicized tenth season of Spike TV's Ultimate Fighter 10 premiered last night and I'm sure if you are even the casual-est of the casual of fans your eyes were glued to your screen 10 PM. I must say, Rampage and Rashad had me laughing all night, well mostly Rampage but at the expense of Rashad. A lot of times you get two guys and they kind of force themselves to dislike each other to help boost ratings and sell a fight. I can't speak in absolutes...but I think these to genuinely do not like each other. The jokes, the back and forth comments, the tension when they're near each other. I think we're en route for some heated verbal wars between the two and some possible Tito/Shamrock moments throughout this season. As big of a Rampage fan that I am, watching this episode and knowing there's much more to come from those two angers me that their bout at UFC 107 has to be postponed. Anyways, to the meat and potatoes of the show...the actual participants. Looking at the line-up you can see that these aren't your typical heavyweights, these are some guys that probably need to cut just to get to the 265 weight limit. We got a full view of the guys...minus one of course and then Dana dropped the bombshell on them and brought out Kimbo Slice. Now I understand why this was done and I'm pretty sure the ONLY reason it was done was for television purposes but I already don't like how they're treating Kimbo as some special item. Sure it's going to bring ratings week in and week out but I think (much like what happened in EliteXC) it brings more damage than good when you put that extra emphasis on a fighter who in fact hasn't proven to be that remarkable in the cage yet. In the long run, it of course helps UFC, who doesn't have to put their entire stock in Kimbo like Elite did; but it really damages the man behind the beard.
More thoughts after the jump:
Now my attention level was high but at the same time I was having to pamper a 7 week old little boy, so I may have missed some things but I feel like the training aspect was kind of brushed over this episode. I know they have plenty of time to show the inner workings of both coaches but I would have liked to have seen a little more of their training regimen leading up to the initial fight. Also, with Kimbo (the big internet street fighter star) I hope that we get to see the interactions between all the many, many different contestants on the show at home. This bunch seems filled with a lot of older guys, which probably means less door-breaking, piss in fruit bowls, tear-filled drunken nights so I think we'll get a much more mature group (minus Wes Sims) that we will get a chance to follow. As far as the fight this week all I can say is...ouch and ughhhh. I know the heavyweights have broken the mold of two big, fat lumbering guys just winging it or sloppily grappling and tiring out after about two minutes in the cage but this fight brought back memories of old. Abe Wagner and Jon Madsen were the first two to get in the cage and work towards that UFC contract and six figure deal. Abe, towering over his opponent, seemed like the logical pick to at least put some heavy leather to jaw but the much more accomplished wrestler Madsen would not allow that, taking the big man down almost effortlessly time and time again by throwing a loopy right or left and quickly shooting in leaving the giant baffled everytime. Coach Rampage grew more and more frustrated and in my opinion offered very little in terms of guidance while Rashad seemed to be the much calmer, smoother coach in aiding his client. In the end, Rampage stormed from cageside and let the guys know that he doesn't want any handshaking or nice gestures until AFTER the fight is over. Anyways, I'm not sure if this is any indication of how the coaches train but if it is...it will be a LONG hard road for Team Rampage and he doesn't have a blue chipper like CB Dollaway on his side this time.
So all in all, I thought it just gave us a glimpse at what is to come and also brought in some well-needed coach interaction and entertainment. Something that's been sorely missing in the last two Ultimate Fighters. I must say, I am very excited to see what is in store for the now 15 competitors and how many jokes Rampage can crack on Rashad and vice versa. So what do you guys think initially of the new season?