Sherdog.com’s Guide to TUF 6

By: Scott Holmes
Nov 29, 2007



Soon the TUF 6 winner will be decided, but between then and now we still have one slot left in the final four bracket. Matt Arroyo, George Sotiropoulos (Pictures) and Mac Danzig (Pictures) have already been penciled in, leaving Tommy Speer and Ben Saunders left to fight for the remaining spot.

Speer still has some fresh cuts on his face from his last bout, but that won't deter the country boy.

"I wouldn't be training for at least three weeks," says Danzig on Speer's wounds. "I never said the guy was smart."

Both Saunders and Speer showed flashes of brilliance in their previous fights and pose an interesting matchup. Saunders is rangy with great standup skills. Naturally he'll be facing a mauling wrestler in Speer. Isn't MMA grand?

Of course, each coach thinks his guy has what it takes. "Saunders is so skilled" and "Speer is so strong" and yada yada.

While the coaches prognosticate about their pupils, some monkey business is taking shape back at the fighter house. Real monkey business, in fact, as some of the guys are so hooched-up after drinking for what Blake Bowman figures is "30 hours straight" that they are acting downright silly.

Jon Koppenhaver (Pictures), Richie Hightower (Pictures) and Troy Mandaloniz (Pictures) are all so plotzed that one of them decides it would be just a dandy of an idea to take a plotz in the upper chamber of the toilet. An "upper decker" as it were.

"War Machine" does the honors, and they all snicker while falling over each other like ninth grade girls with wine coolers.

This whole season SpikeTV has teased us with footage of a potential out-of-the-cage dustup at the house, and with only an episode or two left you have to figure that this is going to be it. Stolen food, unwashed dishes and occasional drawn-on mustaches are the usual hi-jinks of the day, but once pranks go fecal, things can get ugly quick.

Team Hughes returns from training to find the sloshed ne'er-do-wells still sitting on the couch, laughing at the usual things that make you laugh when sweet lady booze helps you check out of the thinking hotel for a while.

It's only a matter of time until someone flushes the toilet and is greeted with the foul prize. Fair to say that Danzig is not a fan of foolishness. Billy Miles (Pictures) knows Danzig well, and after seeing him get in a bow-up session with Hightower earlier over almost nothing, he understands all to well how he'll react to this shit. Literally.

Miles heads off Danzig at the pass. "Promise me I'm not going to have to go to that door and hold you back," Miles says. Danzig takes the news fairly well, all things considered, and heads off to deal with it through breathing techniques.

Surprisingly it is Jared Rollins (Pictures) that goes nuts. He picks up the ceramic toilet lid and throws it into the wall of the Team Serra scoundrels. Rollins then goes in their room looking to beat out what crap is left in these guys.

Before things can get too rowdy, though, everyone jumps in and calms things down so that no one gets booted off the show. "War Machine" and "Rude Boy" choke through a cleanup attempt that has both guys dry heaving. Good.

The next morning Ben Saunders wakes up to find that he's sick on fight day. He has a fever and is battling some tough sinus issues.

"Ben is usually so mentally strong," says Serra, who can tell that Saunders is worried.

Saunders sounds like he's got a clothespin on his nose when he talks, and that has Serra stressing about his breathing.

Meanwhile Speer should be concerned about his yet-to-be-healed cuts, but he isn't. He figures that if they open up, it will just make him more "slippery." Gross.

Saunders has some words of warning for the wrestler: "Guard that nose. I ain't going to lie -- I'm looking to split it open."

Instead it is Saunders that gets his nose opened up. Perhaps Speer wanted to help him with his sinuses?

The Team Hughes fighter gets the taller striker down on his back early, where he pummels him with punches and elbows. Saunders is very well rounded, though. After getting off some early knees in the clinch, he switches to his ground game and almost catches Speer in multiple submissions.

The most notable attempts are an armbar that could have ended the fight and a triangle choke, but Speer refuses to tap.

"I didn't hear anything crack or pop," Speer says later, shrugging off the severity of the armbar.

Speer channels his coach when he is caught in a deep triangle, which causes him to get drastic by picking Saunders up and slamming him back down as an escape.

Both guys fight well, but Speer has the better positioning, throws more strikes and out-hustles Saunders to a unanimous decision.

After the fight, Speer is upset with himself for not finishing, but his coach won't hear it. Saunders apologizes to his team and knows that his sickness got the better of him.

The coaches get back with Dana one more time to set up the final two fights, and they will be interesting for sure. After the matchups are announced, Spike teases us again by informing us that one of the final four would not actually get to fight, meaning an alternate will step in.

We don't know who that alternate will be just yet, but for now the matchups are Danzig against Matt Arroyo and a very good looking fight pitting Tommy Speer against Serra's standout, George Sotiropoulos (Pictures).

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