Kris McCray TUF Blog 3 June
Chuck Liddell doesn’t like to be disrespected. In this sport, backing out of a fight, especially at the UFC level, is just that – disrespect. In the opening scene of this week’s TUF episode, Chuck gets really disgruntled (great word, huh?) when Dana White tells him that the fight with Tito is off. So what does Chuck do? He walks into the hallway, right past me, and says how big of a pussy Tito is. He actually did that to me a lot. Whenever he feels like telling everyone how fucked up Tito is, it seems like I’m standing right there. I even asked him one time, “Why do you keep doing this to me? He’s my coach.” What did Chuck do? Laughed it off. That’s just the way he is I guess.
So my boy, Jamie Yager, gets to fight Josh Bryant. Was I hoping he’d avenge my loss? Hell yes, but at the same time, I’m still in the tournament and want that victory for myself. Since I’d already fought Josh I tried to prepare Jamie and tell him that Josh was there for the long haul. Josh has the gas tank of a semi-trailer, so I wanted Jamie to concentrate on winning the rounds. Jamie looked good in the first round, but then he seemed almost lost and resorted to what he knows best – kickboxing. The problem with that strategy is he gets overextended. Josh was content to sit at home and wait for Jamie to get tired and make a mistake. Josh will eat a punch to take a punch and by doing that, he dragged Jamie into the deep water until he couldn’t handle it anymore. It wasn’t just that Jamie got tired, but he was taking licks too. Those punches pull down your energy bar quick.
When it looked like Jamie couldn’t get off the stool for the third round, Saul Soliz grabbed me and said, “get his ass up out of the stool.” They didn’t show it, but they knew we were tight and wanted me to motivate him. I told Jamie that whatever decision he made he’d have to live with. He said his neck was hurt, but I think he was also physically tired. I can tell you that I didn’t want to fight a third round against Josh either, but I got up and took my beating instead of quitting. I wish he would have gotten up, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. It’s time to reap what you sow.
Tito kept calling Yager a pussy (that word got thrown around a lot in this episode) and there really wasn’t anything I could say because Tito’s our coach, so I kept my mouth shut. What’s worse is I knew Jamie was going to get an earful from all the guys in the house that didn’t like him. Nick Ring, Hammortree, Kacey…everyone as going to give it to him and it started right away. Even while Jamie was being taken to the hospital the guys were bad mouthing him on the van ride back to the house. It was crazy, but of course, the drama wasn’t over yet.
The next day we learned that we were losing our coach, Tito Ortiz. I had mixed feelings about that. We had a week left and I wanted him to stay, but I was focused too. It didn’t really mater to me who my coach was, but at the same time I had been training with Tito for five weeks so it shook me up a little. It sucks, but what can you do? That decision was made WAY above my pay grade. When I look back on it, it might have been a good thing. Team Punishment was arguing among each other so much that maybe it was a good thing because we needed someone else to get us in order for the final week. Tito came to the house to say goodbye and you could see he was upset, so it all worked out.
Rich Franklin was named as our new coach and I have to tell you, he’s pretty cool. He’s a BIG 185-pounder, man. We rolled that evening and I learned a lot from him. He also earned a lot of respect by not dogging Tito out. That went a long way with us.
So I found out I’m fighting Josh Bryant again. Sweet! The Savage wants REVENGE! Be sure to tune in next week for that.
I’ll let you in on a secret – the producers left out a few cool things. They’re not showing what was going on in the house at this time at all. See, no one washes the dishes in the house and they pile up almost every day. So we had this game like a skeet shoot where people threw the dishes in the air and we threw rocks at them. It was fun as hell. Also Brad Tavares stole a 45-pound plate from the gym and we played water rugby with it in the pool. Good times.