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

April
10

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

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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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37 Responses to “Mike Dolce’s “Ultimate Fighter 7″ blog: week 2”

  1. John

    “The noise Dan Simmler made surely could be heard in Hell”
    LOL!

    I’ll say this much: if the whole fighting thing doesn’t work out, I think you have a bright future in writing.

    Not to make light of Simmler’s knockout. Was he alright after that? Did you guys have any contact or update from him after? He had to have a CT scan after that. Crazy.

    Nice knockout in week 1, by the way. Looking forward to the rest of the season.

  2. Joe T

    I liked both week one and week two with all the fights. The rest of the season, well lets just wait and see. Judging from the past, too much wasted air time of the fighters destroying the house.

    http://www.fromthecage.com

  3. Mike Dolce

    No plans of hanging the gloves up just yet, but glad to hear you enjoy my work!

    We were told Simmler actually had to have his jaw wired shut, though he suffered no other damage thankfully.

    And, if anyone thinks watching fighters destroy a house for 11 minutes each episode is annoying, try sleeping through it for six long weeks!!! I still have nightmares…

  4. Jeff

    His jaw was broken in three places. One spot was from the initial hit and the other two from the follow-up shots.

  5. Jeff

    Also, now I feel like a complete ass. Loved your fight, Mike.

    I remember seeing your first fight in the IFL and thought “man, that guy has serious potential.” I’ve watched all your fights since then and am a real fan of your work, congrats on the TUF spot. Good Luck!

  6. Mac

    Excellent fight. I was surprised and glad to see you there. So far TUF has had some questionable fighters the first week of the show and I loved UFC’s idea to weed them out. But like Dana said, none showed up. I look foward to seeing fighter’s of your caliber fighting this season. Should make the best show yet. Looking foward to seeing you all pound the ground!

    Later,
    Mac

  7. Kwas

    Congrats on making it into the house. Now I am a new fan of UF7, thanks to you and your knockout performance. It’s a far cry from the nice guy I knew in New Jersey. :-)

  8. Baker

    I thought Matthew Riddle acted like a total dick. If I had hit someone that hard, I would have taken the opportunity to show some more of the true warrior spirit; compassion. That poor guy Dan will never be the same, and for jack-ass to walk around the ring, look at Dana White and exchange that total macho smirk they threw at each other, was a sad sad statement about the sport. Brutal? Yes. That’s why we love it. Unfortunately, I saw a boy with his victory arm stretched high. When you almost kill someone, it’s clear you’ve used too much force. This is not a demostration of your self-disciple or moxi. It is a profile characterized by rage. Grow up.

  9. brad

    Is this guy the winner of the show? Isn’t it obvious already? Unbelievable!!!

  10. Larry Vollmer

    Baker – I disagree with your comments 100%.

    Once Riddle realized the impact of his knockout, his celebration came to a pretty abrupt halt.

    The issue isn’t that Riddle used “too much force”. Simmler probably didn’t belong in that cage in the first place. While his BJJ looked pretty solid, he admitted his stand up was limited at best. Limited stand up doesn’t fly in this age of MMA. It was pretty apparent when he entered round 2 with his hands near his chest that he was going to get KO’d. I said to myself, this could end badly, and sure enough it did.

    A lot of these guys quit their jobs and left their wives and children to live out their dream of being in the UFC. If you were in that position and you had the UFC president watching your every move, would you hold anything back?

  11. Larry Vollmer

    Brad – look around the internet. Several TUF 7 fighters are blogging about the show. We aren’t spoiling anything for you.

  12. Baker

    larry,

    I guess you have point. i know the celebration ended quickly, it was the edited glance between white and riddle that pissed me off. i competely agree that simler was in way over his head. black belt or not, you better realize once you enter that world, you can’t let someone hit you across the face like that. if you do, you see what happens. you’re jaw gets broken in three places. he still needs to be in head gear. now he’s going to be in traction. defense first…and yes his hands were way too low. i hope these guys know what they’re getting into to, because i found that knock out almost unwatchable. it made me sick to my stomach and i’m not afraid to fight…so i can’t imagine what the rest of the world is thinking.

  13. Walter

    Uh, the finale is live, you know that right? So at best he’s in the top two.

  14. Gerald Harris

    Good stuff Dolce! You Da Man!!!!

  15. Larry Vollmer

    Thanks for the comments guys… keep them coming

  16. Alex in DC

    First off, Congrats Mike on your KO….impressive aggression & accuraate punching.

    General props also go out to all the TUF athletes that showed up this season. Spectators like myself know full well the cojones it takes to get in that octagon.

    All ass kissing aside…Nevermind I’ll keep going…this season looks to be killer. Your KO & that Riddle KO on Simmler were both spectacular. Had to show my wife both of those. Kind of gave her a little pep talk ahead of time so she wouldn’t bug when she heard Simmler moaning.

    Mike, you showed great class vis-a-vis your KO on McLean when you checked on him to see if he was OK. That comes with experience.

    As for those who say that Riddle seemed slightly less concerned about Simmler then the rest of the TUF gang. My opinion is the young fighter was probably just really excited about his first big win on national TV. You can’t just turn off the thrill of victory that quick. Hell, how many of us could be sad if we just won the the MMA lottery jackpot?

  17. Alex in DC

    Mike,

    Forgot to ask..LOL…Do you think Dana is monitoring your blog to make sure you don’t spill the beans on happenings in the next episodes?

  18. deadpuppy

    guys step it up..god damn! quit eating pink cupcakes in the bleachers. i wanna see some blood. make me wanna get cable and watch this show. don’t make me come down there and piledrive matt. lollerskates! ::spits on dana::

  19. Crazy

    The Ko was very ugly.
    I agrea 100% that Matthew Riddle acted childish.
    If it was me I would have been concerned for another week after a KO like that.I am very supriced they made the sceen like that. It allmost made me puke and made me wanna stop watching MMA for a while. I been following the sport for years and it made me feel like that. Can`t imagen what kind of impression other people might sit with.
    This might be the worst comercial I ever seen for MMA.
    Another thing is how Matthew Riddle kept puching when it was clear that Dan Simmle was not defending him self and would not get up.Was that really nessecerly?
    The guy that really made a good impression to me was Rampage who supriced me a lot with his concerne.

  20. deadpuppy

    i hate people who cant spell

  21. Larry Vollmer

    Crazy – You don’t stop hitting your opponent until the referee pulls you off. If you back off and you give the referee too much time to think, then chances are they won’t stop the fight. You have to make a decisive case for the ref to stop the fight, and that is exactly what happened.

    Look what happened to Heath Herring when he didn’t follow up that kick that put Big Nog down. That fight would have been stopped if he followed up that kick with some hammer fists. Instead, Herring let Nog regain his composure and consequently suffered his third loss to Nog.

  22. I P Freely

    This site just got rick Rolled. :/

  23. Crazy

    Larry.

    Nog was never out like that. He had his arms up, and Heat tried to hit him again like 1000 fighters have tried with Nog before him.

    Simmler was closer to dead then alive when mathew trowed 3 shoots at him. We have seen classy fighters stopping them self many times before.This is mma and half of the game is respect and carryining for youre opponent.It is not hate, or at least should not be hate.
    After thematch Matthew did not even give him a hug.
    Whats wrong with the dude? He got nada in his brain?
    Sorry I just dont like his personallety at all.
    He made me puke!!!!

  24. Larry Vollmer

    Heath didn’t try to hit him again… he backed off and let Nog stand up. If he followed that kick up with a relentless assault, that fight would have been over.

    How would he give the guy a hug? He was being attended to by a medical staff…

    I didn’t see hatred. I saw a guy that put it all on the line and won. He fought his way into the house. I’m sure his intentions weren’t to put the guy in the hospital. This can be a dangerous sport, and if you come unprepared that is what will happen.

  25. Crazy

    I have seen that fight like 8 times.
    Go back and look at heat-nog.
    He goes in his guard to fin. then let him up.
    Reason=evryone is scared of Nog`s guard.
    Tim could not do it either and he got HEAVY HANDS!!!!

    When his hand was raised the opponent was beside him, maybe that was a good time to give a hug or at least check if he was ok?????

    For me that was the right thing to do, but this guy found it better to flex and run out. So once again, re look at the show and youl see he did not care about doing that.

    Mayb UFC did not show us everything and he might have checked it. Well then, big shame on UFC for marketing the sport like there are a bunch of guys with no honor who only like to hurt and destroy.

  26. Tom from Canada

    I’m not sure what some of you guys don’t understand about Matt Riddle’s Knockout of Simmler. It was Matt’s reported, first knockout ever, in the biggest fight of his life (in terms of significance)!

    He was excited for alot of reasons:
    1. He just knocked a dude out!
    2. He’s not going home!
    3. Adrenaline is PUMPING!
    4. Did I mention, he just knocked a dude out!

    As was said before, once he realized the severity of the situation, he showed concern for his opponent. Also, lets not forget that we see the show through an edited perspective. We didn’t get to see or hear Matt show concern for Simmler because the producers chose to air his celebration only.

    For the comments about his unrelenting attack. Are you kidding me. A vetran like Chuck Liddell smashes Randy Couture into unconsciousness, and then runs around the ring in utter jubilation, but thats O.K. cause he’s Chuck Liddell?

    Getting Knocked out is part of the sport, and just so we are clear, there no such thing as a gentle knockout.

    Fighters want to win and when they do win, they have every right to celebrate it. Matt didn’t know how badly the guy was hurt, but he knew he won, and he was happy to have grabbed ahold of the biggest opportunity of a young fighters career.

    Get off your high horses and realize that most of us would put that knock on our Grandmothers if it gave us that opportunity!

  27. Crazy

    Hi tom.
    You seem like a very smart guy :)

  28. Tom from Canada

    You Mocking me Crazy? lol

  29. Larry Vollmer

    Tom – Great comment and valid points. Thanks for posting.

  30. ANTfromSF

    Blah blah blah… Yeah he knocked him out. But damn Herb (Dean) stop the fight! Punk a** Riddle jumped on him and then landed two (maybe a third) pounds to the jaw of Simmler! Dan was obviosly out as soon as his back hit the canvas!(i reconzied the concusion when he was assisted by the TUF staff) Ok, i know (and you know) he was knocked out with that punch, but the poor sportsmanship is what knocked me out. You knock out or get knocked out – but damn reconize your accomplishment in another way other than what i witnessed in the afthermath. Little Matt R, cheezing for camera, gloating about his 1st knockout. Hell, i’d be gunning for Riddle out if i was on the show. Not denying A knockout for sure…
    Good luck Mike – nice knockout your damnself. Take out Riddle!!
    PEACE

  31. Focker101

    Seems to me that moaning he did on the mat is effecting people very deeply

    I assure you had Simmler not been moaning everyone would be talking about what a great fight that was and how good Riddle looked

    yeah that sound was horrible

  32. Hayo72

    Hey guys…. way to stay on point :)

    Dolce grats on the KO bud, good stuff. I look forward to seeing the rest of the season, looks like a pretty serious bunch of guys.

    At the very least it doesnt seem like there are any Ruediggers in the bunch. F’n enema fer petes sake

  33. pete from ny

    dont be so hard on riddle respect come with experience tank abott did the same thing riddle did every time he knock a person out there was no show of respect i think you will see alot more of riddle in years to come and if he keeps knocking fighters out like old dan than i will watch everyone of his fights that is why we watch keep knocking heads riddle dont change a thing

  34. bbinfu

    In defense of Riddle, and yes I am biased, you have to realize this was not his first “big” KO. It was his first KO ever and only his second MMA fight!!

    Hence, I would suggest that if he responded somewhat like an inexperienced kid on the biggest stage in the world, that would be appropriate as that is exactly what he is/was.

    Having said that, I can assure you that once Matthew learned that the aftermath of the KO was not normal, he exhibited the appropriate amount of concern for his fallen opponent. We actually ran into Dan at the TUF 8 tryouts and the two combatants had a very nice conversation and Matt sincerely wished him well in his recovery and future career.

    I can tell you first hand that Matt is one hell of a nice kid. A bit crazy, as I am confident everyone will find out in the coming weeks, but he does not have an unkind bone in his body.

    Cocky?? Yes. Overzealous? Perhaps. Immature? ABSO-F’N-LUTELY! Inexperienced? For Sure. But, Dick head? No way. And Talented? You bet your ass!

    Keep up the good work Riddle. We beleive in you 100%!

  35. Tom in Canada

    While my thoughts regarding Riddle’s knockout of Simmler have not changed, I justed finished watching episode 3 and I now view Riddle in a different light.

    The guy appears to be as bright as a 5 watt light bulb. So when looking at whether or not he showed concern for his opponent, I feel that if he expressed no concern it was only because he’s too stupid to form a sentence.

    Sorry Riddle, but you look like a complete JackAss.

  36. Tom in Canada

    Here I am calling him a dummy and I say, “I justed finished”. Too funny.

    My bad.

    Maybe I’m being harsh, but these guys ought to consider how they portray themselves because other than just fighting in the UFC, TUF can launch business opportunities for these guys. If you come off like an Ass you might be closing the door on alot of potential opportunities.

  37. Kathie

    It’s always a “DOH!” moment when you make an ironic mistake in a comment or post and then can’t edit it. :)

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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.

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