Friday, April 6, 2007

The Ultimate Fighter 5 – Episode One Recap

By Thomas Gerbasi

For the fifth season of any television series, sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up a bit. Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter series is no exception, and within minutes of the start of the season premiere, one of the two coaches for TUF5, BJ Penn, decided to take matters into his own hands.
After a recap of the history between Pulver, the UFC’s first lightweight champion, and Penn, the man Pulver beat in a memorable bout in 2002, as well as fighter evaluations by both, UFC President Dana White brought the two together to pick teams from amongst 16 up and coming lightweights competing for a UFC contract.

Pulver won the opening coin toss and opted to select the first fight of the competition, leaving Penn to make the first pick from the fighter pool. Pretty cut and dried, but nothing’s cut and dried with ‘The Prodigy’.

“If any of you here know for a complete fact that you want to be on my team and you don’t want nothing to do with Jens Pulver’s team, raise your hand,” said Penn, immediately throwing the fighter selection phase into disarray as 10 of the 16 fighters rose their hands. It was a move that visibly irritated Pulver, who agreed to go with this orthodox method of picking teams, much to the chagrin of White, who, after repeated insistences to Penn, finally got him to make one pick, Gray Maynard. Pulver selected 6 foot 4 Corey Hill, and the race was on.

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