The Ultimate Fighter – Season 11, Episode 2

In which the teams are chosen and the fighting begins.

If you’ll recall last week, 14 fighters earned their way into the house.  This week the show begins with Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz picking their respective 7 man teams.

Tito chooses to pick first, giving control of the first fight to Chuck.

The picks are made, and on paper at least, Tito has the better draft.  Even Dana White pulls Liddell aside to ask him what he was thinking by picking the guys he did.  Chuck looks on sagely, indicating he has a plan.

Then he picks the first fight.

It will be Kyle Noke (Team Liddell) taking on Clayton McKinney (Team Ortiz).  And yes, I fonted half of McKinney’s name green because half of his head is green.

McKinney spends most of the episode complaining about a shoulder injury.  Medical exam reveals no tears, rather an accumulation of fluid in the shoulder.  Tito rides McKinney hard in practice trying to get him ready for his fight.

Speaking of Ortiz, we get to meet the kinder gentler Tito this week.  He buys his team shoes, lamenting the fact that several have none.  He brings in a Liddell pinata filled with singles to celebrate his birthday with the team.  Tito looks much less “bad boy” in this episode and its a pleasant change from the antics of Rampage Jackson last season.

We’re also introduced to the season’s “villain” in the person of Jamie Yager.  He’s loud.  He’s obnoxious.  He also nearly decapitated Ben Stark with a kick to earn his way into the house.  If he can back up his mouth with his feet, he’s going to be a force to reckon with.

Then, its fight time.

It turns out not to be much of a fight.  Noke, a former bodyguard for Steve Irwin, takes the victory with a triangle choke in the closing seconds of the first round.

McKinney is frustrated and sulks away from the Octagon with Ortiz calling after him.  He eventually returns.  Ortiz then attempts to show McKinney the proper way to defend agains the triangle.  McKinney is petulant, but eventually does what his coach asks him to do.

Control stays with Liddell for the next fight.  Let’s see if Chuck is as cerebral as Dana White seems to think he is.

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