By Thomas Gerbasi
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Team Rashad has jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. Can Team Rampage get on the board this week?
As the episode opens, Team Rashad’s Matt Mitrione jams his shoulder during practice, but keeps training.
“I have the old football mentality where if it hurts, suck it up,” said Mitrione, who wants a cortisone shot after practice. Coach Evans isn’t too thrilled about the idea though.
Team Rampage’s Marcus Jones wants to fight next, even making his case to Team Rashad to pick him for the upcoming bout. Jones’ eagerness doesn’t brighten the mood of coach Quinton Jackson, who is impatient for his team to dig out of their 0-4 hole. He isn’t too confident that the last pick of the competition, Zak Jensen will be the one to do it though.
I really need to work on my ground game,” admits Jensen. “If I get on my back, I freak out and get frustrated.”
Things aren’t going much better for Jensen in the house, where he has become the focus of jokes from both teams, and back in the gym he even gets put to sleep while grappling with his main tormentor, Wes Sims.
Mitrione returns to the gym the next day with plastic wrap keeping his shoulder in place, but he says he feels better and is ready to fight. His coach believes he’s a ‘drama king’, and he has a heart to heart talk with him about the upcoming fight, with Evans and his staff believing that he’s not ready for active duty yet. Team Rashad feels the same way, questioning whether he’s really as hurt as he says he is.
“I just want to see Matt fight,” said Brendan Schaub. “I think it will answer a lot of questions.”
Schaub doesn’t get his wish though, as Team Rashad picks Justin Wren, a Travis Lutter protégé, to face Team Rampage’s Wes Sims, a UFC veteran.
“We need this,” said Rampage of the bout. “We need to turn this thing around.”
The choice of matchup doesn’t sit well with Jones, who believes Evans gave him his word that he was going to fight.
6 foot 3 Wren (8-1) weighs in at 247.5 for the bout; the 6 foot 10 Sims (22-12-1) checks in at 251, yet despite Sims height and reach advantage, Wren closes the distance immediately and bulls Sims into the fence. After a brief stalemate, Sims gets loose, but Wren moves in again, this time getting the takedown. Within moments, Wren locks in an arm triangle and soon, Sims goes to sleep, forcing referee Herb Dean to halt the bout. Your winner by submission, Justin Wren.
“I don’t know what happened to Wes since the last time he fought in the UFC, but he got choked out quick and went right to sleep,” said UFC President Dana White. “I was very impressed with Justin Wren.”
Again, Rampage doesn't enter the Octagon to see his fighter after a loss, prompting Evans to get into it with his coaching rival again about not supporting his team. After a heated discussion, Jackson walks away, but you know it's not the end of this conversation or feud.
With the win, Team Rashad improves to a perfect 5-0. Here’s how the teams stand after episode five:
TEAM RASHAD (5-0)
James McSweeney 1-0
Brendan Schaub 1-0
Justin Wren 1-0
Jon Madsen 1-0
Roy Nelson 1-0
TEAM RAMPAGE (0-5)
Kimbo Slice – Eliminated on episode three by Roy Nelson
Abe Wagner – Eliminated on episode one by Jon Madsen
Demico Rogers – Eliminated on episode four by Brendan Schaub
Wes Sims – Eliminated on episode five by Justin Wren
Wes Shivers – Eliminated on episode two by James McSweeney
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.