By Thomas Gerbasi
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Marcus Jones is Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s last hope to get to the second round of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. Can he get past Team Rashad’s Mike Wessel, a UFC vet looking to get the clean sweep for his squad?
As this week’s episode opens, Jackson – frustrated over his team’s seventh straight loss – takes his anger out on a door in the gym, tearing it to pieces.
“The last thing you want to be on the set of The Ultimate Fighter is a door,” laughs UFC President Dana White. “There’s no future being a door here.”
“Rampage is a clown,” said Evans. “Why would you get mad and tear down a door when you haven’t shown that much interest in your team anyway?”
Back at the house, Matt Mitrione and Scott Junk are banged up after their two round fight, and Team Rashad’s Mitrione, the winner, hits the sack early to rest up, making it the perfect opportunity for Team Rampage’s Wes Sims to try and wake him up. But after Mitrione makes it clear that he’s in no shape for joking around, Sims leaves him alone.
The next day, Jackson tries to get his last soldier – Jones – ready for battle. Luckily Jones is fighting Wessel and not the scorpion that rattled him while in the house.
Meanwhile, Wessel has his own issues to deal with, as his wife had recently undergone cancer surgery, and he’s unsure of how she’s doing on a daily basis.
“That’s the only person I truly care to see right now,” he said. “But this is the price you’ve got to pay if you want to be great.”
Jones, a former NFL player, is amped up for the fight and he’s loving every moment of learning new techniques in the gym. Of course, that doesn’t make him immune to pranks, and when Brendan Schaub draws a picture of him and puts it on the window in the house, Jones isn’t too happy. Schaub admits to drawing the picture, letting Jones know that he didn’t write the offensive remarks on the bottom of the picture. Wessel did though, giving Jones even more incentive to win.
At the weigh-in for the fight, Jackson gets into it again with Darrill Schoonover, and the two have to be separated. Next it’s time for the real fight, as Wessel (6-0, 260) takes on Jones (6-6, 262).
Referee Josh Rosenthal calls the fighters into action, and Wessel closes the distance and looks to brawl. Seconds later the fight hits the mat, and Jones immediately takes control, locking in an armbar that forces Wessel to verbally submit, giving Team Rampage their first and only win of the opening round of the competition.
White immediately gets the two coaches together and they begin the process of determining the quarterfinal matchups, which gets even more interesting considering that three of the four matchups will pit members of Team Rashad against each other.
Here are the quarterfinal bouts:
Roy Nelson vs Justin Wren
Brendan Schaub vs Jon Madsen
James McSweeney vs Matt Mitrione
Marcus Jones vs Darrill Schoonover
With this week’s win, Team Rampage finally got on the board. But the final tally for the opening round is clearly in Team Rashad’s favor, 7-1. And in a fitting end to the first round of action, it’s Rampage and Rashad jawing at each other again.
Here’s how the teams stand as they head into the quarterfinals:
TEAM RASHAD (7-1)
James McSweeney 1-0
Brendan Schaub 1-0
Justin Wren 1-0
Jon Madsen 1-0
Roy Nelson 1-0
Darrill Schoonover 1-0
Matt Mitrione 1-0
Mike Wessel – Eliminated on episode eight by Marcus Jones
TEAM RAMPAGE (1-7)
Kimbo Slice – Eliminated on episode three by Roy Nelson
Abe Wagner – Eliminated on episode one by Jon Madsen
Demico Rogers – Eliminated on episode four by Brendan Schaub
Wes Sims – Eliminated on episode five by Justin Wren
Scott Junk – Eliminated on episode seven by Matt Mitrione
Wes Shivers – Eliminated on episode two by James McSweeney
Marcus Jones 1-0
Zak Jensen – Eliminated on episode six by Darrill Schoonover
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.