Episode 8 begins with a recap of the controversial decision that gave Michael Hill the victory over Team Carwin’s Matt Secor. Dana White has harsh words for the judging so far this season, but quickly turns to giving a share of the blame to the fighters. White goes on to say that he’s putting cash on the line to give the fighters the incentive to go out and win in exciting fashion.
Secor and Hill both disagree, opting for the stay healthy and win the tournament strategy over trying to win quick money. Coach Nelson agrees, saying that it’s intelligent for the fighters to fight smart and stay healthy, instead of taking risks for bonus money.
At the fighter house, Dana White shows up to talk about the situation. He explains that guys were getting knocked out “left and right” to get into the house, but since, there has only been one finish. He cuts to the chase, and explains that getting to the UFC is simple.
“I’m here to [expletive] tell you what you need to do to get in the UFC,” White said. “And, you need to be exciting.”
White stresses that if things don’t change, most of the guys in the house will not make the TUF finale fight card. The fighters discuss the impact of the talk, and then quickly turn to getting some drinking in. Michael Hill and Julian Lane hit it particularly hard, and it’s just a matter of time before things go south.
Hill turns his attention to Neil Magny, who laughs off the drunken challenge of Hill. Lane then gets involved, feeling that Dom is behind him talking trash. Lane corners Dom in a confrontation that spills outside onto the deck. A couple of the guys get in the middle and stop the fight, but both guys continue to rant, slamming bottles and busting up walls in the house. Lane takes it to another level, totally losing control and slamming his head into the wall and then cornering Dom in the bedroom until he breaks down in tears.
Most of the guys believe that Lane’s antics are an attempt to get kicked out of the house and nothing more.
On the way to the training center for the fight announcement, Lane is much more relaxed and calm. Coach Nelson selects Jon Manley from Team Nelson to face off against Team Carwin’s James Chaney.
Manley talks about his journey to the show, and how he made the decision in Colorado to become a fighter, and how he moved back home to make it a reality. Manley credits his never quit attitude as one of his top attributes as a fighter and believes that will carry him to victory against Chaney.
Chaney’s teammates think that he is just a shade away from crazy, and Chaney agrees, saying he gets that a lot. Chaney’s calm demeanor further gives him that eerie quality of a killer, and his coaches believe that his his grappling will be the difference in this fight. His obvious weakness is his striking and his coaches focus on shoring up holes in his game before the fight.
It’s that time of the season for the coaches challenge. It turns out that the stakes have been raised, as Dana White increases the prize money from $10,000 up to $20,000. On top of that, the two big guys get to battle in track and field events. This should be fun. The javelin, discus, shot put, long jump, and 400m are the selected events.
Nelson wins the coin toss, but gives Carwin the first throw with the shot put. Carwin demolishes Nelson in the first event with throws over 46 feet in the shot put. The javelin is up next and after a good start for Nelson, Carwin launches a 120 foot throw to take the second event as well. Again, with the discus, Carwin beats the breaks off of Nelson. It’s total domination for Carwin going into the long jump. Watching Nelson launch into the sand is like watching a fish trying to flop back into the water. Pretty ugly. Carwin again dominates, and it all comes down to the 400. I’ve never seen two men move more slowly on a track, but in the end Nelson fades, while Carwin cruises to the finish to pitch a perfect shutout.
Jon Manley admits that nerves are present leading up to the fight, but that it’s a good thing to have nerves before going into the cage for battle. Chaney on the other hand, takes a different approach, explaining that he clears his minds from everything, and focuses on images and a “nothingness” before the bout.
Team Nelson – Jon Manley vs. Team Carwin – James Chaney
Round 1 – Chaney coming forward. Jabs from both. Manley connects with a nice three-punch combo. Chaney fires back but gets beat with a right hand counter. Nice straight punches from Manley to start. Chaney walks through the strikes and clinches. He fires off in close and looks to take the fight to the mat. Manley goes for a takedown and gets it as Chaney jumps guard. Chaney eats a couple of strikes then locks up a triangle. Manley elevates Chaney over his head but instead of slamming him, he puts him on the cage. They hit the mat and Manley is still in deep trouble. He postures and lands a few left hands but still cannot pull his head free. Chaney switches to the arm bar, but Manley pulls free and then goes for a guillotine from the top. Chaney is in trouble. The choke is under his chin. The mounted guillotine is TIGHT. Chaney is turning blue and the tap comes. Nice finish. I guess Dana’s talk was taken to heart.
After the fight, Manley tells his corner that he was bitten. His ribs appear to show the evidence of a bite as two picture-perfect holes proceed to bleed. It’s a moment from Twilight, but Manley tells Dana that he gives Chaney the benefit of the doubt and that it was likely accidental. Chaney later admits that he in fact did purposely bite Manley to try to loosen the guillotine choke in the fight. Maybe Chaney is a little crazy after all.