Recap: The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, episode 3

Team UK's Colin "Freak Show" Fletcher has his arm raised in victory after a two-round war with Team Australia's Ben "The Manimal" Wall.
Team UK's Colin "Freak Show" Fletcher has his arm raised in victory after a two-round war with Team Australia's Ben "The Manimal" Wall.

Welcome back here to the MCG for the Third Test between Australia and ... hang on a minute, this is the Smashes, not the Ashes. It's where Bodyline is encouraged, the sport where a box is a cup — but hitting your opponent's balls is frowned upon. Go figure.

We begin on a sad note for Team Australia, as we relive Ben "The Manimal" Wall's crushing defeat at the hands of the Freak Show, our public enemy number one. The Freak Show is cocky. He dresses like a geriatric clown. He turned a poster of Team Australia coach George Sotiropoulos into something that looked like a cross between Freddy Mercury and Captain Jack Sparrow.

He labelled Ben Wall – the quiet, likeable, happy go-lucky bloke that the Manimal is – a miserable old man. He nicknamed him Fox Piss. And he beat him.

So ... what's the Freak Show got to say for himself now?

"I've got a new-found massive respect for Ben after that fight. He took some outstanding knees to the face. I'm very surprised. My hat goes off to Ben, he's a tough kid. I would like to hope that I could take as many knees to the face and keep on fighting ... but, well done Fox Piss, I'll start calling you Ben from now on, I take it back."

Bugger. I'm starting to like the Freak Show.

First on George Sotiropoulos's agenda is payback. You can't get turned into a gay pirate and let that go unpunished now, can you?

Team Australia has a cunning plan prepared ... they're going to put Team UK coach Ross Pearson's head on the body of Arianny Celeste.

Is there anyone else out there thinking that is a MASSIVE improvement?

"Definitely looking forward to seeing the Poms' faces, I think very interesting times ahead in the pranking," Team Australia welterweight Benny Alloway says excitedly.

Sorry Benny, but I'm tipping the Team UK boys won't even see Ross's head ... when it's attached to a life-sized version of the body of one of the sexiest women in the world!

While the Aussies are busy failing miserably in the Pranking World Cup, Team UK has decided to venture outdoors for its training session. Unfortunately, Sydney has managed to turn on a cold, rainy, miserable day. The Team UK boys feel right at home. Bad news for the Aussies.

"The weather today was shocking. It reminded me of home," says Team UK welterweight Brad "Captain Obvious" Scott. In case you're wondering ... no, he doesn't coach the Kangaroos. But if he did, he'd say something really obvious like "gee we need to find someone to back up Drew Petrie in our forward line or else we'll never make it past the first week of finals" ... or something just as obvious.

Back in the gym, and George Sotiropoulos – sans twirly moustache, eyepatch and nipple ring – is singing the praises of his charges.

"They're a great bunch of guys. They're working work. They've got the best attitudes I've ever come across," he says.

Unfortunately, the rest of Team Australia is instead focused on Ross Pearson's (or are they Arianny Celeste's?) hot pants.

"It turned out better than what we thought," Aussie coach "Big" Nick Kara says as he gazes at Ross Pearson's neck, which is actually wider than Arianny Celeste's shoulders. Hate to think what a bad effort would have looked like. "A picture says a thousand words, yeah? I think that says a few more than that." You said it better than I could have, Big Nick.

The Aussies kindly draw some arrows on the ground so Team UK won't miss the fact that the three-metre tall poster that EVERYONE LOOKS AT EVERY DAY has been covered up with a big black sheet.

They remove the sheet ... and ...

"Arianny makes me look like I need a tan," Ross muses as he waits for Freak Show to unleash on the Aussies' attempt at a pranking payback.

"It was a good attempt and I take my hat off them for that," Freak Show says. "Let's just see where we got from here, 'cause this story isn't over."

That's it? Dammit Freak Show, we're meant to HATE YOU! Get off that fence and have a go!

Time to pick the fight, and Team UK has control. Ross Pearson, thankfully NOT wearing Arianny's hot pants, calls out the undefeated Luke Newman to represent Team UK. He'll be fighting Team Australia's Richard Whittaker.

Hang on a minute. Richard Whittaker? Have Richard Vaculik and Robert Whittaker suddenly turned into an MMA version of Voltron and morphed into the ULTIMATE MMA KILLING MACHINE?

No, no ... turns out Ross meant to call out Robert Whittaker after all.

"My bad, Robert, sorry bud," the Team UK coach says meekly.

Whittaker isn't too upset. "As soon as he said 'Robert Whittaker', I just could not stop smiling," he says. Ross got there eventually mate ... even if it took a bit longer than it should have.

Immediately, Ross Pearson senses it's time to cover up for his mistake ... I mean, "up the ante in the mental mind game stakes". Apparently. He knows that George Sotiropoulos trains with Team UK's Luke Newman at American Top Team, and he figures he'll challenge the Australian coach on who'll win the fight.

"Country or teammate, George? Top Team or Australia?" Ross poses.

George, still struggling to shake out of his head the image of Ross wearing Arianny Celeste's hot pants, takes a few seconds to respond.

"I'll go with my boy," George says, pointing to Richard. I mean Richert. Robert. Whatever. That guy.

We head back to the house, and it becomes apparent pretty quickly that Luke Newman is not going to have the easiest of weight cuts. He's got seven pounds to lose the night before the fight and has been told to have nil by mouth, save maybe some shards of ice.

For some reason, Luke thinks he's in the Bahamas (He said that! Seriously!) and drinks more than a litre of coconut water before he goes to sleep, and has actually put on two pounds by the time he arrives at the gym on the day of weigh-in.

"What could I say? I mean, I've never known any fighter the night before weigh-ins to do that, it's just crazy," Ross says.

So Luke begins a couple of hours of water torture ... the kind where you have to lose about five litres of it ... and we wait to see if he'll make weight.

At the official weigh-in, George decides to do his best Ross Pearson impersonation by first forgetting that Australia actually lost the last fight (can't blame him ... the Freak Show did win. Ouch). Then George "forgets" the name of the Team UK fighter that Robert "Richard" Whittaker is fighting in the next bout ... even though he actually trains with the guy every day.

"He tried to mock me by forgetting Luke's name!" Ross complains. Well, duh Ross. Kinda brought that on yourself. Read the autocue next time!

Back at the house, and ... shock, horror ... the boys are bored. Who'da thunk it, when they're in a house with no internet, no television and no wives and girlfriends?

Benny Alloway decides it's time for a wasabi challenge. In true Jackass style, he dares Freak Show and The Manimal to snort some wasabi. Anyone remember how THAT turned out for Steve-O? (In case you've forgotten, watch it on Youtube here).

"Freak Show, you up for a challenge?" Benny asks.

"Anytime," shoots back the Freak Show, without even knowing what the challenge is. Dammit Freak Show, it's getting harder and harder to hate you.

Freak Show has been dared to snort one line of wasabi. But that's not freaky enough for the Freak Show, so he snorts ... three lines of wasabi. Head turns red. Eyes begin to water. Bile begins to rise. And that's just us watching on television. Painful!

It's the Manimal's turn, and like a good Aussie boy, he holds serve. We're one-all. Time for a deciding game, so now we turn to ... snorting Peri Peri sauce. Just a regular Wednesday night in the Freak Show household, apparently.

Let me just say this ... I'll never, EVER, be able to eat Nando's again.

"It feels like I've had dirt smeared in my eyes, been kicked in the nuts and had me nose pulled nine inches off me face," a sadly pained Freak Show says afterwards. If only you had've looked like that after your fight against the Manimal in episode two.

With that, the Freak Show now leads the Manimal 2-0 (the Manimal lost the snorting challenge because he did a Steve-O and vomited up four litres of Peri Peri mixed with wasabi), and it's time to start thinking about the next fight.

Robert "Richard" Whittaker says it's addictive being locked in a cage with a bloke who just wants to hurt you. Thankfully, most of us aren't addicted to that, even if we enjoy watching it from a safe distance.

Luke Newman is also confident of bringing home the W for Team UK. "I'm quite an aggressive fighter. I just want to get in there, hurt them and get out really, it's kill or be killed, isn't it?"

Well, this should be fun. We've got a guy who's addicted to being in a cage with killers who want to hurt him, fighting against a killer who's addicted to being in a cage with a guy he wants to hurt. Now THIS is mixed martial arts!

They touch gloves, and immediately Newman has the centre of the Octagon and is charging forward. Throws a wild shot that misses; sends Richard ... sorry, Robert ... scurrying to the outside. Newman advances ... lands a BIG SHOT that rocks the Aussie. His legs wobble for a moment but he's able to back away and regain his senses. They shape up again and BOOOOOOOOOM!!!! Whittaker lands a massive right hand to the chin of Newman, who's out cold before he hits the canvas. Whittaker's on him in a flash and lands another couple of decent shots as the referee jumps in to stop the fight.


To say Whittaker is happy about the victory is to say that Sam Kekovich doesn't mind a bit of lamb now and then. He's charging around the ring chanting Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi with the bogan pride that only a man with a Southern Cross tattoo on his chest can display.

Luke Newman is back on his feet, and he's thanking the show's producers for his free trip to Disneyland. "Really enjoyed the tea cup ride, that was sooooooo much fun," he says as he looks around for his Mickey Mouse ears. "Where did I put them again?"

We head back to the Team UK dressing room and Newman is still in la la land as the doctor checks him over.

"When I was back in the changing room and the doctor was checking my eyes, I actually thought I was warming up to go out and fight," Newman admits.

For his troubles, Newman cops a 30-day suspension — no sparring, no head contact and DEFINITELY no rides on Space Mountain.

Ross Pearson is defending his charge's rush-in and throw-down tactics ... even though this is the second time we've seen a Brit knocked out because he hasn't given due respect to an Aussie's punching power. (Not that we're complaining or anything)

"I could see in Luke's eyes that he had kill written all over his face," he said.

Got that right for once, Ross. Luke Newman did have "kill" written all over his face. It turns out Robert "Richard" Whittaker can read.

"That (rush-in tactic) might have worked in England, but not here mate," Whittaker says.

Well said Richard. It only lasted 19 seconds ... but tonight, I don't think anyone will be complaining that you finished that quickly.

This story Recap: The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, episode 3 first appeared on Brisbane Times.