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Inside the Octagon


Mike Dolce’s “Ultimate Fighter 7” blog: week 2


Week one, the world watched me, Mike Dolce, knock Prince McLean out in the very first round of the very first fight on Spike TV’s seventh installment of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Week two, my fellow cast member, Matthew Riddle, started the night off with another BANG by breaking Dan Simmler’s jaw in the opening moments of round two in their “Elimination Bout.”

If you saw the fight, you may remember the noise Simmler made after the KO more than the punch that put him on the canvas. I sure do.

Some of the guys told me that the punch I landed to earn my way into the house sounded like a clap of thunder. So loud, I was told, it was even heard by one guy in a locked bathroom at the opposite end of the packed facility. The noise Dan Simmler made surely could be heard in Hell.

It may sound cliché but some things you never forget, and this was one of them.

I was standing with Gerald Harris and Dante Rivera about five feet behind Dana, Quinton and Forrest and ten feet from one of the most unusual sights I have ever seen, or heard.

To add depth to that last statement, as a coach and fighter from Team Quest, I have witnessed over one-thousand individual fights…and finishes…and Riddle vs. Simmler will ring in my ears forever.

You see, the excitement of a good knockout was overshadowed by the prolonged moan resounding throughout the Ultimate Training Center that winter evening. Everything stopped. Everyone gathered. We were concerned for one of our own.

Simmler was no longer a rival athlete. He was a fallen brother, and he was in a bad way.

Expectedly jubilant after the first knockout of his professional career, Riddle celebrated, walking around the octagon smiling ear-to-ear and exclaiming, “That’s how I do!”

After a few victory laps, Matthew realized Dan was still on the floor and still moaning. He stopped and stared, along with the rest of us. Standing next to Herb Dean, Riddle leaned in and asked, “Um, is that normal?”

Herb responded without turning his head, “I’ve never heard a noise like that before. That is definitely not normal.”

If not anything else, mixed martial arts is a gentleman’s sport. We compete for honor, not for blood. When we see another fighter hurt, we also see our teammates, and ourselves. This bonds us.

After a few nervous minutes, Simmler regained his bearings and was provided for with expert medical care, suffering a broken jaw and bruised heart, literally and figuratively.

And then it was back to the fights!

Gerald Harris’ slams, Brandon Sene’s resiliency and all four minutes and fifty nine seconds of Matt Brown vs. Josh Hall treated us to another amazing night of fights and gave us a glimpse into what season seven is bringing.

I already can’t wait to watch next week. It’s weird, but when I saw the quick preview of next week’s episode, all the crazy antics that occurred throughout the filming came rushing back to me, and I thought, “What the hell did I just live through!?”

Don’t worry, you’ll see what I mean soon enough!

Mike Dolce is a cast member of “The Ultimate Fighter 7.” He is a professional fighter and strength coach. For more information, go to www.MikeDolceMMA.com

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2008 at 9:43 am by lvollmer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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About this blog
Web programmer by day, practicing mixed martial artist at night, Larry Vollmer Jr. brings the latest news from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the rest of the mixed martial arts world - a fast-spreading obsession on TV and online. These are the bouts - they occur in an octagon-shaped "ring" - that test men's souls.