I don’t know how many of you watch the History Channels “The Human Weapon” but it’s certainly an MMA fans kind of show, and I suggest checking it out if the “TUF” series or “Tapout” just aren’t cutting it for you. In short, two hosts/athletes travel the globe exploring various martial arts, with each episode being dedicated to one specific art and it’s historical significance. Then one of the program’s hosts has to fight an “expert” in that fighting style at the end of each show. So far they’ve explored Karate, Muay Thai, Judo, Eskrima, Krav Maga, Savate and most recently- American Mixed Martial Arts. Since one of the hosts, Jason Chambers, is a professional yet average MMA fighter at best, I was very curious to see what they had in store for him. The significantly larger co-host of Human Weapon, Bill Duff, who only has a wrestling and football background also fights at the end of this episode, something that’s unusual as traditionally only one host has to fight.
First on their journey throughout the gyms of southern California, Chambers and Duff meet up with the always charismatic Bas Rutten, who tells them who they will be facing off against at the end of the show. After that, we see the two grappling with Josh Barnett and practicing some “sprawl and brawl” with UFC contender Forrest Griffin. The duo then hit Eddie Bravos 10th planet jiujitsu school to train ground fighting, and they even manage to get some quality time in with Randy Couture at his Las Vegas training facility. But no MMA preparation would be complete without striking sessions of course, and at one point we see Duff and Chambers practicing kick combinations with famed kickboxer and undefeated MMA fighter, Cung Le.
At last, we are treated to the two amateur fights for the bottom ten minutes of the show. Jason Chambers was up first against IFL fighter Connor Heun. Chambers managed to get Heun on the ground and ultimately submit him with a tricky little jiujitsu move called a twister. Chambers second round triumph also marks the first victory for either of the Human Weapons hosts so far. On a side note, I must add that about half of my friends believe this fight was rigged and claim that “Jason Chambers sucks #!$*” but I can’t confirm any of that.
Eventually, Bill Duff had to step into the cage with who but Ricco Rodriguez. For fans that are familiar with Ricco, I ask you just as I asked myself at the time, is this really fair? Sure Duff trains throughout the Human Weapon series and has a half decent wrestling background, but can he really compete with the experience of a seasoned veteran like Rodriguez? Looking just a little soft at 300 plus pounds, Ricco’s build is nothing to write home about, but his career still includes wins over the likes of Randy Couture, Jeff Monson, Andrei Arlovksi, Gary Goodridge, the list goes on.
Personally, I would rather have seen Duff battle an unknown, up and coming fighter to make a more even and exciting match. I don’t mean to take anything away from Bill Duff, but I’m pretty sure that Rodriguez went easy on him throughout the bout which I suppose is okay, since the show doesn’t want their host to get hurt or anything. But don’t try to pass this off to the viewers as a real fight, especially since we can’t even see most of the bout due to editing. During their match, it definitely seemed as if Ricco let Duff get to his feet from the ground game and never sunk in a submission when he likely could have. Big John McCarthy served as the only judge as well as referee for the match, and ultimately declared the fight a “draw” after three rounds.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’ve seen a draw called in an MMA fight in a long time, a very long time. So it’s likely that McCarthy deemed it a draw to be nice, knowing that Rodriguez could have taken advantage of the less experienced fighter if he wanted to. As for jiujitsu brown belt Jason Chambers, his opponent could probably have been a bigger name in mixed martial arts. Even if Chambers would have lost that fight, at least the MMA fans watching would get something more out of it. To be honest, the type of opponents for the shows hosts should have been reversed, with Chambers facing the more experienced fighter. I understand Bill Duff is a big guy and has to fight someone comparable to his size, but there are plenty of other heavyweights who would step in with him that aren’t former UFC champions. Besides, its not like they made Chambers fight anyone with the kind of reputation Ricco Rodriguez has.
All in all, the episode was still highly entertaining and provided a nice introductory course for those who aren’t as familiar with Mixed Martial Arts. I’m really looking forward to the next Human Weapon which explores China and the art of Kung Fu, though according to the shows website this will not air until October 19th.