The Ultimate Fighter 2
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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 Jason Block, GSNN


Willa Ford
Coaches: Matt Hughes & Rich Franklin
Packager: Zuffa, LLC; Spike TV
Airs: Mondays at 11:05pm ET on Spike TV

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Mental Game--It Ain't all Physical - October 17

One more time, thank you to for the assistance in the preparation of this recap...

Everyone is impressed by Luke’s performance in the octagon. Luke is relieved to have won his first fight and to have made it to the semi-finals. He’s hoping this means that Matt will take it easy on them in practice. (You have to got be kidding!)

Much to everyone’s 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 he’s concerned, the best heavyweight in this competition. Sammy thinks that Mike is Matt’s “teacher’s 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 won’t be doing any fighting until he gets clearance from the Nevada State Athletic

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.

It’s 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 team’s area marked on the field. Brad and Mike outweigh Rashad and Keith by sixty pounds and the challenge is over quickly as Team Franklin’s heavyweights are helpless against the bigger men.

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’s heart.

Rashad knows fighting Mike Whitehead will be tougher than his last fight against Tom. Rashad says beating Matt’s 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.

It’s 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 it’s time to show everyone what he’s got.

It’s 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 everyone’s 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.”

It’s 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 Mike’s water bottle at the wall and yells at him to “get going!” He’s so upset, he orders Mike’s 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 Mike’s 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 Semifinals.

Remember...the Season Finale is Live on SpikeTV on November 5!

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