I thought this week’s episode was pretty good. When I saw it the first time, I was out and saw it without audio. I could see everything unfolding with Diaz going to our practice and Jens and people not being happy about it… but I kind of knew what the deal was from actually living in that house. I didn’t get to actually hear everything that was said though, and it was interesting watching this episode the second time and hearing exactly what people though. I also completely missed Corey talking to himself in the sauna, which was awesome to hear the second time I watched it because I had no idea.
I said in my week 3 blog: "Corey is a mad man, in a good way." I think it really shows this week when he is sitting in the sauna all alone talking to himself. Corey was an interesting person to have in the house because he would be so low key and relaxed sometimes, and even acting like a counselor with Manny trying to calm him down after the whole "writing on the wall" incident. Next thing you know, he is barking at people and talking to himself in the sauna. Corey is out of his mind… but in a good way.
I can fully understand why Nate didn’t like being around Corey. I am fine being around people I will be fighting, but some people like to get into that "This is war" mindset and not talk to the other person, be around them, or even see them. Living in a house with someone is one thing, but you can stay away from one another and its not a big deal. Trying to practice in the same gym as them though, or riding in the same van would be really tough. You are constantly walking on egg shells in everything you do and have to always be thinking about what the other person will hear or see. Thats not the way to prepare for a fight.
One morning when we were getting up for practice, I saw a note in the kitchen that said "Wake up Nate". At first, I thought it was a joke and Cole or someone just wanted Nate to be woken up early. I didnt know what to do, so I started asking the other guys. They said that Nate was going to come and work out with us. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the idea. I like Nate a lot, and got along with him great in the house. But after this fight, Gray or I have a very good chance of fighting him. I didn’t like the idea of training with someone we would be fighting next week. On top of that, I had a few injuries I was trying to keep real quiet and didn’t want anyone on Team Pulver to know about. Now I don’t think Nate would go running back to his team and telling them "Oh Joe had his ankle and wrist taped up, he must be hurt". However, if he saw then he knows which would matter if we fought in the next round.
Nate is one of the coolest guys in the house, and I wish I had more opportunity to train with him. When he came to our practice, he rolled with BJ a little bit, and then he grappled and wrestled with Gray. From day one, we all knew we could end up fighting team mates and training partners down the line… but this is really getting down to the wire now. You go from having to fight one of 16 guys, to fighting one of 4 guys. I would have avoided guys I would be fighting like the plague. To be honest, even within Team Penn we didn’t train a ton with one another.We would drill and do rounds with each other but also with BJ, Reagan and Tony. So rather than me doing a round with Emerson, then a round with Gray, then a round with Wiman… I would roll with Reagan, then Tony, then BJ, then maybe Emerson or someone. I don’t think it was a conscious decision by anyone… but that is how it would usually play out.
The fight between Nate and Corey showed a whole new Corey Hill. He came out aggressive and was moving all over the place. Maybe he had more confidence from training with Nate and knowing more of what to expect, or maybe it was that Corey had doubled his ring experience in the short time we were there. In either case, Corey came out and put it on Nate from the start. Corey was controlling the fight, and throwing Nate around. Nate would rather sit there and pick away at you, while Corey comes rushing in throwing bombs. I would imagine it was also one of the first times Nate fought someone with a reach advantage. You could see him trying to stay back and pick shots, while Corey was just outside his range and landing punches of his own. In the end though, Nate started to take over and as Corey shot in, Nate made him pay for leaving his neck hanging.
Jens said it best: "Expect big thing out of Corey Hill." I think we all expect big things out of Corey. With such limited experience, he was able to come in and do well, not just in his fights but also in training. Everyone from Team Pulver had great things to say about Corey from his work ethic to how explosive he was. He really is a piece of clay that is going to be a nightmare for a lot of people. Even with just a wreslting base and his physical attributes, he gave a lot of guys problems. Once he learns a little Jiu-Jitsu… watch out.
From the beginning, Manny hated Wiman. Matt would just rub him the wrong way when he would talk about himself or whatever else. Manny is all about letting your actions do the talking and not hyping yourself. I had talked to Manny a few times and he would say how arrogant Matt was, and how he couldnt wait to fight him and shut him up. To an extent, I can where Manny is coming from… but if you are here as a fighter you have to have a lot of confidence or you will get run over. Sometimes the difference between confidence and arrogance is a fine line, but Manny thought Matt was crossing it. Manny wanted nothing more than to make "Handsome Matt Wiman" not so much.
At the same time, Wiman hated Manny just as much. Maybe it was the singing, maybe it was Manny leaving out eggs and cream cheese and other things all the time. I really don’t know. I would ask Matt what his problem was and he would just say "Everything about him… I just want to smash him". So the dislike was mutual and it made a lot of sense for this fight to happen. And as a side note, the only verb I use when talking about fighting is "smash". Damn you Wiman.
I thought it was pretty cool for Karo to come and be a guest coach with Team Pulver. It may not have been the most fair thing for Manny to have his cousin around… but Gray had Randy for a day too. Karo was in longer while Randy was just in for a few hours, but its really not a big deal. I would have LOVED to have my brother come in and train for a few days, but thats just how it goes.
I thought the fight between Manny and Wiman was pretty good. Manny is very good at doing what he needs in order to win the fight. Manny controlled the action, but I agree with Matt that he didn’t do a lot of damage. Unfortunately for Matt, he did even less. I think losing to Manny was real hard for Matt because he takes a lot of Pride in what he does, and seeing "that little bastard" around the house was tough for him.
At least we have 2 guys from each time in the semi’s though… next week should be exciting.