— How did The Ultimate Fighter 5 follow up last week's great fight between Nate Diaz and Rob Emerson? Not that well, actually. Compared to last week's battle between Emerson and Diaz, tonight's fight was decidedly underwhelming. But, we'll get to that in a bit. First, let's recap all the pre-fight action from tonight's show.
BJ Penn is a bit demoralized, it seems, after Emerson's loss kept his team winless. He can't blame Rob, and really gives him props, fro doing all that he possibly could in the octagon. Over at Team Pulver, Jens is concerned with the progress of Wayne Weems. He rails on him at practice, and admits that he is way behind all of the other fighters, in pretty much every aspect of MMA.
Having picked up on this, Gabe Ruediger throws out the possibility to BJ, although they don't have control, of possibly choosing him to fight Weems because, in Gabe's words, "somebody has to." BJ takes it as a little joke, isn't upset or anything, but Rob watches on, stewing. Back at the house, Emerson calls Gabe out on his seeming desire to choose an easy fight for himself in Weems. Rob is not a fan of Gabe, and questions if he'll ever back up his words with actions.
At Team Pulver, Brandon Melendez really wants to fight. Jens is iffy on Brandon, because he's been nursing a hurt foot and hasn't been training as hard as he should. He's also about ten pounds overweight.
Jens seems to buy into Brandon's desire and tells him to get his shit in gear, lose the weight, and start training hard. If he doesn't get down to where he needs to be, then Corey Hill will be the back-up plan. We get some footage of Brandon using the sauna to cut weight. It seems hellish.
Marlon Sims, who we have seen very little of, likes to talk. And, what he likes to about is himself. At the house, Marlon brags about his street fighting days, claiming that he's been in a hundred street fights, has fought seven guys at once, and other just as ridiculous tales. Gabe calls "shenanigans" on Marlon, but he insists it is all true. I bet.
At the fight announcement, Pulver does select Melendez to hit up the octagon, and they choose Andy Wang as his opponent. We have heard almost nothing from Wang this season, so this comes out of the blue. Gabe, talking to BJ, says that he has known Gabe for years and that he won't listen to coaching. He wants to brawl, and will forgo a good game plan out of stubbornness. Andy was born in Taiwan, came to the US when he was very young, and is a black belt in JuJitsu.
Brandon manages to make weight. That night, he feasts, claiming that by fight time he'll be up around 170 and thus far heavier than Andy. Matt Hughes makes a surprise appearance at a Team Pulver training session, and does some one-on-one work with Melendez.
Time for the fight. In round one, things start slow, but Brandon catches Andy with a left tot he head, taking him down, but Andy gets back up. The rest of the round is quite boring, with Melendez in complete control. He lands a few punches here and there, but nothing too dangerous. BJ keeps yelling from the sidelines for Andy to take the fight to the ground, but Andy doesn't even attempt to in the first, even though that was the entire game plan coming in.
Round two begins, and I assumed that Andy would come to his senses and do everything in his power to get Brandon on the ground. He gets him down once, briefly, but it doesn't amount to anything. The rest of the round is exactly like the first: all stand-up, all Brandon Melendez.
Melendez wins a unanimous decision, and Andy breaks down sobbing and wailing away in the ring. It is a little bit pathetic. Unlike with Rob last week, BJ is unsympathetic about the loss. He's actually pretty angry with Andy for going against the plan, and for being so stubborn, and for crying afterwards.
Next week on The Ultimate Fighter, it looks like we're finally going to get Corey Hill vs. Gabe Ruediger. Should be fun.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
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Original article at http://www.buddytv.com/articles/ufc/the_ultimate_fighter_5_episode-6031.aspx