TUF Episode 4 with Cody Bollinger: Plato, ‘Superman’ and Xtra Small Shirts

Posted: September 27, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, The Ultimate Fighter
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bollingerEpisode 4 of TUF aired this week and as usual we chatted with Cody Bollinger — Team Tate’s #1 pick. Among other things, we discussed the fight between Roxanne and Jessica; and the near fight between Dennis Hallman and Edmond, one of Ronda’s coaches. Cody sheds some light on why that argument never went to the cage after all.

Let’s jump right in Cody. One of the first scenes we saw involved UFC veteran Dennis Hallman.  And for some reason, Edmond was trying to mix it up with Hallman. What was your take on that?

They showed it pretty much how it went down, man. Hallman came in; and honestly Edmond started it. I don’t know why. He started talking a little shit and Hallman said, “well alright, let’s fight then.” They ended up getting separated and just talked each other down. I really don’t know where that came from, it just happened out of nowhere. Edmond came up and stated the fight and Hallman didn’t back down. Like Caraway and Miesha would back down and say “whatever, we’ll fight later.” But Hallman’s like “ok man let’s go in the cage right now! Let’s do it!” I think he (Edmond) was kind of surprised by that. I don’t think that was a smart move, I mean Hallman is tough as nails and still strong as bricks. Maybe he didn’t know who Hallman was, but yeah, that could’ve gone a lot worse real quick.

I don’t know Edmond’s complete background, but when I was watching it unfold, I couldn’t help think that ‘Superman’ would rip this dude apart. Is that fair?

Oh yeah. I mean anyone who can beat Matt Hughes is legit—and he beat him twice. Man, you don’t wanna mess with somebody like that.

I think it was Racquel who didn’t think she was getting a hard enough workout just training with the other girls, so they started mixing up sparring. I can see how that would benefit the girls because they’re now sparring with you guys, but does it benefit you guys too?

I really think it helps both male and females. They get a tougher level of competition that they’re not used to, as far as strength and speed and physical ability; and it helps us too because every girl that I’ve ever sparred with—including the ones on the show—they try to take your head off. They want you to throw back hard cuz they want to be treated equally. I understand. I’m sure I’d be the same way if I was Racquel or Sarah Moras. It keeps us on our toes. They don’t let us get away with being lazy or dropping our hands. It’s because they could catch you and you don’t want to be the guy who gets knocked out on the TUF show by a chick. Imagine if that happened. That guy, that’s how he would be known from the TUF show for the rest of his life.

When I saw Jessica cleaning the house up, it reminded of what Neil Magny told us about the TUF house when he was there. He said it was freaking disgusting. How was it while you were there?

Nah, it didn’t get too bad. There were a couple days when we said, man we need to clean this place up. Like you said Jessica was really on that, it really bothered her. And everyone kind of did their part. Everyone made a mess at some point—including myself. But Jessica and Roxanne were really on top of that. Even if they weren’t, the show brings in a cleaning crew once a week, so it doesn’t look like crap the whole time.

Ronda seems to be upset that they are targeting the fighters who aren’t quite 100% during fight selections. She makes it seem almost chicken-shit that Beal and now Jessica were picked with injuries. Is that chicken-shit? Or smart strategy?

I mean real life outside the show; you’re not going to fight somebody with a broken hand. They’re gonna pull out of the fight and the fight will be postponed till later. This is different. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It sucks for the people who were injured, but it was more than just Beal and Jessica injured. They just happened to find out about their injuries, you know? You know Timmy was hurt and no one found out about it until he brought it up. I had some injuries that nobody found out about because I kept my mouth shut. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with (targeting the injured fighters).

And then Roxanne made some life size person out of toilet paper rolls I guess. I saw you sizing it up. How badly did you want to punch that thing’s head off?

(Laughs) Nah it was cool. It was like her little buddy. His name’s Plato. You’re gonna see a lot more of Plato…there may or may not be a partner for Plato in the future. But you’re gonna see a lot more of that dude and it’ll be pretty funny.

We’ve seen that ref before—I never remember his name. But I think this guy must only have Extra Small shirts in his closet. He looks like he’s trying to be Dave Batista or Vin Diesel of something.  

(Laughs) Yeah man that was pretty funny to see. I was pretty weirded out by it. Everyone’s got their own style I guess. If you wanna wear tight shirts and show off your muscles while you’re reffing, dude, go ahead!

From your vantage point, was Roxanne out after the slam?

Yeah from what I saw man, I thought the fight was over. I understand letting her get hit one more time, just to make sure. But when she couldn’t sit up and she kinda fell over…I mean she stared up at the lights man. Either she was just so gassed and couldn’t physically react, or she was knocked out. In either case, they should’ve stopped the fight a little sooner. I’ve seen worse. Look at when Weidman knocked out Munoz. That was one of the worst.

Roxanne was pretty emotional afterwards and asked for Jessica. Was that tough to see?

Yeah she asked Jessica to come over and gave her a hug and everything. Roxy was real cool after the fight, very congratulatory. It sucked watching her lose. I didn’t know Jessica’s story until I watched last night. I had no idea about her past. So without knowing her past—all I knew was Roxanne is the nicest person I’ve ever met—I was freaking bummed man. But when I watched the episode, it sucks that they had to fight each other, but it makes me feel a little better that Jessica was the one to beat her I guess.

I actually had Jessica as my dark horse for the tournament.

She is tough. She not just a boxer either. She’s not incredible like she is at boxing, but in the next couple years she’s really going to be a force to be reckoned with. She’s a small girl, I think she weighed in at 134 not even cutting weight. But she’s tough man. I agree she might be the dark horse of the show, but I can’t say too much else.

So when they announced the fight, did you kind of know what to expect? Or were you dying to be picked next?

If Roxanne won, we were gonna call out Davie (Grant) and I was going to fight him. That was the plan since Day 1. I was supposed to be the 1st guy to fight but Miesha changed her mind like 30 seconds before the fight picks for some reason.

So why did you want Davie so bad? Seems like he’s one of their toughest guys. Wouldn’t you prefer an easier matchup first?

Since Day 1, none of the guys on my team wanted to fight Davie. I said I want to fight first. I’ll fight anybody you want me to fight.  They said, ok well your wrestling’s good. Davie’s obviously the bigger, stronger guy on their team. You’re pretty big and we know your wrestling’s good enough to not get muscled around. My mentality from Day 1 was “I’m ready for Davie.” He’s a really cool dude, really respectful and I’m glad I didn’t have to fight him at this point. I was kind of pissed off when they had him fight Louie. I don’t know why I reacted so emotionally, but I was mentally ready to fight Davie. I got over it quick though.

Did Ronda do the right thing to avoid you and Davie?

I thought it was a good pick for Rousey to get a win at that point. Louie’s tough, but Davie’s hands are a little better. It was a good move for them—in their minds—to get a win. If I was the coach I think I would’ve picked the same matchup. But we’ll find out…we’ve already learned in the show not top underestimate people.

Great season so far man.

Yeah there’s gonna be some more drama. And the fights keep getting better!

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