It’s time for us give you our picks for the Ranger Up...
Colton Smith and TUF: Week 11
By Mr. Twisted
While the last fight of Colton’s that we covered was a bloody mess (losing the first round and coming back in such a devastating fashion in the second that there was no need for a third), his next fight was pure domination from start to finish. Igor Araujo, his opponent, simply could not deal with the superior wrestling of SSG Smith and his willingness to move further, faster, and fight harder than any other fighter. The young Ranger owned the fight from start to finish and never left a doubt about his ability to control the cage.
He dominated so well that, to be honest, there wasn’t much to discuss with him about the fight itself. So, instead, I had a couple other questions regarding being in the house and his life, in general.
Mr. Twisted: “Colton, by this point in the series, there has been several guests come by. Who sticks out in your mind that you learned the most from?”
CS: “Rashad Evans and the Scrap Pack—the Diaz brothers and Jake Shields—were awesome coaches that I learned a ton from.”
Mr. T: “You mean….as in Nate and Nick Diaz? Are we talking about the same guys?”
CS: “Haha. Yeah, believe it or not, they were both fantastic. Whatever negative view I may have had of the Diaz brothers is gone. They were phenomenal coaches and thoroughly enjoyed teaching, training, and sharing tips on fighting. They are both in incredible shape at all times and live the life of true world class athletes. A lot of guys talk about being athletes—they live it. Off camera they are as humble and gracious as could possibly be; they’ll talk for hours on any number of subjects if asked a question.”
Mr. T: “That’s surprising, given their public persona, but also good to hear. And Rashad Evans?”
CS: “I learned a ton from him. His advice for the cage was invaluable and, given that he’s wrestler, very helpful to my game, specifically. He’s a very smart guy and was more than willing to share as much knowledge as he possibly could.”
Mr. T: “Completely and totally switching gears to a new topic here… I see you on Twitter consistently retweeting Joel Osteen quotes and others that relate to a Christian belief. How important is that to you as a person and your path as a soldier and a fighter?”
CS: “Being a Christian is first and foremost in my life. Everything I do is a result of that, as I feel called to represent Christ in all that I do. Regardless of how it affects my public persona, that is what is most important. From Ranger School to deployments and fighting on The Ultimate Fighter, it has helped me through some trying times.
“This will probably never be seen on the show, but every night while we were in the house, I held a Bible study. Do you know who was there for it more than anyone else? Julian Lane. Nobody who watches the show will ever see that side of him. The cameras were there for all of it but that will probably never air.”
Mr. T: “That’s because you weren’t punching holes in walls amidst a drunken haze. Unfortunately, the producers probably think it’s boring TV if you’re acting like a respectable person.”
CS: “Yeah, but I do it anyway. I truly believe that God calls each one of us with specific talents to lead a certain life. Whether that’s as a writer or a soldier or an athlete, we have gifts we should be using. I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be right now. I’ve been blessed with this opportunity, for sure.”
Colton shows a lot of wisdom for his age, and it is paying off inside the cage, as well. He has all the right tools in his tool box necessary to take him the distance on the show, and that includes the ever-elusive quality of mental fortitude—something that can’t necessarily be taught. The Army has a lot to be proud of in SSG Smith, and the MMA community has a lot to look forward to in his future, as it looks bright, indeed.
December 7’s episode will be the two semi-final matchups that will determine who fights for the prize of being crowned the Ultimate Fighter season 16 champion on December 15. Given Colton’s performance in the last two fights, it is highly unlikely that it will be boring to watch. While he was not allowed to use a samurai sword or “the force” to choke people out in his fights, rest assured that he regularly follows the creed of energetically meeting his opponents and making it fun to watch.
Seriously, the guy has the energy of a Motival addict. I hope they’re not testing for that, yet…
One final note: After the show last night, he is scheduled to fight Jon Manley who won his fight on last night’s episode. It is scheduled to be the first fight on next Friday night.