Mental Game--It Ain't
all Physical - October 17
One more time, thank you to
Spiketv.com for the assistance in the preparation of
Everyone is impressed by Lukes performance in the
octagon. Luke is relieved to have won his first fight
and to have made it to the semi-finals. Hes hoping this
means that Matt will take it easy on them in practice.
(You have to got be kidding!)
Much to everyones disappointment (and my superior brain
power) Matt Hughes still puts his team through a
grueling work out. Mike Whitehead is there to help Matt
torture his team. Matt explains that Mike was his first
pick and frankly as far as hes concerned, the best
heavyweight in this competition. Sammy thinks that Mike
is Matts teachers pet. Mike disagrees but is quick
to lecture the rest of his team on their mental
Brad finds training with Team Hughes to be a lot tougher
than Team Franklin. While grappling with Matt, Brad
takes a knee to his head that leaves him with a
14-stitch cut over his eye. YOWCH! Brad wont be doing
any fighting until he gets clearance from the Nevada
Rich Franklin on the other hand preaches safety first
to his team. Could that be a sign of weakness?
At home, Luke goes on a junk food binge to celebrate his
victory. He eats everything from pizza to ice cream
until he passes out from his over indulgence. Believe me
Luke...I have been there.
Its the last Xtreme Right Guard Heavyweight challenge.
Randy Couture explains that the objective is to pull
your opponents, in a tug of war, into your teams area
marked on the field. Brad and Mike outweigh Rashad and
Keith by sixty pounds and the challenge is over quickly
as Team Franklins heavyweights are helpless against the
Matt gives Mike free reign to choose an opponent and
Mike chooses to fight Rashad. Matt replies that he wants
a guaranteed win out of this fight.
At the house, Dana White, president of the UFC, makes
the formal fight announcement between Mike and Rashad.
At the Official Weigh-in, Rich expresses his surprise
with the fight match-up. Based on what he saw during the
first few days of evaluations, Rich thinks that Mike and
Rashad are pretty evenly matched as far as wrestling
skills go. Matt thinks Mike is a more well rounded
fighter than Rashad and can win this fight anywhere.
Dana tends to agree with Matt because he still questions
Rashad knows fighting Mike Whitehead will be tougher
than his last fight against Tom. Rashad says beating
Matts boy will be sweet.
Matt is sure that Mike is technically, physically and
mentally the strongest fighter. Mike thinks his Team
Miletich training has helped him improve as a fighter.
Matt gives Mike a pep talk that leaves Mike with no
options other than winning the fight. Mike continues to
feel the pressure from the high expectations.
Its the night before the fight and Rashad shares some
of his concerns with Jason. He has never seen Mike fight
before and is unsure of what to expect. Rashad knows
its time to show everyone what hes got.
Its fight day and both Rashad and Mike are pumped,
ready to get in the octagon and do their thing.
Round one. The fighters spend a minute just bouncing and
feeling each other out. Then Mike goes in for an
unsuccessful takedown, which results in Rashad giving
him a few good kicks in the gut. Then Mike picks Rashad
up to drop him Matt Hughes style but Rashad gets out of
the hold. And to everyones surprise, when Rashad starts
making contact with his punches, Mike tries to hide
behind his hands.
As the round comes to an end, Matt tries to put Mike in
the right frame of mind. He tells him to Impose your
will on him.
Its round two and Mike is not showing himself to be the
best heavyweight. Quite the opposite in fact as he
continues to cower behind his hands every time Rashad
throws a punch. With less than a minute left, Rashad
attacks Mike with a barrage of punches.
As round two ends, the real fight begins in Team Hughes
corner when Matt expresses his disappointment with
everything Mike is doing out in the ring more
accurately, what Mike is not doing. Frustrated, Matt
throws Mikes water bottle at the wall and yells at him
to get going! Hes so upset, he orders Mikes stool to
be taken away before his break is over.
Round 3 continues with the same results as the first two
rounds. When Mike finally does get Rashad down on his
back, he fails to advance his position. Rashad quickly
turns the tables on him and lands on top. He delivers an
onslaught of punches to Mike that go unanswered. Even
when they get back on their feet, Mike is unable to
respond with any aggressive moves. Mike is so passive in
the last moments of the round that even Matt yells out
to him to just lean against the fence and let the time
run out. Astonishingly, with 10 seconds left, Mike
turns and walks away from the fight. Rashad is
unanimously declared the winner.
Matt is clearly disappointed with Mikes performance. He
feels that when Mike failed to take Rashad down, he lost
all confidence and it was all down hill from there. Dana
is surprised that Mike tried to outwrestle a wrestler
rather than stay standing with Rashad. Rich is surprised
by how many punches Mike allowed Rashad to get in. Matt
is perplexed. He cannot understand how his fighter just
gave up. This was a pitiful performance.
Mike was not in the fight at all. And Rashad goes to the
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