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Sixteen men from across the Americas travel to Las Vegas with one dream, one goal – to become The Ultimate Fighter.

Determination. Discipline. Excellence.

Recaps by Joe Van Ginkel, GSNN


Willa Ford
Coaches: Randy "The Natural" Couture and Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
Packager: Zuffa, LLC; Spike TV
Airs: Mondays at 11:05pm ET on Spike TV

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Episode 5 - February 14

Week Five on the UFC contest show, The Ultimate Fighter, and the "Game Show Man" Joe Van Ginkel is back again.  Here we go.

Once again, the episode opens with the aftermath of last week's fight, where Team Liddell middleweight Diego Sanchez made Team Couture's Alex Karalexis tap out.  Bits of conversation and confessionals indicate that the fight went basically as the contestants imagined it would, with Sanchez scoring the submission.  Team Couture continues to flounder in the contest.

The teams return to the house to decompress.  As the days go by, the contestants are beginning to lose their mind.  In the meantime, Team Couture middleweight Chris Leben decides to undergo his pre-fight ritual of dying his hair blood red. 

Back in the gym, Team Liddell undergoes strength training with coach Chuck Liddell's strength training coach, Tom Fries.  Liddell has them work with Fries in an effort to expose them to the kinds of things he does in order to get ready for a fight. 

Meanwhile, UFC president Dana White appears at the house, and informs Team Couture (who is still at the house while Team Liddell trains) that he is going to take them out tomorrow night.  The fighters react, predictably, with great enthusiasm.  White sees that the fighters have doing a great job (and that they're about to start clawing the walls down), and will be taking everyone out to the Hard Rock Hotel celebrate. When Team Liddell arrives, Team Couture plays a prank on them telling them that White said that they should go to bed wearing jeans and boots and holding their flashlights.  After measuring their reaction, they tell them the real news and Team Liddell goes understandably nuts.  The assembled fighters then make a pact, that since they're all competing against one another, that they will all drink alcohol "equally." 

The next day, coach Randy Couture takes Team Couture into the Octagon for sparring sessions.  The fighters don headgear and boxing gloves to work on their technique.  But during the session, Couture, practicing a takedown with light heavyweight Alex Schoenauer, accidentally rams into middleweight Nate Quarry, injuring his left ankle.  Couture and boxing coach Peter Welch carry Quarry out of the ring to examine him. The medic on scene and Couture both recommend he get an x-ray. 

That night Quarry returns on crutches ("Kon'nichi wa, bitches."), and he says that while the ankle is not broken, it's still severely damaged and it may be enough to knock him out of the contest.  But it's not bad enough to keep him from going out with the gang to the Hard Rock Café.  Everyone gets into their finest duds and pile into the vans to go out to eat. The fighters sit down at the sushi bar at the Hard Rock and commence eating and drinking lots of alcohol.  Amongst those who are most drunk is Bobby Southworth who begins talking smack. 

The drunk and disorderly behavior continues all the way back to the house. Diego Sanchez has completely passed out (even barfs in the toliet and starts convulsing at one point); Josh Koscheck is going berserk, and the beer continues to flow.  There is much discussion about Sanchez's condition, and eventually it turns into an argument between Leben and Southworth.  They exchange words and nearly punches, but the other fighters stop them.  But Southworth keeps at him, and gets a little TOO personal.  Leben nearly kills him, but Quarry and Swick restrain him.  Eventually Southworth comes back and tries to apologize.  Leben manages to accept his apology, and after Quarry tries to console him, decides to cool out by sleeping on the front lawn. 

But Koscheck can't leave well enough alone, and so with Southworth's help, he decides to play a prank on Leben by spraying him with the front lawn water house.  The water spray wakes Leben and sends him on a foul-mouthed rampage.  He crashes through the house, breaking the glass on the front door, smashing a door, and Southworth laughing at him all the way.  The rampage damages the knuckles on Leben's right hand, spills his blood all over the house floor and before he can attack Southworth (who is in a fighting stance), Josh Rafferty and Quarry come out to stop him.  The van comes to take Leben to the hospital to check on his hand.

Opinions differ on what happened: Leben has been a loudmouth all through the contest, but Koscheck and Southworth clearly provoked him into a fight. (Mike Swick: "If you think there isn't gonna be a meeting with Dana (White) tomorrow, you've got another f---ing thing coming.")  The next morning, the parties are taken in front of White to argue their case. Eventually, after watching tape of the events in question, and consulting with UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertita, they come to a mutually agreeable decision: there will be no light heavyweight challenge this week; instead Leben and Koscheck will fight in the Octagon.


That's where the episode ends.  Will Leben get his revenge on Koscheck?  Or will the joke be on Koscheck?  Find out in next week's recap.  For GSNN, this is the "Game Show Man" Joe Van Ginkel, saying Godspeed, and spread the love.

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