We've got a massive mixed martial arts podcast spectacular for this episode (#009). With co-hosts English Thom Burton in part 1 and fellow MMA columnist Marcus Mitchell in part 2, we cover all of the action from both Ultimate Fighter finales, airing December 14th (Smashes) and December 15th (TUF 16). In addition, join me as I interview TUF Smashes Australian coach George Sotiropoulos (14-4) on the show, MMA in Australia, and his upcoming fight with British brawler, Ross Pearson (13-6). I also spoke with Hector Lombard (31-3) about his unsuccessful debut in the UFC and his game plan against his next opponent, Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares (14-4). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNMceUjxIu4 Episode #009 Summary: A review of each of the main cards from each card, starting with TUF: Smashes. We start with the four finalists of the show, Welterweight and Lightweight, and pick the winners between lightweights England's Colin Fletcher (8-1) vs. North Ireland's Norman Parke (16-2) in one match and Australia's Robert Whittaker (9-2) vs. England's Brad Scott (8-1). We then examine Hector Lombard's fight against Toquinho, listening to the man himself as he predicts an early and easy knockout victory over the Brazilian submission specialist. Finally, we cover the battle of the two coaches, George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson. National pride turns our friendly conversation into fireworks as English Thom and I pick winners by national boundary. We then hear from George Sotiropoulos during his preparation for the fight in America. I talk to him about the show, his training philosophy for the young fighters, the current progress of MMA in his home country of Australia as well as his home state of Victoria. We finish by dissecting his upcoming fight with Ross "Real Deal" Pearson. In part 2, I am joined by Marcus Mitchell to talk about the future of the Ultimate Fighter franchise, debating between taped and live. We then dive right into the card and discuss Dustin Poirier (12-2) against Jonathan Brookins (13-5). Both are upcoming prospects with Brookins being a TUF winner. They are followed by Blackzillian fighter Melvin Guillard (30-11-2, 1) vs. Jamie Varner (20-7-1, 2) in what has Fight of the Night potential written all over it. The next fight is the return of the Heavyweights after a 4 event hiatus, pitting Pat Barry (7-5) vs. Shane del Rosario (11-1) in a battle of kickboxing vs. muay thai. Someone is getting knocked out. Next is the TUF 16 finalists, Colton Smith (3-1) vs. Mike Ricci (7-2). I introduce a very scientific method of picking TUF winners. The finale is next and unfortunately with the knee injury sidelining Shane Carwin, it is a bit of letdown - Roy Nelson (17-6) vs. Matt Mitrone (6-1). This one is an easy pick.
Robert Curtis is a columnist, podcaster, screenwriter, and WhatCulture.com MMA editor. He's an American abroad in Australia, living vicariously through his PlayStation 3. He's too old to be cool, but too young to be wise.