TUF 16 Team Nelson coach Ron Frazier talks about the latest episode in which a fighter turned to biting, and the concept of fighting to finish vs. fighting to advance.
Week 8 of The Ultimate Fighter was like an old episode of the 70’s T.V series the Twilight Zone.
We have seen this act before fighters get drunk than act stupid. We all understand the format of the show. They are stuck in the house no TV, radio or internet access. We understand the fighters are away from friends, family and regular coaches etc. But this act is wearing thin of just being stupid for no reason.
This season there has been a lot of whining about the coaches not motivating fighters (Team Nelson). We have heard complaints about the fighter’s inability to finish fights. Really a lot of it is just plain B S.
For me personally motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal directed behaviors. That comes from within. If you need a coach to give you a speech you have already lost. You’re on the largest stage with an opportunity to fulfill your dream. We coaches especially in this setting help show you how to do it, not why you do it. You should have already come to the show with that.
As far the fighter’s inability to finish fights this season, I think this is more of a product of inexperience fighters and limited skill sets. I know Roy Nelson has bared the blunt of the blame here. At no time did Roy insist fighters not try to finish fights. He wanted them to win and advance by staying in character of who they are. If a knock out or submission presented itself take it. But do not try to go beyond what you are capable of doing in controlling the fight.
Yes, for Dana White and the producer of the show, finishes are awesome. Great for ratings, hell great for coaches’ stress levels as well. My personal thought here the coaches from both sides wanted finishes but you only had 4 if the 16 fighters in the house that had 19 plus fights. And for those with experience they all have significant holes in their game that could be exploited. The rest are still trying to find out what they can do and who they are as fighters.
On to the match up for week, you had Team Carwin’s James ”Snake” Chaney vs. Jon ”Super” Manley from Team Nelson. This was a match we had an eye from the day of team picks.
We thought Jon could match James on the ground. Jon also had the height and reach we thought could bother James when it came to striking. So the game plan was simple Team Nelson wanted Jon to work behind his jab, and then throw hard straight right hands making it a fire fight. Jon would make him feel the heat where James would look for the fight to go to the ground. Jon would look to maintain top control when the fight hits the ground. If James pulled guard which was a tendency he showed on film, Jon was either push to half to stay out of triangle and arm bar attempts. Control James posture and punch and throw elbows.
R1: Both James and Jon come out firing, Team Nelson felt very comfortable with this. Jon landed a solid right hand forcing James to rethink his position. As we thought James looked to tie up and pull guard. Soon as he hit the ground James quickly locked on a triangle, Jon picked James up knowing if slammed James back to the mat it would lock the triangle tighter and end the fight. Jon had the mind to hold James against the fence.
While good in theory it was a lot of time remaining in the round so not particle Jon placed James back on the mat with his head stuck near the cage. Jon had maneuvered enough to loosen the choke. Still with a free hand and James head stuck near the cage Team Nelson told Jon to punch. Which he did freeing himself from the triangle went to side mount then to mount.
From there he put James in a guillotine choke forcing him to tap. In the process James spit out his mouth guard and bit Jon in a desperate attempt to not have the fight end.
While it was a desperate move from a young fighter stuck in a bad position, and while I am not condoning it in anyway, and if had Jon not finished him I am sure James would have been disqualified, it is not the end of the world.
Over the years between boxing and MMA I have seen or heard of a lot of unsportsmanlike behavior. While not good I hope this would not label James as some sort of cheater but more of a young guy that made a poor choice.
Team Nelson is up 4 fights to 3, with bad decisions going against both teams. Tune in Friday for Dom Waters vs. Mike Ricci both fighters earned Ko’s to get into the house. Follow me on twitter @Ronfrazier22, e mail me for training tips or seminar info firstname.lastname@example.org or Stop by the House of RYU when in Las Vegas.