The second episode of “Fight Master” opens up with a short intro on the four coaches and the fighters that won last week. This week 12 men will battle for six more of the 16 total spots in the house.
The smack-talking between the coaches intensified this episode as all four men turned the entire show into a pissing contest of accomplishments. It made for some comical exchanges and seemed to entertain all that were viewing, possibly even swaying some fighters in their coaching decisions.
The action inside the cage picked up as well in this episode. While there were obvious mismatches, the winners all looked very impressive.
Mike Dubois vs. Rob Mills
The first UK fighter of the show makes his appearance as Mills takes on the American, “Zombie” Mike. Dubois talks about how he received his moniker as Mills comments about his affinity for striking.
A few punches are exchanged to start the fight before Dubois finds himself in a deep arm-in guillotine. Showing his zombie-like resilience, he fights through it and returns fire in the form of some decent ground-and-pound. After softening his opponent, Dubois then latches on to a tight standing guillotine of his own and his opponent has no defense to offer. “Zombie” Mike wins by rear-naked choke.
Dubois goes to his coaching decision and, like last week, the coaches are presented with a series of questions. Frank Shamrock took the opportunity to fire a stiff jab at Jackson by letting everyone know Jackson is the only coach with zero actual fight experience. This appeared to take some air out of the inflated Jackson ego as he looked relatively uncomfortable after the comment. Shamrock apparently succeeded, as Dubois opts to learn from Shamrock.
Tom Gallicchio vs. Eric Bradley
Gallicchio comes off as a little aloof in his pre-fight introduction while Bradley, who Randy Couture accurately compares to “Animal from the Muppets”, is a two-time All-American wrestling standout with some very good hands.
The wrestler uses all of his very diverse game to dominate Gallicchio. Bradley’s aggressive striking and transitions to his take-downs are too much for his opponent. Bradley takes a unanimous decision and talks about overcoming many personal issues, including a prison stint just a year ago. Having previously trained with Couture, he decides to try something new and goes with Jackson as his mentor for the coming weeks.
Brett Nakamura vs. Evan Cutts
Nakamura, the Hawaiian, opens with heavy combinations and looks impressive until grappling comes into play. After looking like a juggernaut on the feet, Nakamura looks to be amateur at best when trying to fend off his opponent in a quick grappling exchange. Cutts easily and painlessly takes the inferior grappler’s back. Cutts wins by rear naked choke early in the fight. All coaches appear unsure of the young man, who they think didn’t show much in the short, but dominant, fight with Nakamura. Cutts, who originally intended on picking Jackson, instead goes with Warren and his wrestling credentials.
Cole Williams vs. Joe Williams
Joe Williams talks of his love for both God and hurting people as he says he wants “to beat people up and glorify God while doing it”. The other Williams talks about the important role his girlfriend plays in his career.
Each man is a very accomplished wrestler and the two engage in a serious exchange all over the cage. The first and second rounds are extremely close and the judges decide a third round is necessary. The men go into a wild back-and-forth third round until Cole flattens his opponent with a right hand and keeps the upper-hand to the end of the third. Cole Williams takes the decision after the sudden death round and seeks the tutelage of Couture, who is very happy with the choice when he remarks his new student “has a ton of tools”.
Jacob Ortiz vs. Jason Norwood
West Point graduate Norwood is a tank of a wrestler and looked every bit the part in the first round. With power punching and aggressive take-downs, he handily takes the first round. The second round, however, he slows the pace just enough to allow Ortiz to get off some of his own offense. Still, the resistance is limited as Norwood then gets back on track and cruises to a decision and then decides to go with Joe Warren, who the coaches agree has a very similar style to the West Point wrestler.
Cristiano Souza vs. Steve Montgomery
Coconut Creek residents and training partners unluckily draw each other in the preliminary round. The two start by trading standing strikes and utilizing footwork. Souza, the capoeira fighter, then uncorks a mean left hand that staggers Montgomery. He follows up with more heavy shots and finishes with devastating ground-and-pound to earn the stoppage. Following the fight, he is emotional as he talks about fighting a friend and training partner to get on the show. Souza, who looks like a very promising talent, then decides to go with Couture as his coach for the show.
Next week features the remaining 10 fighters competing for the last five spots on the show. Of particular interest is longtime UFC mainstay Joe Riggs, who looks to make a return to MMA significance. Can he make it out of the preliminary round? Tune in next Wednesday and find out.
Front-page photo credit: Bellator