Down 0-3 in the competition, Team Koscheck needs a jolt of energy and / or inspiration to get them on the board, and coach Josh Koscheck believes he has the answer in welterweight contender Jon Fitch.
“The team is awesome and they have a great mentality,” said Fitch, who spars with the lightweight hopefuls. “The hardest thing to coach are people with bad attitudes. Give me a guy with no talent, out of shape, but who listens over a talented guy who thinks he knows everything and won’t listen.”
Back at the house, Team GSP’s Alex Caceres is starting off prank season, replacing Nam Phan’s fabric softener with bleach. Unfortunately, Michael Johnson used it for his own wash.
“It’s completely immature,” said Johnson, who says that the whole house is already sick of the fighter known as “Bruce Leeroy”.
In the gym, coach Georges St-Pierre has brought in his own guest trainer in French Muay Thai trainer Jean Charles Skarbowsky.
“He’s a character, so please be careful,” warns St-Pierre.
“What Georges is trying to tell you is that this could be the best experience of your life, or the worst,” laughs assistant coach John Danaher.
Skarbowsky lives up to his reputation, throwing his sparmates around while delivering some jarring blows.
“Sparring with Jean Charles is awesome,” said Caceres, “but at the same time, it sucks.”
For this week’s fight, St-Pierre chooses Spencer Paige to take on Team Koscheck’s Nam Phan, but before the opening bell, it’s time for another special visitor to enter the gym, UFC Hall of Famer Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell, who fills Koscheck’s squad in on life in the fight game.
“Don’t forget to enjoy what you do,” said Liddell. “If you don’t like this, it’s not the job for you. Train hard, train smart, and enjoy it. Have fun.”
In the Paige-Phan bout, neither fighter wastes any time getting down to business, as they trade strikes at a fast clip. Paige’s kicks give him an early edge, one nullified by a straight right to the face by Phan. After settling down, Paige assumes control again behind a crisp striking game, but Phan keeps pushing forward, making sure that he gets his licks in as well. With under two minutes left, Phan catches a Paige kick and flips his opponent to the mat. Phan pounces immediately with ground strikes before locking up his arm towards the end of the round. Paige is in obvious pain, but the bell intervenes and saves him.
Energized, Phan moves in for the finish as soon as the second starts, and he rocks Paige briefly with a body shot. Paige shakes it off and keeps firing back, but he’s visibly winded, and the continued body shots aren’t helping matters. Two minutes in, Phan gets Paige back to the mat and he starts firing knees to the body until his opponent stands up. Phan retains control on the feet and seals the unanimous decision victory with his aggressive attack.
With the win, Team Koscheck gets on the board and now trails Team GSP 3-1 in the competition, but they now take control of the fight picks. Here’s how the teams look:
Michael Johnson 1-0
Spencer Paige – Eliminated on episode five by Nam Phan
Alex Caceres 1-0
Kyle Watson 1-0
Andrew Main – Eliminated on episode four by Kyle Watson
Nam Phan 1-0
Aaron Wilkinson – Eliminated on episode three by Michael Johnson
Jeffrey Lentz – Eliminated on episode two by Alex Caceres
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.
TUF 12 Episode Five Recap
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – UFC royalty comes to the gym on this week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck. Will these stars be able to help Josh Koscheck get his team back on track?