TUF Recap: Hooters, Hester and Jimmy the Cop
Two teams of TUF fighters drinking at a Hooters? You might think this won’t end well. It doesn’t, if you don’t like watching large men dance without shirts on. But that’s for later.
First, Team Jones gets together in the locker room to enjoy Josh Samman’s victory over Tor Troeng, and they discuss Bubba McDaniel’s hope for the wild card slot and Uriah Hall’s behavior in the last episode. Collin Hart didn’t care for Hall’s smack talk. “I had to bite my lip to just not fight him right there,” Hart says.
In the Team Sonnen locker room, the guys are already talking about the upcoming Jimmy Quinlan vs. Clint Hester matchup. “To be honest, Clint was a matchup I wanted from day one. So to actually get that it’s almost like a relief,” Quinlan says.
Each team always thinks their guy is going to win. We’ve seen it time and again over the years on TUF. It goes for coaches too. If a favorite is picked to fight one of the later picks, the coach of the underdog will claim he loves the matchup. Team Jones loves the matchup — even more than Quinlan does.
“Jimmy’s not gonna know what happened when Clint hits him,” Adam Cella says. Josh Samman adds, “He’s going to be so scared to strike with Clint.” Hester thinks he’ll find a way to thwart Quinlan’s grappling and score a $5k bonus in the process. So yes — both teams just love the matchup.
The fighters get a night out away from the house, visiting Hooters in Vegas. “It was pretty cool to, you know, just see some girls and just talk to someone that isn’t one of the other 13 guys in the house,” Jimmy Quinlan says. Also, it’s a good opportunity to do shots, take your shirt off and dance. At least for Gilbert Smith. He bounces his pecs for some adoring waitresses, then puts on a Hooters tank top. After a little more dancing, Smith rips off the tank top a la Hulk Hogan. “I think it gave everybody a laugh,” Smith said. Laugh, creeps…whichever.
Everyone got a laugh except Uriah Hall. While both teams got together to pose for a picture with the Hooters girls, Hall sat alone at a nearby table not wanting any part of it. “He’s a very self-righteous person and he’s a jerk,” Collin Hart said. “I hope I get to be the one to get a piece of him.”
Quinlan gets in some quality training with Sonnen and talks about how he sees the fight going, as well as how intimidating his opponent Clint Hester looks. “He’s a pretty scary looking dude. Like, dreadlocks, huge dude, ripped. If I didn’t know him I’d look at him and be like ‘Holy (blank)'”, Quinlan says. He also talks about being a cop in a small town and that the only reason he bought a decent cellphone is so he could watch You Tube during long overnight shifts.
Sonnen gives his team a really nice pep talk. Between his loving, paternal coaching style and his congeniality to Jones, we’re left to wonder if he should change his nickname from the “West Linn Gangster” to the “West Linn Gentleman”. We expected Sonnen to try and get in Jones’ head and continually crack wise for the cameras. Neither has happened yet. There has been none of the standard tension between the coaches this year, and that’s been a surprise. But also surprising is just how much Sonnen cares about his team, and how much he seems to enjoy it. It’s been fun to watch.
Both fighters make weight and it’s on to the fight. “I’m coming to let my hands fly, and I’m coming to win,” Hester says. Quinlan knows his approach too. “My game plan is just to put pressure on Clint right from the beginning. Can I put Clint’s back on the cage before he puts his fists on my face?” Quinlan says.
Quinlan wastes no time trying to implement his game plan — to get Hester to the mat. He eats a solid jab and shoots on Hester, picks him up and slams him to the ground. Hester is able to escape and lands some loud punches and elbows. Quinlan keeps working to put Hester flat on his back, but he’s paying for it in the process.
Hester is able to turn Quinlan into the cage, and he gets him in a guillotine, but Quinlan is able to wriggle loose. Quinlan eats a few more of Hester’s punches and latches on to a single-leg like it’s a rope on the edge of a cliff. He’s hanging on for dear life. Hester is getting creative in landing strikes while Quinlan is in this position. Hester is able to get out of that, but Quinlan scoops him right back up and puts him on the floor again. Quinlan can’t do much with the position, and Hester should get that round.
Hester surprises everyone when he shoots his own double-leg to start round two. Quinlan gets Hester to the ground and gets full mount. Hester turns into it and Quinlan takes his back with hooks in. Quinlan softens him up with a few punches, sinks in a choke and Hester taps quickly. Just like that, Jon Jones’ top pick is out.
The next fight is Dylan Andrews vs. Zak Cummings, the last prelim fight of the season. And we’ll see you here next week for another TUF recap.