The Ultimater Fighter 3: Ed Herman vs. Kendall Grove
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
On Saturday night, I watched a bunch of big dudes beat the crap out of each other. That's right, it's The Ultimate Fighter on SpikeTV. The exhausting three-hour finale of The Ultimate Fighter 3 was held in front of a live audience in Las Vegas on Saturday night and I was there on my couch to witness the raw power and emotion that was on display. On the card that night were four fights: Keith Jardine Vs. Wilson Gouveia, Josh Haynes vs. Michael Bisping, Sam Stout vs. Kenny Florian, and Kendall Grove vs. Ed Herman. They were mostly good fights, somewhat evenly matched (except for the Haynes/Bisping battle: Bisping absolutely destroyed him), and featured some inspiring performances. My favorite match that night was easily the Grove/Herman middleweight fight.
Kendall "The Spider" Grove is a six foot six, 185 pound, gangily freak of nature. Hawaiian, and looks it, his almost disturbingly skinny body is adorned with a number of indecipherable tattoos. Ed "Short Fuse" Herman is smaller and stouter, Irish-looking with his bright red hair and pale features. He gives off an arrogant vibe in the taped interviews, and, as a result, I'm now rooting against him.
Round 1 begins and our color commentator this evening is none other than the C-list king himself, Joe Rogan. According to my brother, Rogan (host of "Fear Factor") recently called out Wesley Snipes and challenged him to a fight in the Octagon. And he accepted. I have no idea how this could be true. Then I remember that Snipes last four films have gone straight-to-video. Oh, Wesley. How the mighty have fallen.
Anyway, the round begins and Rogan quickly proclaims that Short Fuse wants to get this fight to the ground. And, after Kendall knees him in the head, he does just that The last four minutes of Round 1 are spent on the mat, Ed on top of Kendall, Ed connecting with an occasional punch to the face and Kendall trying to get up. That's it. Round over, with Ed taking the points.
Round 2 starts and we're soon on the ground again, but with Kendall in control. He goes for a "triangle" submission, which is how Famke Jannsen's character killed people in the Bond movie "Goldeneye". Ed breaks free but only to find himself on the vulnerable end of what Rogan tactfully calls the "north-south" position (really 69-ing). Ed takes a number of brutal knees to the skull. I realize that if I entered the octagon with either of these guys it would be a massive upset if I didn't die. Both Kendall and Ed are putting forth ridiculous effort here, going in and out of different positions on the ground. In the last minute of the fight, Ed turns the tables and puts Kendall in the Famke-triangle, but to no avail. The round ends, points to Kendall.
The third and final round commences with a sexy but ineffective "flying knee" from Kendall. Soon after, they're back on the ground. Both fighters are completely gassed, but keep going. Eventually Ed gets the upper hand, landing some head punches while on top of Kendall. This goes on, Ed winning the round until the last minute, when Kendall miraculously flips Ed over. He hits him a few times and, with thirty seconds remaining, gets Ed with a "rear-naked choke hold" (definitely the most homo-erotic of choke holds). Somehow, without passing out, Ed survives the last thirty seconds in the choke, not submitting, and bell rings. What a fight. Both guys put forth maximum effort and either could have given up at numerous times. The last round is tough to call. Do you give to Ed, who was in control for most of it? Or to Kendall for the choke hold? Both deserve it.
The judges decision comes in and Kendall wins, two rounds to one. He gets the six-figure UFC contract. Ed will likely head back to Portland. All around, a good night of entertainment and a great precursor to UFC 61 on July 8 which features the much anticipated rematch between Tito Ortiz and the ageless Ken Shamrock. See you there.