Most MMA fans have heard by now that Quinton
“Rampage” Jackson will play the new “B.A. Baracus” in the
upcoming “A-Team” film. What better time then now to get
acquainted with Mr. Jackson’s acting skills?
We begin this week’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” by getting
to watch Jackson’s chops as he and opposing coach Rashad
Evans trade imitations of each other at the training
Rashad launches the first salvo by acting out Rampage’s physical
reactions after his first loss to Wanderlei
Silva. Jackson strikes back by collapsing to the ground and
re-creating Evans’ bent-back leg during his knockout loss to
Neither man waits to hear the applause end before switching to a
more serious tone. The usual bickering ensues and ends with each
side ensuring the other that they’ll be the “whiny bitch” when
their fight is over.
Team Rashad has destroyed Team Rampage so far, and is sitting
pretty at 6-0. Evans is also in control of the final two matchups.
He decides to go with Matt “Meathead” Mitrione against Scott Junk
and for the last fight, Mike Wessel
versus Marcus “Big Baby” Jones.
Two seconds after the choices are announced, the coaches are in
each other’s faces again. Evans calls Jackson to the curb for
“quitting on his team” and points it out to all the fighters around
him, some of which are pinning themselves between the two coaches
to prevent an outbreak.
“You talk and I win,” repeats Evans over and over.
It’s starting to get personal and when Evans tells Jackson he’ll
put his foot up his a--, it gets really heated.
“It’s not a front,” Marcus
Jones tells the camera. “You can feel the tension.”
Jackson and Evans are truly snapping their own leashes at this
point because they can’t wait to hit each other.
Mitrione has already been labeled a “snitch” for squealing
about his team’s fight choices and now he’s passing notes. Mitrione
gives a note to Scott Junk
telling him that the reason those two were fighting was because
Mitrione’s teammate, Mike Wessel,
was too scared to fight Junk himself.
Whatever purpose the note was meant to serve, all it does is p---
off Wessel and Junk.
“I hope his whole family is watching,” says Wessel before launching
into some unsavory descriptions of the man they call Meathead.
Mitrione is “projecting,” according to coach Evans, who speculates
Mitrione is pushing his fears onto others. Mitrione claims that he
“knows what he’s doing in his own head.”
“I have so many voices and demons in my head and I have no way to
silence them,” says Mitrione, claiming that he can only focus when
a goal or purpose is put in front of him.
While Mitrione can’t seem to get out of his own way, Junk has
enough focus for the both of them.
“When I first met him he seemed like a cool guy,” says Junk.
However, he notes that over time he’s found Mitrione to be a
The consensus in the house is that Junk is going to give Mitrione
some major issues.
“Technique is out the window for me when I scrap,” says Junk. “I’m
going to take my hand and cock it back as hard as I can and throw
that f---ing thing right through your face.”
Back at the house, there is a dispute over John Madsen’s orange
juice. Mitrione gulps some of it down and after leaving the room,
Madsen wants to slap his face for it. Mitrione catches wind of this
and when the two are paired up for a light sparring session,
Mitrione unleashes on Madsen, screaming at him once Madsen backs
off the mat. Mitrione is escorted out of the gym and gets an earful
from coach Evans in one the waiting rooms.
“He flexed on me,” Evans says in amazement, as Mitrione struggles
to get through his verbal lashing. “Boy, do what you want to do. I
will beat your a--.”
Mitrione isolates himself from the rest of the cast with a game of
hoops on the court back at the house. Wes Sims takes
it upon himself to provide some comic relief, donning a back gi as
a ninja and stealthily creeps up on Mitrione from the bushes as the
others look on laughing. Sims continues to try and push Mitrione’s
buttons during a game of pool afterward, but the angry former NFLer
brushes Sims off.
On fight day, Mitrione quotes Will Ferrell from “Old School.”
“Big day -- might go to home depot…,” he says, trying to show that
he isn’t too nervous about facing the much more experienced
Junk isn’t as jovial.
“When I look at Matt, the first thing in my brain is f--- him,”
Mitrione has another puzzling moment when he tells coach Evans that
he’s spoken to his wife in his head, but assures Evans that he’s
ready to go.
“His cheese has fallen off his cracker,” Evans tells the camera
Mitrione is persona non grata at this point in the house. Both
teams have dubbed him “the Rat” and are taking bets as to when the
Rat will snap. They even create a chart and post it for all to
In the fight, Mitrione surprises all as he proceeds to drop Junk
three times in the first few minutes, while dodging most of Junk’s
early punches with ease. Mitrione lets Junk stand up numerous
times, preferring to keep it on its feet so he can unload his
hands. It looks like the fight might get called once or twice as
Mitrione grinds on Junk, who is prone on all fours. But Junk begins
to come back in the last minute as both men slow with
“Holy s---,” are the not too uncommon words from Dana White’s mouth
at the first round bell.
By the second round, both men are so spent that the pace of the
bout has all but ceased to exist. They continue to trade punches
though, and Junk takes Mitrione down before they finish on their
feet again. Though the bout is far from a glowing example of
technique, neither quits in the end.
In ten minutes, Mitrione has redeemed himself somewhat for the
previous six weeks. For a newcomer, he could teach more than a few
veterans about the value of the jab. Two of the three judges
concur, awarding Mitrione both rounds with 20-18 scores. The final
judge deems it a 19-19 draw.
Junk was one of Rampage’s top dogs, but he didn’t deliver. Jackson
storms out of the gym, but not before he decimates its door in a
tantrum of punches and kicks. The door never stood a chance.