This week, Gabe continues to support his team. From day one, everyone on Team Penn was willing to fight whoever the team decided on. BJ wasn’t taking the role of a coach as much as a team mate. Nate Diaz had an absolute war with Emerson last week, and we knew he would be one of Team Pulver’s tougher guys. Gabe pushed for Emerson to fight Diaz saying it would help the team, and then he talks to BJ on the side and is saying wants to fight Wayne Weems, one of the guys we thought to be the weakest on Team Pulver. He didn’t bring it up to the team at all, he went right to BJ under the radar of the team and was trying to influence BJ into saying it was a good matchup for him. Gabe was trying to use his weight as an excuse. “My weight is going to be an issue and it will be tough to make the weight, so I should have the easiest fight. Someone has to fight Weems, it should be me.” Gabe’s weight was an issue because he didn’t come in prepared. I got banged up pretty good in training, with a sprained ankle and I also reinjured my wrist that I had hurt shortly before coming out. Having me fight Weems would have made more sense, as I wasn’t getting an easier fight because I didn’t prepare, but because of injuries that happened while on the show. I was also fully prepared to fight their toughest guy if thats what the team wanted, injured or not. Everyone gets banged up, but you still go out there and take care of business. Gabe wanted Emerson to face their toughest guy and then he was trying to get their weakest. It didn’t sit well with the team, Emerson in particular. Emerson called him on it, and the only thing Gabe could say was “Someone has to do it”. This just further divides Gabe from the team, on top of starting fights with people, missing practices and everything else.
We kind of knew that Brandon had banged up his foot, but we didn’t know how bad it was. I didn’t know he was missing practices to the extent this weeks episode showed. Brandon was one of the biggest guys in the house, and we knew that he was ging to have a tough time making the weight. We kind of knew that Brandon was going to be fighting for this team pick, because we could see him eating less and putting more time in with the sauna. He was in the sauna almost every single night. Gabe had been playing head games with Brandon calling him “Menendez” and trying to influence Team Pulver into having Brandon fight him. It ended up not working out, and Team Pulver chose Wang to fight Brandon.
This weeks episode should have been called “Choosing to win, or choosing to lose”. We had noticed in training, that Andy doesn’t listen very well. And by very well, I mean at all. Andy gets tunnel vision gets it set in his mind what he wants to do, and does it. He cares more about acting like a Samurai and “leaving it all in the cage” than he does about winning. To me, thats just dumb. I understand wanting to have a good showing, but your top priority needs to be to win. Andy has spent years and countless hours training BJJ and has a black belt in it, but he always wants to brawl.He does in training to an extent, but its much worse when he fights. Gabe had cornered for Andy a few times prior to the show, and he warned us in advance what Andy was going to do: Brawl and ignore his corner. During Andy’s fight, our corner was screaming: “Get the takedown, get the takedown!” Before his fight we tried to beat into Andy that his whole strategy was to get the takedown. There is no sense in fighting someone with longer reach, thats much larger, thats a southpaw and a better striker in a brawl, when you are leaps and bounds ahead of them on the ground. Its just not smart, and even when Andy knew he was losing the standup, he continued to brawl instead of doing the smart thing and taking the fight to the ground. Andy chose to lose the fight, so thats why he didn’t get a whole lot of sympathy from us after the fight. It sucks that he lost, but he knew what he was going when he went in there and refused to fight where he had the best chance. In a fight, anything can happen, but Andy chose to swim up stream instead of down.
Andy willingly gave his fight away. It sucks to say, but its the truth. It sucks for our team because its not just Andy losing, its Team Pulver having control of another fight. So far they knocked off 4 of our guys… at this point all we can hope to do is break even and sweep them for the last four, but it’s not going to be easy when Team Pulver has control of all the fights. 4-0 is a horrible start, and not a good representation of our team… but we have to deal with it and move on.