‘TUF 16’ Recap: Episode 5

By: Mike Whitman
Oct 12, 2012
The fifth episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16 begins with the same old title card, warning us the show is so totally, incredibly ultimate that we might not be able to handle it. Shall we give it a try, anyway?

Following his unanimous decision defeat to Bristol Marunde, Julian Lane is looking pretty weepy in the locker room. This is normally where I would make a pink Mohawk joke, but it turns out that one of the reasons Lane is devastated is because he was trying to make a better life for his infant daughter. In-house antics and trash talk aside, you have to feel for the guy in that moment.

Shane Carwin’s team is predictably less sad, although Marunde is sporting several deep gashes across his visage. While Roy Nelson has elected to make his team draw straws to decide who will fight when the blue squad has control, Carwin has instead decided to ask his squad who is ready to compete. Everyone raises their hands, and Carwin says he will discuss the decision with his assistant coaches before making the final call.

Back at the house, Matt Secor is prodding Lane after his loss and blowing what appears to be halitosis in the face of his nemesis. The Mohawk can take no more and smashes his half-full beer into a thousand shards before ripping off his shirt and screaming at Secor from point-blank range in an effort to start a brawl. Carwin’s protege does not bite, explaining that he has no interest in losing his opportunity of winning the show.

Nelson’s fighters appear to be losing patience with their coach the next day at the gym, citing a continual lack of organization as a point of frustration. Cameron Diffley asks for the opportunity to hold two-a-day practices, but Colton Smith defends Nelson’s approach in private, reminding viewers that Nelson has previously won the show as a contestant and knows what he is doing.

At the fight announcement, Carwin makes his selections, choosing Nelson’s Nic Herron-Webb and his own Igor Araujo. Team Carwin’s Mike Ricci then weighs in on the matchup: “Webb is just a bum in my opinion. I know Igor is going to beat him. I just hope he smashes him while he does it. I hope he makes it really nasty.”

Geez, Mike, tell us how you really feel.

Araujo gives us a little backstory prior to his training montage, revealing that he was born in Brazil but has been training at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., for the last two years. Araujo began studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2000 and had his first professional fight in 2004 so he could pay his rent. Carwin has brought in UFC veteran Eliot Marshall to help Araujo prepare for Herron-Webb’s ground game. They drill technique and bond like homies after Marshall begins speaking Portuguese.

Ricci then returns home to find his bed has been placed atop the gazebo in the backyard, presumably by Herron-Webb and his Team Nelson cohorts. The guy with the accountant’s haircut is looking like he just got audited, and he is now on the politest warpath anyone has ever seen. I smell a strongly worded letter coming. Instead, he knocks Herron-Webb’s baseball cap off his head and storms off to regain possession of his mattress. To be continued?

It is now Herron-Webb’s turn to tell us why he is such an enormous ass. Oh, wait, it’s just his backstory? Fine. He’s from Alaska. His nickname is “Naptime.” He’s created a style known as “nap-jitsu,” which he uses to “put people to sleep.” Really? Are you sure your name isn’t John Hess and you’re not here to “break people” with your S.A.F.T.A.?

Wait, this guy is fighting for his kid, too? You have got to be freaking kidding me. I’m definitely not hitting my joke quota this season.

Next, Araujo and Marunde share an emotional moment as Araujo expresses his regret that he cannot be with his children and will miss his son’s second birthday. He says it will make him stronger in one of the more legitimately badass moments we have seen this season.

The fighters finally make their way to the cage, and Araujo slips a hook and hits a double-leg takedown. Araujo pulls out of Herron-Webb’s rubber guard and passes to half before securing the mount with nearly four minutes left to work. Araujo rides Nelson’s man as he squirms across the cage and then takes Herron-Webb’s back, fishing for a rear-naked choke. Carwin’s fighter cannot find the finish but nonetheless has clearly dominated the round, with Herron-Webb offering virtually no offense for the entire five minutes.

Round two sees Araujo immediately try for a takedown and look for a straight armbar as a counter to a kimura attempt. Herron-Webb then counters the counter and ends up in Araujo’s guard, where he proceeds to pummel his foe with elbows. Araujo executes a beautiful butterfly sweep as Herron-Webb tries to pass to side control midway through the round. Herron-Webb scrambles away and ends up with a heel hook attempt. He cannot finish it, but he uses it to regain to position for the round’s final minute.

Araujo takes a majority decision on the judges’ scorecards, despite UFC President Dana White’s proclamation that it should have gone to a sudden-victory round. Carwin defends the first five minutes as a probable 10-8 frame. White vehemently disagrees with Carwin, I vehemently disagree with White and we can all agree that you cannot leave it in the hands of the judges, even when they score a dominant round correctly as a 10-8. It is “ultimate fighting,” after all.

Next week, someone apparently steals some chicken out of the fridge. No, really, that was the tease.

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