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"The Fighters Arrive" - April 7
 
Take two 6-figure contracts to the UFC, add 16 Mixed Martial Artists from the US, Canada and Great Britain, throw in a kick ass house in Las Vegas and mix in 2 coaches who are willing to kill each other--what do you get? It's the Ultimate Fighter III! This year there are changes, but we will get to them later.
 
Flash to the UFC Training Center where Dana White explains that the show has been tweaked so that they end up with the best fighters possible. And you needed coaches who bring that to the table. These coaches will fight in July and they are:
 
Ken Shamrock who fought in UFC 1. He is one of the most famous of the MMA fighters. Dana says, "He deserves respect and if you don't give it he will make you give it to him."
 
and Tito Ortiz--"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy". Dana says he is brash, cocky and does stuff to piss people off. This made him very popular very fast.
 
The feud between Shamrock and Ortiz began when he beat Guy Metzger. He won the fight and flipped off Shamrock's Lion's Den. Shamrock was livid and climbed the cage and mouthed off at Ortiz. Dana said anytime they get in a room they could kill each other. So he knew a money match would be Ortiz v. Shamrock. You see Ortiz laughing at the prefight press conference and Shamrock kicking a chair. In that fight, Ortiz beat the holy hell out of Shamrock (and we see a pic of his beaten and bruised face). Dana says he has been calling for a rematch. Ken Shamrock says he got a call from Dana White asking to be a coach on this season and he didn't say yes right away. Dana told him the other coach would be Tito Ortiz. He said, "Sign me up."
 
Dana has a meeting with Ken. He tells him that he wants no fights before the PPV in July. He said he will do his best, but "I won't be a sellout for Ortiz." He will do the best for the show. They shake hands.
 
Some of the fighters arrive to the house in Vegas.
 
Ed Herman, 25, is from Portland, Oregon with the nickname Short Fuse. He has been fighting for 3 1/2 years. He is a middleweight.
 
Matt Hamill, 29, wants to be the first Deaf UFC Fighter. He is a light heavyweight.
 
Kendall Grove, 23 is from Maui, Hawaii said this is what I do best--punching people's face in. Heaven in his mind would be a cage and he would be fighting. Ed said the house is nice but it's a long time to be in there with big stinky guys.
 
More fighters arrive:
 
Kristian Rothaermel, 33 yrs old from New Orleans, LA is a light heavyweight. He lived in trailers, RVs since Katrina. Life is gone in NO, so why not take a chance.
 
Ed said some of the fighters may be raw...but we will see who has the heart.
 
Mike "The Count" Bisping is a light heavyweight from the UK. He wants to just have a good time in the house.
 
Ross Pointon is 28 and a middleweight also from the UK. He said MMA is bigger than ever in the UK. "We're coming for you..England rules!"
 
Back at the UFC Training Center, Tito Ortiz arrives in the back of an Escalade. He says, "I hate him, he hates me and he is an a*****e. Shamrock says if he is disrespectful, we are fighting. Dana says that Tito and him hate each other as well. Ortiz says he has no clue why Shamrock wants to fight me again when I beat him so bad the last time...the people at home saw how bad I beat him. Shamrock says he lays down for no one. Dana tells Ortiz he wants a fight on the PPV...nothing more. Tito says he wants to be paid for the fight. He tells us that he has no respect for him as a fighter or a person. Shamrock demands respect or he will take it. Dana says, "Don't f**k with this fight." Ortiz and White shake on it and then Shamrock and Ortiz meet for the first time.
 
Tito tells him, "I f*****g hate you, you f*****g hate me. But let's make a good show, let's do it for the kids. But when I fight you it's all business. Till then, I'll respect you."
 
Shamrock respects that he took the step to say that. And they hand shake. Dana feels weird that Ortiz is on his best behavior. It's throwing him. He jokes that he can broker Mideast peace. But we see the truce is only for the show as from 10:35 until the fighters arrived they were in the gym, but didn't speak to each other. The tension was real and thick. Dana said, "I would rather eat poison and jump off a building than do Season 3."
 
The fighters arrive at the UFC Training Center. Due to the hatred, Ken will evaluate the light heavyweights first. Middleweights will be evaluated by Ortiz later and they switch off tomorrow.

We first see Shamrock's evaluations of the light heavyweights. This year, the coaches pick the assistants. Shamrock picked Dan Freeman, a conditioning and nutritionist and Dan Pollack.
 
Shamrock is excited. He likes Jesse Forbes...he is a stand out who is a sponge and tough with wrestling. He will do well. Kristian is a dark horse who has experience, but questionable conditioning. He tests the fighters on will with 4 sandbags of different weights of 220, 210, 200, and 200 pounds. Kristian said that tore up our bodies...he hopes to be on Tito's team. He wants to see the difference between training smart and training hard. Bisping thought the sandbags weren't a good evaluation of fighting.
 
Next the Ortiz evaluation of the middleweights. Dean Lister is the grappling coach and Sol Solice is the Stand Up Coach. Ortiz is looking for the fighters with the most heart & determination. He singles out Rory Sawyer for Decent Wrestling...Mike Stine is the #1 guy who came in shape, but has no wrestling game. He is the "diamond" in the rough. Ed Herman has awesome wrestling skills. He wants to be on Tito's team.
 
Back at the house, the shots flow. Kendall christened the house with a few (ok, maybe more than a few) shots. Mike Nickels didn't want to take shots at first. Ross Pointon did 1 shot out of "respect" which led to another bottle. Mike was ready to stop at 4. Kendall did more...and got ripped. He had too many and gets into it with the Brits and pukes. When he is asleep, the drunk Brits decide to shave Kendall's eyebrow. He was awake when they did it...and they cut his eyelid, because they were drunk.
 
The next morning Kendall woke up in a pool of blood. He said, "Vengeance will be sweet."
 
Shamrock evaluates the middleweights. He is looking for knowledge of punches, clinches takedown and heart. Ed Herman likes Calib. Mike Stine respects Ed, but Ed has no clue how he is an MMA fighter. I am the top dog in my class.
 
Ortiz evaluates the Light Heavyweights. He is looking for a star not a great fighter. Matt says he had 2 fights in 5 monhts. Tito says he has loads of heart...with the right tools to see. After going with the Dean Lister again and again, Ortiz tells Dean..."That's what I am looking for." Mike Bisping said Matt is a talented wrestler, but not a great fighter.
 
Ortiz doesn't want Kristian. He said he was whining and crying like one of his ex girlfriends. "Suck It Up and Show Me what you have".
 
Back at the house...Tait Fletcher said the Brits are awesome. And we see clips of the fighters making fun of the british guys's accents and them making fun of the Americans.
 
Team Selection Time: Kendall is nervous now. Rory is anxious as to who wants him. Bisping wants to be taught by Tito. Tito says Beating Ken is my #1 goal. Shamorck wants to win as well. It's about me and Tito.
 
Dana White explains the teams are picked by a coin flip. The coin says ORTIZ on one side and SHAMROCK on the other. The one who wins the flip gets to pick first. And ORTIZ wins the first pick. So here we go:
 
SHAMROCK ORTIZ
1.Jesse (LT HVY) Shamrock tried to matchup everyone after Ortiz picked.
first.
1. Matt Hamill(LT HVY) He felt like a champion being picked first.
2. Kalib Starnes(middle) Shamrock picked me and I support Shamrock. 2. Rory Seger(Middle) He didn't see himself picked first. 
3. Kristian Rothaermel 3. Michael Bisping   
4. Solomon Hutcherson 4. Kendall Grove
5. Mike Nichols 5. Noah Inhofer 
6. Ed Herman(He thought Tito was nuts not to pick him. He wanted to  be on Tito's team, but now that he was disrespected, he is glad to be on Shamrock's team and I hate Tito.)
6. Mike Stine(Ed Herman said--How did he get picked over me? He isn't MMA Gold) 
7. Ross Pointon 7. Josh Haynes  
8. Tait Fletcher. He says this is the best case scenario because I am being underestimated 8. Danny Abate 

                        

 
                                                                                                                 .
 
Team Meetings:
 
Shamrock tells his team that his team is one step ahead of Ortiz's team. Team Ortiz says it's all mental. You ALL have to be team leaders. Ed Herman is ready to pick apart Ortiz's team. Ortiz's team is "Team Punishment." Bisping is ready to beat "Team Shamrock".
 
The next morning Pointon is pissed he was picked last. Herman is ready to beat something up. He is twitching.

We see the Team Ortiz Training Session. Ortiz tells that the one who have the most heart can do it. He trains 3 times a day 6 days a week. And he gets in there with them to show that I will do it with them. He likes the fact he will be training with Ortiz 2 times a day. Bisping said the rep about Ortiz being an a*****e are not true. He is a nice guy and a fantastic coach. He says that they call themselves team punishment because we punish ourselves. "Prepare for the worst and the best will come."
 
Next--Team Shamrock. He tells he is a brawler, not a ju-jitsu guy. He is a leg lock guy. I am a coach, not a friend. If you are slacking...I will let you know it. Dana White says the Lion's Den beats the guys down mentally and physically. I need to know them, Shamrock says. But unlike Ortiz, I need to watch and see the picture instead of being in it. Kristian thinks that style is a disadvantage to Tito's Team.
 
We see the team training and meeting with the dietician, Dan Freeman. Ed didn't like that. Mike didn't like him either. He was wondering why they didn't pick a submissions coach. "This is 2006 and fighting without submissions is like fighting with 3 limbs."
 
Dana brings the teams together. "If you think you know how the show works--think again." Last year, a fighter could get into the semis without fighting anyone. This year it wont happen. This year each fighter will fight a prelim fight to get into the semis. And this year...NO CHALLENGES. Fights are determined this way.
 
Dana will flip the Ortiz/Shamrock coin. The winner picks the first fight. If the winner wins, they keep control. If they lose, the control swtiches. And in the flip...TEAM SHAMROCK gets control. Middleweights are up first. 24 hours to decide. Team Shamrock meets. "We have the hammer." We pick our strongest guy and go after the weakest guy. Hutcherson says that a lot of people want to fight right now. Shamrock says it must be a strategic planned out attack. Herman says they are ready to pick apart Ortiz's team one by one.
 
Fight Selection: The fights are now two 5 minute rounds...if it's a draw...they go into a 3rd round called "Sudden Victory for 5 minutes. If they knockout or make an opponent submit...they get $5,000.
 
Shamrock selects KALIB STARNES to fight MIKE STINE.   We see both training sessions.
 
Kalib Starnes is undefeated. He is from Vancouver, British Columbia. His first fight was in 1996. He studied Brazilian jujitsu for 11 years. I dont want to go home, I will walk out on top.
 
Mike Stine is from Long Island, NY. 4 years ago he was nervous in his first fight. But winning was so great he couldn't stop. He is a puncher. He is going to let it all hang out.
 
Ortiz sees Stine is nervous and emotional. Ortiz says that we are animals in the ring, but we are human. We cry. "Real Men Cry. Anybody who tells you that Real men who don't cry are pu***es, is full of s**t. He said that he cried after losing to Randy Couture. He felt like someone died. Win Lose or Draw I will be there for you."
 
Weigh In by Marc Ratner, Dir of the NV State Athletic Commission. Kalib weighed 185 naked(although a towel covered the important parts). Mike Stine is 183. Ortiz says his striking is awesome but he can't pull guard, he can't get taken down, and he can't wrestle. If he does all that...he will win.
 
Fight Day--Both fighters feel nerves, but are ready to go. Kalib sleeps before the fight. He needs to psychologically prep for before a fight. Last Minute Prep--
 
Mike--I am coming out hard. I have more heart.
Kalib--I am sending a message that I am a serious contender.
Mike--I will hit him hard and won't stop.
Kalib--I will pick him up, and slam him. I will get position and hit em until he gives up or goes unconscious.
Mike--I will do what it takes to stay on my feet.
Kalib--He will feel me and what I am like...He knows that I can break him down
Mike--I will hit him non stop and I am really good at punching him out.
 
Intros: Mike Stine from Hicksville, NY--Kalib will see it the "Stine Way" I will play him like a Piano.
 
Kalib Starnes from Surrey British Columbia--No fight of mine has gone past the first round...he wont go past the first minute.
 
TALE OF THE TAPE:
 
MIKE STINE                                         KALIB STARNES
 
27                                AGE                    31
6'0"                              HEIGHT                6'3"
68"                               REACH                76"
3-0                               RECORD             8-0
 
The Ref is John McCarthy. The ring girl announces round one. Prelim bout--winner goes on, loser goes on...LET'S GO.
 
They box for about 10 seconds before Starnes gets him down. They get up and at 4:09 Stine is down again. Kaleb starts to ground and pound. and at 3:24 Kaleb truns him over to where he is on Stine's back and is pounding him into submission on the back of the head. The ref stops the fight at 2:52 of the first round. Mike Stine is out of tune.
 
Time for the Amp'd Mobile Fight Recap:
 
Dana White said it reminded him of a fight from Season 1. Styles make fights. White said Mike was all stand up while Kaleb was more rounded. Tito told Mike what not to do, and of course when he did it..he looked at the coach and said "Damn, that isn't good." There was no doubt when he rolled Mike over he winced when Kaleb hit him. Dana said he had a good chance of winning the thing.
 
In the winning locker room, Kaleb said one more to go. Shamrock said, "The More we win, they more they will wonder what they are doing wrong. Shamrock--"We Kept the Hammer." Shamrock tells the team that everyone has to think and feel the same way.
 
In the losing locker room, Ortiz brings the team in to see what losing feels like. Mike gave his all and he lost. He is upset he let himself and his team down. It really hurts and losing sucks. He tells them tomorrow is a new day for all of us. He will get Shamrock with his 205 pounder. He will be the victor no matter what. They do a "Team Punishment" chant.
 
Mike ends with..."This is a learning process. I will come back for more. I want Team Ortiz to kick ass."
 
Next week, the first Light Heavyweight elimination.
 

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