(Kim, we’ve seen enough…you’ve got the goods.)
When it was first announced that Ronda Rousey would be coaching a co-ed season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite the winner of the Miesha Tate/Cat Zingano scrap, the internet pretty much imploded with fanboyish enthusiasm. When Ronda put out an anti-sex warning to the show’s future participants, well, that enthusiasm seemed to suddenly disappear. In either case, the tryouts for TUF 18 went down from the Grand Ballroom of the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas yesterday, and a few of the names that were listed among the potential participants might surprise you.
With only twelve female fighters currently listed in the UFC’s female bantamweight division, yesterday’s tryouts not only featured the usual influx of eager amateurs, but the likes of…
Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler: Competing professionally since 2003, you’d be hard pressed to find a WMMA fan who hasn’t heard of Baszler. The Strikeforce, EliteXC, and InvictaFC veteran is currently 15-8 and 3-2 in her last 5 and holds notable victories over Sarah D’Alelio, Alexis Davis, and Julie Kedzie. Baszler most recently suffered a third round submission loss in her rematch with Davis at Invicta FC 4.
Tara Larosa: 21-3, with notable victories over Baszler, Kedzie, Davis, and Carina Damm. A two-time ADCC silver medalist (2005, 2007), Larosa is on the heels of a unanimous decision loss to Vanessa Porto at Invicta 3 — just her second in her past twenty contests.
Kim Couture: Ugh…where shall we begin? 3-6 in professional competition, with notable victories over her personal assistant and husband, Randy Couture, in their divorce settlement. Couture has not fought since dropping a unanimous decision to Suzie Montero in October of 2011 (here third in as many contests) and is perhaps best known for nearly getting choked to death by Sheila Bird the previous July. But my God can she rock a two-piece.
Also on the list of potential housemates were Invicta FC standouts Sarah Moras, Jessamyn Duke, Raquel Pennington and Jocelyn Lybarger.
As previously announced, TUF 18: Rousey vs. Zingano is set to premiere on September 4th on Fox Sports 1, which will host all of the UFC’s cable-offerings moving forward. After milling over the credentials of a few potential participants, do any of you think Larosa or Baszler should be favored to win the season, or will a completely unknown underdog shock the world yet again? And will Couture serve as next season’s Junie Browning?