Daniel Spohn (Penn) v Todd Monaghan (Edgar)
The third episode of TUF Penn-Edgar painted a picture of a divided house as both teams began to settle into the fighter house. Team Penn and Team Edgar are now considered the blue and red teams and I must say that it was reassuring to see them act like true opponents. Unlike the love-fest that occurred between Team Canada and Team Australia on last seasons The Ultimate Fighter Nation, the fighters on this season have embraced the idea of competition. There is no ass-grabbing and sensitivity training with these fighters and for that I am grateful.
Some highlights from outside the ring that are worth mentioning include:
1. Hector Urbina is one angry dude. Following his loss to Cathal Pendred last week the viewers were treated to a scene where Pendred was making small-talk with Urbina about the fight. The look on Urbina’s face was priceless and he even made the comment that he “may shank” Pendred in his sleep. Well then!
2. The Preacher Man is here! Before stepping into the Octagon on this episode, devout Christian and preacher of the scripture, Todd Monaghan decided he would spread the word of Christ while sporting a gold watch and gloating about his boats, cars and shoe collection. It was a very weird scene as he stood in front of his peers talking about his back-story and how he was saved by the Lord. Now, I am not going to get into any debates around religion and I am respectful of the people who take religion serious, however, it is not easy to digest some of the dialogue Monaghan was preaching. Even his housemates walked away confused and made jokes behind his back while on the way to the gym. Let’s move on.
I really enjoy The Ultimate Fighter’s approach to highlighting each fighter prior to the actual fight. The training, coaches perspective and fighter strategy really gives the viewers an inside look into who each fighter is and what they are good at. It also allows the viewers to make some prediction about how the fight may play out.
In the first episode of this season we were treated to Daniel Spohn and his heavy hands as he landed a huge right on the bigger fighter, dropping him to the ground in horrifying fashion. Spohn, a true mixed martial artist who has studied several disciplines, appeared to be a favorite on this season and someone everybody in the house needed to watch out for. Everything BJ Penn had to say about him was positive, but I think everyone was a little confused about the approach he planned to take for this fight. A true striker with power in both hands and feet, Spohn decided it would be better to show off his ground game against a guy who arm-barred his opponent in the first episode of the season.
In the other corner sat Todd Monaghan, a big, physical specimen, who is a bit unorthodox in his fighting style. His striking is not word-class, but he does possess some good ground skills, which could’ve played right into Spohn’s strategy. Monaghan’s coach, Frankie Edgar, seemed worried about this fight and had to be very vocal in their training sessions to ensure Monaghan followed the game plan.
Round 1: Spohn lands a few nice strikes and takes Monaghan to the ground. Spohn lays on Monaghan like a beached whale. Monaghan does nothing to get to his feet and defies his coach’s instructions completely.
Round 2: See round 1.
The fight was as boring as you could imagine. While some MMA die-hards will point to good technique by Spohn to keep the fight on the ground, others who watch TUF for entertainment would be hard-pressed to say it was worth their time. Spohn moves on and takes a little wind out of his sails. And maybe that is a good thing.
Check back next week at THE FIGHT VOICE for TUF 19 recaps and discussion.