Mixed Martial Arts

St-Pierre, Koscheck relatively quiet as TUF 12 begins

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The Canadian Press
9/15/2010 11:28:02 PM
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The focus was on fighting rather than fireworks between the coaches Wednesday night as Season 12 of "The Ultimate Fighter" kicked off.

Episode 1, titled "Go For It," squeezed in parts or all of 14 elimination fights to determine the 14 lightweights who made the final cast of the MMA reality TV show.

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and rival coach Josh Koscheck walked in together behind UFC president Dana White as the show opened.

They then watched the fights cageside with nary a quip other than the odd prediction.

That was in contrast to some past seasons when sparks were flying from the instant the coaches saw each other.

But the talk was a little tougher in separate promos at the beginning of the show.

"You better be ready for this competition because your fake ass is going to get whipped," snarled Koscheck.

Said St-Pierre: "Josh Koscheck, he doesn't like me and also he doesn't respect me. So it's a perfect scenario. I'm the perfect good guy against the perfect bad boy."

The two coaches square off Dec. 11 in Montreal after the season has run its course on TV.

The show's promos also showed future footage of cast members squaring off in the house, Mike Tyson watching fights cageside and Koscheck laying his hands on a Team Koscheck member.

The show, which has already finished taping, takes would-be UFC fighters and locks them in a posh Vegas home -- denying them contact with the outside world other than to train and fight.

The 155-pounders are competing for a UFC contract.

The elimination fights opened with a bang as Marc Stevens knocked out T.J. O'Brien in some 13 seconds. Michael Johnson also looked tough, hammering Pablo Garza on the ground.

"He's nasty," White said approvingly of Johnson.

Cody McKenzie, a former commercial fisherman in Alaska, showed off his own version of the guillotine choke -- as predicted by GSP -- in putting Amir Khillah to sleep.

The Canadian champ was wrong when he crossed out Jeffrey Lentz prior to his fight. The hard-hitting Lentz won easily, with Koscheck quick to point out the error of St-Pierre's ways.

But the early star of the season looks to be Alex (Bruce Leroy)Caceres. The 21-year-old from Miami smiled all the way through his elimination win and turned heads with his pre-fight yellow bodysuit.

"He came out looking like a banana," said a disbelieving Koscheck.

Caceres choked out Paul (The Wheel) Barrow.

"My boy. I love this kid," said a smiling White as Caceres went through a Bruce Lee-like post-fight ceremony.

English fighter Aaron Wilkinson also moved on, with producers of the show providing subtitles to help cut through his accent.

Dane Sayers, a native American with a red mohawk, showed his resilience in choking out Ariel Sexton.

"Nice freaking fight," said Koscheck. "Wow, all balls."

Former X-Games competitor Mike Budnik was not so lucky. The 35-year-old pro in-line skater was dropped by a wicked shot to the liver from Nam Phan.

"Congratulations, you're in," White told the 14 final cast members. "You're going to leave this place a completely different fighter -- better in ever way.

"When you leave this house, you'll never want to do it again but you'll be glad you did."

Georges St. Pierre (Photo: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
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