This past Saturday night, Anderson “The Spider” Silva showed why he is the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world, putting James “The Sandman” Irvin to sleep without breaking a sweat during a UFC event on Spike TV.
Just one minute into the bout, Irvin attempted to sweep kick Silva. Unfortunately for him, the Brazilian caught Irvin’s foot with a left hand and with the challenger now completely defenseless, drove a crushing blow into “The Sandman’s” face. Game over. Thank you and good night.
That got me thinking, with Redskins training camp less than 24 hours away, I wondered which ‘Skins player would be crowned the Ultimate Fighting Champion if they had a tournament at Redskins Park.
Would it be a fan favorite like “Iron” Mike Sellers? Or maybe a chiseled monster like Andre Carter? Or possibly even Clinton Portis, who famously sported a WCW championship belt on the sidelines while playing for the Denver Broncos? The possibilities seemed endless.
So while the rest of the beat reporters and talking heads were asking the generic stuff, I was busy conducting an informal poll among the players as to who they think would be the last man standing. Here’s the funny thing, none of the six guys I interviewed Sunday afternoon were even remotely thrown off by my “Who would be the Redskins’ Ultimate Fighter Champion” question. Either they’ve gotten used to me over the last four seasons or this is something the guys have talked about in the locker room at some point.
The first guy I talked to was Casey Rabach, who is consistently one of the most enjoyable interviews on the team. First I asked him who would win, and then followed up by asking if it’d be a big guy like Mike Sellers or maybe a smaller, quicker guy.
“Sellers is a big [rhymes with wussy],” Rabach said.
I actually looked around to see if I was in the line of fire, just in case Sellers heard him.
“You know what, it’d probably be some crazy-ass [sounds like mother-father],” Rabach continued. “I’d probably put my money on someone who ain’t got a lot between the ears, that’s got some stamina … yeah, LaRon Landry might pull that one out.”
Chalk one vote for Landry.
“Honestly, I don’t know. Marcus seems like the UFC type, so maybe Marcus,” said Ladell Betts, of linebacker Marcus Washington. “I think Marcus is one of the tough guys on the team.”
One vote for Landry, and one vote for Washington.
“Weight class?” asked Antwaan Randel El.
No weight classes, I replied.
After throwing around a couple different names, Randel El eventually settled on Marcus Washington.
“He’d be like a crazy man in there,” he said.
Two votes for Washington. One for Landry.
With the players giving him support, I decided to seek out Washington to see who he thought would come out on top.
“I like to think I might get this belt,” Marcus said. “I think I might get in there and represent for the ‘Skins.”
I asked what kind of fighter Washington would be, and without hesitation he replied “I’d be a Kimbo Slice, just a street brawler, you know.”
That’s three votes for Washington. One for Landry.
“Probably Mike Sellers,” said Jason Campbell.
When I informed him that he was the first person to vote for “Iron” Mike, he said “I wonder whose getting the love? You gotta have a wild guy to win the Ultimate Fighter.”
“Someone told me you gotta have a guy who is pretty wild, but doesn’t have much between the ears,” I said.
“Then I’d probably say LaRon Landry,” Campbell said with a laugh.
That’s three votes for Washington. Two votes for (and two shots at) Landry.
Finally, I track down Captain Chaos himself, Chris Cooley. After all, if we’re going to ask a bizarre question, we’ve got to ask the most unpredictable guy on the roster.
“Honestly, that’s a great question and I don’t want to give myself props, but I was an All-American wrestler in high school and I think I’d have a pretty good chance.”
And unlike Rabach, Cooley had kind things to say about his tough-guy teammate.
“Mike Sellers would be tough, and I wouldn’t want to get punched in the face by Mike,” he said.
I tried to track down Sellers, but he had already headed inside to lift weights. So we’ll have to wait another day or two for his official opinions in regards to the Redskins Ultimate Fighter title, and possibly even a comment about a certain starting center who, for his safety, may have to hide in an RV the rest of training camp. But for today, we crown Marcus Washington the team’s Ultimate Fighter.
(photo by Brian Murphy)