Much of the MMA community is most familiar with “The Titan” Lew Polley (11-4) from his time spent as a wrestling coach on The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, more specifically, the Team Dos Santos incident. They drew their conclusions about his character and talents based on his coaching style on the reality show and his subsequent back-and-forth with UFC Heavyweight Champion “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (15-1). After the show, Polley was largely inactive due to a myriad of issues involving fights that simply never came to fruition, and fans never really got the chance to see Lew’s talents in the cage. The skilled wrestler and light heavyweight journeyman had a rough patch going 2-3 in his five bouts prior to the show and was unable to sign a fight that actually ended up taking place until July 2012, nearly two years later. Now “The Titan” will have a brand new forum to show fans what the real Lew Polley is all about thanks to a freshly inked contract with Bellator Fighting Championships. Polley will step into the cage far away from the creative editing of reality TV and fight as a heavyweight to build a new chapter in his career. However, before he pits his skills against “The Fury” Carmelo Marrero (14-5) at a 240lbs. catchweight during the Bellator 77 preliminary card October 19, Lew agreed to share his thoughts on both his new fight team, Black House, and home promotion with MMA Gospel Editor-in-Chief Mallory Mejia.
This past weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale was a night to remember. TUF crowned a controversial, yet capable champ in “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson (11-2). Fans were also fortunate enough to witness up-and-comers like “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (11-2), Fabio Maldonado (18-4), “C-Murder” Chris Cope (5-1), and others who will likely entertain for years to come. But the night was unfairly lambasted by fans when the co-main event fight between “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-11) and final WEC champ “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (13-2) went to the judges’ decision. The fight was derided as boring, “lay-and-pray”, and even incorrectly judged – and all this criticism came down on the winner, Clay Guida. Whether or not the fight was enjoyable is subjective and it is a moot point to try and argue. You either enjoyed it or you didn’t; there is not right or wrong there. However, fans’ displeasure with Guida’s winning tactics are unfounded. “The Carpenter” indeed displays varying skills in a sport that caters to those who know when and how to use their strengths, even if it means using one skill at a time. But it is the bias against wrestling that has misguided so much of the post-fight fallout.
Dear Dana White,
I like to consider myself an intellectual. Not in a pretentious way but more in the sense that I don’t think being smart or educated is something to be ashamed of or mocked. Early on in high school I was picked on by a couple of jocks. By in large most of them, like most of everyone else didn’t really notice my existence but a couple of jock douchebags decided to pick on me and my indifference to sports became a seething hatred for meathead jocks. Granted, it was unfair of me to judge a whole group of people, namely athletes, by the actions of a couple of assholes but when you’re fifteen you’re generally not blessed with a philosophical and objective perspective. Even to this day, despite being intellectually evolved and more open-minded, that knee-jerk prejudice against jocks is still there. I make a distinction here between “jocks” and athletes, which doesn’t erase my prejudice, just makes it more selective.
When I first became aware of MMA I didn’t know it was MMA. I, like a lot of people saw it for how it was marketed at the time, as a brutal, no rules, barbaric bloodsport. Unfortunately, this angle repulsed me. It seemed to be everything I hated: dumb, meathead, uber-agro jock dicks that thought bashing someone’s face in and sending them to the hospital was cool. If they didn’t market it like that, I likely would’ve become a big fan of Royce Gracie – this little Brazilian beating much bigger and stronger guys with technique, with brains. I would’ve eaten that shit up at the time, if I had known and understood more about the sport; if it was marketed as mixed martial arts and not “No-Rules Cage Fighting”. It was your doing with The Ultimate Fighter that showed me that this was a real sport with athletes who trained. Martial artists rather than blood-thirsty barbarians. Not to say it’s not violent and primal and occasionally brutal and not to deny the visceral appeal of that element but it’s also a lot more. And we also got to see that most fighters weren’t typical jocks. They’re athletes but most of them had to be a little bit nuts to want to do this for a living.
The UFC brought its thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show to a close last night in front of a sold-out crowd at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada as “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson (11-3) blasted through Ramsey Nijem (4-1) in less than five minutes to become the next Ultimate Fighter. The co-main event of the evening featured lightweights “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-11) and “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (13-2) while the rest of the card followed the template set forth by previous seasons by featuring a host of The Ultimate Fighter alums including “Crazy” Tim Credeur (12-4), “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (16-8), and “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-2). Virtually every fight on the card had the interesting added danger of a cut from the UFC or at least a serious career setback for the losing fighter as many of the competitors were in a precarious situation coming into their fight. Kicking things off was a battle between TUF 13 runners-up “C-Murder” Chris Cope (5-1) and “Cold Steel” Chuck O’Neil (8-4).
—MAIN CARD (on Spike TV)—
Tony Ferguson vs. Ramsey Nijem: Ferguson via KO, Round 1, 3:54
Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida: Guida via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Tim Credeur vs. Ed Herman: Herman via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 0:48
Fabio Maldonado vs. Kyle Kingsbury: Kingsbury via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Chris Cope vs. Chuck O’Neil: Cope via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
This Saturday, June 4 the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada will welcome the final event in the current season of The Ultimate Fighter as ten men step into the cage to make a statement to the Zuffa management team. Opening the broadcast TUF Season 3 finalist “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (15-8) seeks to reverse his ill fortunes against TUF Season 7 middleweight Tim Credeur (21-3) who has spent almost as much time on the disabled list as Herman himself. Next, “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (11-2) looks to add a fourth win to the streak he started after going 0-3 on Season 8 of TUF at the expense of internationally experienced Fabio Maldonado (7-1). The night prefaces the main event with the final bout of the thirteenth season of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter reality show as Team Dos Santos wrestler Ramsey Nijem (4-1) steps up to face “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson (10-2) for a coveted spot on the UFC roster . Then, for the main event of the evening, should-be title contender “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (13-1) puts the title shot he won by securing the WEC lightweight belt on the line against “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (28-11), a man who has always fallen just short of contention. The card is by no means a star studded affair, but it does possess quite an interesting storyline as many of the bouts feature fighters who highlight the arguments against the relevance of The Ultimate Fighter as they strive to regain the respect of the fans even as two new finalists join their ranks.
First off I want to congratulate Sergio aka @iTzPrimo on Twitter who won the #1 Icemigo award. What’s the #1 Icemigo award? It’s some shit I invented just for Primo because that mofo RTs all my shit and comments on this column all the time. What did Primo win? Well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise for him but it’s either totally awesome or he’s totally getting KOS’d!! Or Maybe a little of both. Ha ha! See, I reward my loyal Icemigos. I’ve spent *$40,000 out of my own pocket giving away shit to people since I started the Spilled Bag of Ice Twitter account way back in February of 2010. As for my enemies, *I’ve smashed their faces and crushed their souls. I’ve kidnapped their pets, made them love me and trained them to attack their former owners on sight…their children, too.
(*claims may be somewhat exaggerated for dramatic effect)
“The Titan” Lew Polley (10-4) is a name that, up until just a couple of months ago, may not have been particularly well known among many MMA fans. The ability to fly under the radar certainly changed for Polley once he accepted the role as wrestling coach for Team Dos Santos on the most recent installment of Spike TV and Zuffa’s hit reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. An otherwise relatively mellow season has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows for “The Titan”, whose own experience on TUF 13 left much to be desired; ultimately, after several weeks of back-and-forth conflict and escalating tension levels between Polley and “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1), Polley was asked by the Black House fighter to leave the show. It was a first for The Ultimate Fighter.
Following the controversial dismissal, MMA Gospel Editor-in-Chief Mallory Mejia spent 120 minutes talking to Lew and getting his take on The Ultimate Fighter 13. This two-part interview explores Polley’s own credentials in respect to MMA, his favorite previous seasons and coaches of The Ultimate Fighter, changes he would make to the TUF program, who he found to be the most viable contenders among the Season 13 fighters, his response to both the shit talkers and the supporters, and of course, a whole lot about the highly publicized feud between himself and his friend, TUF 13 head coach opposite Brock Lesnar (5-2), Junior Dos Santos.
I’ll tell ya what, Icemigos… So far, I’m not feeling this season of The Ultimate Fighter. I mean, I’ll keep watching it but how I miss people getting KOS’d. Plunger fights. A Male Nurse. Jean-Charles: The French kickboxing badass who liked to get drunk before sparring. Cody McKenzie and his “McKenzietine”. Those were the days! When the most entertaining thing that happens is Ramsey Nijem whipping his junk around and Brock Lesnar saying “chickenshit” again, you start to curse fate for not letting Chael Sonnen be one of the coaches this season. Seriously, Dana, you owe us one. Next season better have Chael and Michael Bisping as the coaches. Or “Mayhem” Miller and Nick Diaz. Here’s what I’ve learned thus far from this season of TUF:
“We’re taking Chicken Shit and making Chicken Salad!” –Contemporary Philosopher, Brock Lesnar.
Apparently, Brock is as good at analogies as he is at taking a punch. Oh Snap! Yeah, I went there! I said it! A lot of feelings seemed to be hurt by this comment and Brock’s “clarification” of what he meant was basically to repeat himself. Predictably, this did little to help the issue and his team continued to dab their tears away on their pretty dresses. Metaphorically, of course, since none of them were actually wearing dresses. But it wouldn’t surprise me if some of them were wearing lacy panties under their shorts. Anyway, so far this season of The Ultimate Fighter seems to be filled with a lot of whiny little bitches. “Waaahh! Brock called us chicken shit.” “Waahh! I miss my kid. I’m going home.” “Waahh. Lew Polley is yelling at me.” Sheesh!
Out with the old and in with the new? Probably not, but the “new” are coming whether the “old” like it or not. The thirteenth installment of the UFC’s hit Spike TV reality series The Ultimate Fighter has revealed the featured fighters of its upcoming welterweights-only cast. Opposing coaches in former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar (5-2) and Team Nogueira fighter “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1), who themselves will face off at UFC 131 on June 11 in attempt to claim the title of top heavyweight contender and get the next shot at reigning heavyweight king Cain Velasquez’s (9-0) belt, lead the 14 UFC hopefuls through the six-week TUF journey.
Feast or Famine. Such is life. Such is MMA. I think over the last week there were about 738 fights. UFC on Versus: Kampmann vs. Sanchez, Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson, Bellator 35 aka The Welterweight Tournament, Chicago Cagefighting Championship with lovable Twitter Smartass/Badass Felice Herrig and the venerable legend and fan favorite Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver headlining. GASP! That’s too much, Billy!! ( From Buffalo 66 http://twitpic.com/4784p3 ) See, now you’re all in on my references. And yes, for the record, I shot that from my TV & uploaded it, just so you would get the reference. I love you that much… Well, either that or I was just procrastinating. Tomato – Tomahto.
So what do I do? Do I focus on a few key fights and ignore everything else or do quick thoughts on everything? Decisions, decisions. Damn, the new season of The Ultimate Fighter is coming up soon and I’ll have that to add to everything else to write about. I need a nap.