This week’s episode began with my first encounter with Hector Urbina in the house after our fight. This was a really unusual and awkward situation for me. After I win a fight, I generally will feel a little bit of sympathy for my opponent. At this level, I know how much guys put into training for a fight, and to come out second best is an absolutely horrible feeling. Generally, like I said, I feel a little bit of sympathy for my opponent post, but then I put them out of my head because it was either me or them, and I do not want to feel like that.

When I normally fight and beat someone, I will go to my opponent’s dressing room after the fight, thank them for the fight and say “hard luck.” That is the only time I will see them post-fight, and it’s only for a few moments. Another part of the TUF experience that makes things much more difficult and uncomfortable than normal is that after you beat someone you have to go back to the same house and live amongst each other.

The encounter with Hector at the start of the episode was the night we had fought. We were both fixing ourselves something to eat. I felt extremely awkward, as I had just taken Hector’s dream away from him and he was experiencing the horrible feelings MMA fighters feel after a loss from me. I had already thanked him for the fight and said “hard luck” back in the dressing room, so all I could think of to say at this point was, “Did you enjoy it?” and, “You’ll get another shot.” It was so awkward! (Another example of how TUF makes being a MMA fighter and having a fight much more difficult than usual.)

The show goes on, and we see Team B.J. Penn getting mats delivered to the house from the gym. This was an idea I had so that we could do a bit of extra work in the house, seeing as there was nothing else to do in there.

We put the mats in our room, and myself and Dan Spohn christened them with a hard 15-minute roll. After that, Spohn asked if we wanted to do his “iron body” workout he often does back home. He explained that it was a 20-minute workout which is really tough but just involves standing in certain positions for a few minutes each time. We were all intrigued with how standing could be a tough workout…it was! It was actually really tough, and this is coming from a professional athlete. Who would’ve thought you could make a pro MMA fighter sweat pounds out and grunt with pain by just making them stand still?

We also get a bit of background on Spohn’s opponent, Todd Monaghan. Todd is a nice guy from Iowa who is a pro fighter and just so happens to be a Baptist preacher also.

Todd asked us all to go along to his sermon on Sunday. I agreed, and I was looking forward to what he had to say. I’m a very philosophical guy. In the episode, you see Todd coming into our room to wake Spohn up. I couldn’t even imagine how it would feel for a guy you are fighting in two days to poke his head into your bunk bed to wake you up! That must have been extremely weird for Spohn.

Todd began his sermon with a bit of a background story on himself, which I enjoyed listening to. However, he then started to explain how he had all these expensive material possessions because he chose to live a life of God and “the good Lord gave him these things.”

To be honest, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Todd is a nice guy and he clearly has found peace living his life through God. But for him to be in a position where he is spreading the word of his faith and to tell people that by “living through God” they will receive nice things like he has, such as his 2013 Tahoe, his boat, his big house, his 52-inch big screen, et cetera? I thought it was a horrible message and quite insulting.

I know people who barely have enough money to put food on the table that are very religious people living their life through God. There are also people in Africa who are very good people who live a life through God, and they don’t even have a glass of water clean enough to drink. For these kind of people out there, the message Todd was expressing would be very insulting. It was a very ignorant message!

Between the message about all the expensive things he has “received from the Lord” and his strolling around with quite a few big gold rings and a massive gold watch, I was very much rubbed up the wrong way and quite angered. That is why I expressed my opinion…and it turned out I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

Back to the business of fighting. Team Penn was very confident in Spohn going into his fight with Todd. Everybody knew, after his fight to get into the house, that Spohn has such power that he could knock anyone out. The coaches on our team decided that it would be a good idea to have a game plan to wrestle Todd to the mat, as he would most likely not expect it and also it would give Spohn the opportunity to show everyone in the competition that he was a well-rounded fighter with high-level skills in all areas of the game. Spohn agreed with the coaches that it was a good idea.

The fight went exactly as expected. Spohn out-wrestled Todd and dominated position. Spohn wore him down at the end of the second round and sunk in a rear-naked choke. Unfortunately for Spohn, the bell rang to end the round just before Todd was about to tap. Spohn was denied his $5,000 finishing bonus, but it was more than enough to seal him the win.

The team morale of Team Frankie Edgar was clearly diminishing immediately after this, with them going 0-2. Team Penn, on the back of two wins, were in great spirits and this made tensions rise in the house…

About The Author

Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred is a 26-year-old martial artist hailing from Dublin, Ireland. He was born in Boston while his father was studying law overseas. Pendred moved to Ireland at age five and took part in judo and taekwondo, before finding rugby. At the age of 19, Pendred turned his attention to MMA. He holds wins over UFC veterans Che Mills, David Bielkheden and Nicholas Musoke and was the Cage Warriors welterweight champion prior to joining the cast of The Ultimate Fighter. Pendred trains alongside current UFC fighter Conor McGregor and fellow TUF 19 competitor Chris Fields at SBG Ireland.

  • Faks

    Could we get any more info on that Iron Body workout?