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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
The fighters all come in and a few introduce themselves to the audience. Dana White welcomes them into the gym and announces that they don't have to fight their way into the house, which I think sucks. I want to see guys earn their way into the house. Dana also says the Wild Card fight is back. Dana only dropped 1 f-bomb during this speech. Nice.
Dana introduces coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos. Dana runs down their resumes and says they'll pick teams later. Brock says he doesn't want guys who've been sitting around eating pizza and stuff. Brock and his coaches are testing the condition of the fighters. They want to see who is in good shape. Junior and his coaches are in the cage with the guys, seeing what they have. Looks like the coaches have different criteria for who they will pick.
Brock asks several of the guys questions about their past and what they're wanting from the show. He likes a few of the guys he talks to. Junior likes a few guys as well. They seem to be different from who Brock liked. Myles Jury hurts his knee during training and is hopeful it's not serious. Dana takes Brock and Junior into the back and does the coin toss to determine who gets first pick. Brock wins the coin toss.
Dana comes into the gym and announces who has been picked by whom. There's too many names being thrown around for me to keep up. The guys all come to the house and decide who will sleep where. They decide to sleep on different floors based on team. Junior gets to decide the first fight. He has his team train to determine who is most ready to fight. Junior is very confident in his team's chances of winning this season.
Brock has his team train and is a bit concerned about Myles' knee injury. He tore his ACL completely. The doctor tells him not to fight. Myles is understandably upset. Looks like he's off the show. Dana tells him that he can't stay on the show. That sucks, but is expected. Chuck O'Neil is the replacement for Myles. Team Lesnar is shown training.
Junior announces that the first fight will be Shamar Bailey from Team Dos Santos vs. Nordin Asrih from Team Lesnar. Nordin is training with his coaches. His gameplan is to test Shamar's conditioning and to stand with him. Shamar thinks he has the edge and plans to use his wrestling to his advantage. Sounds like he plans on using some ground-and-pound.
On Fight Day, Shamar is running early in the morning. Nordin is from Germany. He prays 5 times a day. Shamar is very confident in himself, to the point of arrogance. It's best to not underestimate someone.
FIGHT- Shamar Bailey vs. Nordin Asrih
Nordin is 2 inches taller but Shamar has a 6 inch reach advantage. Steve Mazzagatti is the referee.
ROUND 1- Shamar has Nordin down almost immediately and is on top. Shamar is in side control and is controlling Nordin. Nordin works his way up after little action from Shamar. However, Shamar takes him back down right away. Shamar is in half-guard and is working towards side control. Nordin is doing a good job of keeping Shamar in half-guard. There's not a lot going on. Shamar is definitely controlling this fight, but he's not really doing much. Neither guy has done much to damage the other. Shamar lands a body shot and one to the head. Shamar lands a couple of good elbows. Shamar is standing over Nordin as the round ends.
ROUND 2- Nordin slips on a kick attempt. Shamar stands over him before jumping on him. Shamar is in the mount and is starting to tee off on Nordin. Shamar takes Nordin's back, but Nordin escapes and grabs a guillotine. Shamar escapes and gets back into side control. A lot more action in this round, more than the first round total. Nordin ties up Shamar and we're stalemated again. Shamar is just systematically picking Nordin apart. He's peppering him with elbows and punches. Shamar is just too much here, he's controlling Nordin and winning this fight. Shamar moves to mount and works some ground-and-pound. Shamar moves to Nordin's back for a second before moving back to mount. Nordin can't do anything to stop this. Shamar postures up and punishes Nordin. This was inevitable from the very beginning.
WINNER- Shamar Bailey by Decision
Shamar won't win any fans with this kind of fight, but it's effective. As long as Shamar improves his overall game, that's ok. I know the ultimate goal is to make it to the UFC. However he gets there. Brock cracks on Team Dos Santos for celebrating too much for this victory.
NEXT WEEK- This looks like a wild year, with the requisite in-fighting in the house.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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