TUF 16 and Colton Smith – The House
Editor’s Note: We know we are a little behind the times on this, but will get you caught up in a flash.
By Mr. Twisted
Last week was the premier of TUF 16, the 16th season of the UFC’s show The Ultimate Fighter. This season has what seems to be the most opposite personalities for coaches ever seen on the show. On the one side is Shane Carwin – a beast of a man/machine/athlete who is by all accounts an incredibly nice, humble guy. Opposing him is…Roy Nelson. I’m not sure how to describe Roy Nelson, but I think this picture does a fair job of summing up “Big Country.”
What is of direct interest to us, however, is the fact that a Ranger Up fighter, Ranger & Sapper, SSG Colton Smith, fought and won a shot to be on the show. He has agreed to give us a rundown every week of the happenings of each episode from an insider’s perspective, and do so in true Ranger Up/Rhino Den fashion.
Colton, you got onto the show The Ultimate Fighter, but you’re an active duty soldier. Would you care to tell us how you got the Army to allow you to be on the show? It’s been my experience that the Army has trouble letting soldiers go on a 4 day pass…
It was a long drawn out affair to get me the opportunity to be on the show. Once the UFC was all about it, the hard part was convincing the Army and my chain of command. I was also in the middle of a PCS move from Pentagon/Capitol Hill to Fort Hood. I had letters from congressional members and field grade officers but no one knew what road to go. I finally arrived in Fort Hood and LTG Campbell, Commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, gave me his blessing and the rest is history!
It’s a win for you, the Army, and for us that they signed off on that. So how about a quick recap of the first episode from your perspective. What was it like getting into the house?
They picked us up in groups from the airport and told us to be quiet – no talking or we would go home. They put us in a hotel room and took away all reading material, any personal electronics, and gave us plastics to cut weight when needed. They also instructed us that if we left our room or opened our door for any reason except a producer knocking – we would be sent home. Because I’m in the military, it wasn’t the worst situation I’ve been in, obviously, but so many what if’s came into play.
The next day was weigh-ins. We weighed in, met Dana White at the Mandalay Bay, and met our first matchups. Here’s the catch: you can’t scout your opponent or look him up, unless you know him, then you’re in the dark. My opponent was Jesse Barrett, 10-0 guy from AZ.
Okay, let’s get to what everyone watches the show for – fight time!
A lot of knockouts good submissions, and of course…the drama. I was up 11th. As Pat Berry was warming me up, I jacked my right hand up on his forehead right before I was walking out For the biggest fight of my life. I Rangered Up and decided, who cares, I’m going to wreck this guy anyway. As I was walking out, I realized I had no corner man, no one I knew with me, and Dana White and this big, empty, dark arena awaiting me. I couldn’t hide it; I was very anxious. My knees were shaking, but I knew I was prepared.
I got in there and the next thing I knew the bell rang and I was on top of my opponent. I got a lot of heat for not touching gloves, but I can assure everyone that it was not malicious – I would never do that on purpose. I controlled him for two rounds and had him in a few submissions but he was tough. I stayed on top with heavy ground and pound and won a slot – the first active duty soldier in the house! I was then chose 4th on Team Nelson and one of my Canadian Teammates, Mike Hill, was vocal about his distaste with me because I beat his “Boy” to get in the house. That’s where it ended.
We know that you can’t divulge any information about what is up-coming, so we look forward to hearing more of your commentary as the show progresses.