TUF 16: Team Nelson Coach Ron Frazier Talks Coaching Philosophy and Team Selection


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TUF 16 Team Nelson coach Ron Frazier joins MMAWeekly.com to blog about the newest season of the reality show. In this first edition, Coach Frazier opens up about the team selections, some personal shots taken at Roy Nelson during the show, and why they made the match-up they did to kick off the elimination round.

Before we get to the second episode I would like to introduce myself.

I am Ron Frazier current head trainer at the House Of RYU Athletic Center in Las Vegas. I am formally from Xtreme Couture I have trained or helped train the likes of Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Vitor Belfort, Gray Maynard, Martin Kampmann, Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron, Johny Hendricks and Gabriel Gonzaga to name a few. And I have something to get off my chest before we proceed.

On episode one a fighter professed how happy he was to be on Team Carwin. In itself all good with the personal attack on Roy Nelson but, it was uncalled for. I have known Roy for sometime he and his wife are good people. If you don’t break bread with them and only know them in passing why attack the way he looks.

Cause who cares people may not think he takes it serious but ask his opponents. Since you were happy cause Roy is sloppy and whatever else.

Let me let you in on how we decided to choose teams.

One, we knew that Team Carwin wanted Sam Alvey. So we decided we wanted to go with match ups if Team Carwin got the first pick because all of these guys were very close in skill sets. If Team Carwin picked Sam we would pick Dom Waters etc. But under no circumstance were we going to choose Bristol Marunde even though he is tough.

Tough is not a skill set, it is a great attribute but we wanted more. Since he started his career a year after Roy and had not made a splash in MMA figured journeyman fighter at best.

Now on to the second episode, Team Nelson was disappointed in how we preformed. Coming in season 16 Coach Nelson was the only coach on either side to be in the house as a participant. So our philosophy was to treat
the season as a tournament, win and move on and for the guys to use their teammates as training partners. Cause the goal is to be the Ultimate Fighter and secure that contract.

Not to have 15 best friends. If that happens great. As Roy put it “We do man stuff, if you have a problem or question, just ask and we will have the answer or will get it .”

The birthday present for Neil Magny. As you seen in episode one when they fought to get in the house Neil came out of the blue corner which I cornered along with Anthony Brown. Roy coached from the side seated next to Dana White. Roy coached or yelled instruction to everyone in the blue corner though at that time was only familiar with 2 of 32 fighters. The guys from Las Vegas Cameron Diffley and Bristol Marunde.

So no emotional attachment to any of the competitors. If you recall that fight, Neil found himself in some bad positions during the fight. But did show athletic ability, great resolve and listen very well. Things I told him I wanted, he responded to it well.

After the teams were picked we decided Cameron Diffley would be up first. Team Nelson knew of his good BJJ. And we were comfortable in nullifying Neil reach advantage, close the gap and take him down. We felt Cameron being long as well and a better grappler than Neil’s prior opponent. We could expose the same flaws in his game. What we talked about before the fights ever took place is that the way fights are being judged. If you’re on the bottom and you go for a submission and do not get it, often times the judges view you as losing.

So in the second round Cameron was told he was behind after he went for the heel hook in the first round, for a moment it looked like he had it, but obviously he did not. Roy wanted Cameron to sweep and come out on top and try to control Neil with his top game. As the second round began Cameron needed to use his skill set of BJJ to get the fight to the ground as he did in the first, but this time he needs to be on top.

The judges and the public always view whomever is on top is winning. This is what Cameron needed to do in the first earlier to steal the round, but Neil controlled the fight and the positions in the second round better, which allowed him to win the fight. On that night it was to be for Cameron not Neil but, he was the better fighter that night. Congrats to him.

But somethings get lost in translation or editing, and we are in the entertainment business. So the show must go on and stories must be told.

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