Finally, there is an episode without a temper tantrum, definitely a nice change of pace. Joey Rivera vs. Jon Manly was named “Battle of the nicest guys in the house!”
These two guys are genuinely good people. The biggest problem with pairing up two guys that know each other and have been training together is they know each other’s strengths and what to avoid, which equals less excitement.
I thought Jon won both rounds. It was interesting to hear him say that Joey kicks his ass in training.
Battle of the Canadians
Mike Ricci wanted to fight Hill because he was Roy’s second pick. I also believe that Hill was exposed in the Secor fight and Ricci saw him as his easiest road to the semifinals. We told him that we thought he should pick Hill and Mike is a very coachable guy and went with it.
This was a very one-sided fight. After re-watching it, I feel like this was a clear-cut case of a guy that is a true mixed martial artist against a guy that is just a heavy-handed brawler.
The days of being able to just be tough and make a career out of it are over. You have to be able to wrestle, strike, and grapple. If you can’t mix it all up you aren’t going to make it very far in MMA. Michael Hill is very young in the sport and I just think that Ricci’s experience and over all skill set was too much for him.
The semifinal announcement seemed like a joke to us. Are we seriously just going to put our guys against each other each round and make sure it is Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson in the finale together?
This really put a bad spin on the whole experience for our coaching staff. I can’t begin to explain how much time we put into each decision we made starting with the fight picks. The night before the fight picks we literally deliberated for four hours about the No. 1 through No. 16 fighters we wanted on our team. When we made our fight picks, we were 100-percent confident we could put two guys in the finale against one another.
When we had control of fight picks, we went back home and studied video on the guys. We tried to make the most educated picks we could to advance each guy on our team. Yes, we were incorrect on a few of our picks, but what I am getting at here is that we spent a lot of time to ensure Team Carwin win this competition. We didn’t draw straws and “leave it up to the guys to pick their fights so they have nobody to blame but themselves.”
Tune in next week for the final episode, Colton Smith vs. Jon Manly and Neil Magny vs. Mike Ricci. You don’t want to miss either one of these fights!
Leister Bowling: Wrestling/MMA Coach at Grudge Training Center and Easton BJJ. You can follow Leister on Twitter @LeisterBowling or Email [email protected] for training tips/seminar information.
(Photo courtesy of Leister Bowling)