Every week we have the scheduled fight at the end of the show, and then sometime before that the unscheduled near-fight between coaches. Episode 3 featured Ronda Rousey and Edmond Tarverdyan getting all up in Bryan Caraway’s face over some twitter drama from March where Brybry said “if [Rousey] wants to challenge a man I’ll knock her teeth dwn (sic) her throat the (sic) break her arm!” And this week featured Edmond again, this time getting into it with Dennis Hallman:
The confrontation of the episode was between coach Edmond and Team Tate’s guest coach Dennis Hallman, a UFC veteran. At one of the weigh-ins, which they didn’t show on TV, Hallman was staring a hole through Edmond. This was the first time we had seen Hallman and for some reason he decided to try and mean mug Edmond. It’s one thing to glance and catch eyes with somebody but he was making it obvious.
Finally, Edmond spoke up and said, “What’s your problem man, why are you staring at me?” What you saw on the show was Edmond giving Dennis the look back because he was insulted by it. In the locker room, Ronda was sure Hallman was trying to provoke Edmond into a fight to get him kicked off the show, which would have hurt our team because Edmond was considered the head coach and Dennis was a temporary guest coach for them. We thought it was a cheap tactic but the episode only shows Edmond’s reaction, not what provoked him. Trust me, Hallman started it.
As you will all recall, if you light Edmond’s fuse, the bomb at the other end is a big one. Team Tate knew this. I don’t want to get into all the whys of how we heard it being talked about, and I’m sure that the haters will point at this paragraph and say I am making up a bunch of stuff and whatnot, but whatever. Team Tate brought Hallman in to egg Edmond on. Period. From the second Hallman got there, he was fronting Edmond. A brilliant and dastardly tactic, really. Edmond was our head coach. He ran practice while Ronda Rousey trained right alongside us. If he gets kicked off the show, we are essentially screwed. If Hallman gets kicked off, who cares, really? And if you know Hallman, then you know he can be a bit of a dick.
There’s been a lot of talk about unfavorable editing on TUF – the show basically making you look like a bigger dick or wuss than you really are. Examples of this: Ronda coming across as crazy (because they aren’t exactly showing many of her more relaxed and laid back moments) or Shayna talking about how Julianna was beneath her for 30 minutes right before getting subbed by her.
This situation between Tarverdyan and Hallman seems like more of the same, but perhaps not for the surface reasons you may think. Unlike past seasons where producers milked every bit of drama for as much as it was worth, the people behind TUF almost seem embarrassed by this incident, and only showed as much of it as necessary before Dana White laid down the law and told everyone to knock it off.
What happened in all this that made the guys who built an episode of TUF around semen eating go ‘Whoa, too much’? Maybe it was that anti-Armenian racism Ronda Rousey alluded to weeks ago. Or maybe the dickery between coaching staff took away too much from the much more interesting action going on in the house leading up to the Roxy fight. Whatever the case, it’s interesting to see how this season of TUF is being put together, and fun speculating why.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports