Check out the above highlight videos from the TUF 14 tryouts (props to KahL1One and MMA Fighting). Among the many nobodies (including CagePotato jackal Jeff “KarmaAteMyCat” Watts, at 1:40 of the 2nd vid) and “characters” desperate for attention, there were a number of relatively well-known veterans of the UFC/WEC and other big shows, including Wagnney Fabiano (more on that below), Din Thomas (recently dropped to 145), Bryan Caraway, Kit Cope (LOL), Nick Denis, Matt Jaggers, Ian McCall (nice stache, douche), Micah Miller (Cole’s little brother) and Jose Vega.
Fabiano was probably the most notable name, at least to me. Once considered one of the top featherweights in the world, the rise of his friend Jose Aldo combined with his upset loss to Mackens Semerzier at WEC 43 prompted him to drop to 135. But the BJJ whiz who used to sub dudes left and right found himself struggling to pull off boring decisions over relative nobodies. Then in November, he was outclassed and choked out by former title challenger Joseph Benavidez, but no one expected him to be cut after only one loss in a row.
Exactly when and how Fabiano left Zuffa is a bit murky… I can’t find a single article about it, so it seems no one knew until he showed up at the TUF tryouts. He recently told Tatame that the cut to 135 was just too much, and he asked for some time off before making his UFC debut at featherweight. Which doesn’t really jive with him trying out for TUF, but that plan didn’t work out anyway, as he was turned down for being too experienced. Dana White told ESPN: “This show is for young, up-and-coming fighters. He can get back in the UFC, he just needs to win some fights.” Whether quit or canned, here’s hoping Wagnney finds his mojo and gets another shot at the big show.
On to TUF 13, the UFC’s “bootcamp of training and pain” begins next Wednesday at 9PM, capping off an entire day of UFC programming on Spike. If you just can’t wait, Spike gives us a sneak preview of the first episode HERE. At the risk of turning you off, there’s no real meat to it: we get montages of Brock crushing and getting crushed, dos Santos knocking suckas out, then Brock being his affable self with “I ain’t here to make friends” (no shit?), Junior showing off his surprisingly guud Anglish, the requisite Reservoir Dogs-esque walk-out, a couple fighter intros, and Dana’s usual “go get em” pep talk. Pretty much the only surprise is that there’s no qualification round to get in the house this season, which Dana claims is because there’ll be only 10 episodes. There, I just saved you 5 minutes.