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.
There are only three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and dreadful refereeing in mixed martial arts. With tax day behind us and a clean bill of health from the doc, the only thing left to avoid is blunders like those that occurred this past Saturday night at The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The offenses ranged from unrepentant fence-grabbing to controversial stoppages. (Surprisingly, we’re not talking about Steve Mazagatti this time.) Sadly, this might have been prevented if Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer would squash his beef with the godfather of MMA referees, “Big” John McCarthy.
What’s the beef about, you ask? To hear McCarthy tell it, Kizer got upset and took his ball home when UFC’s first head referee said the same thing the fans have been saying for years. Via MMAFighting:
“I thought he was putting some people in positions to judge fights that didn’t understand actually what the fighters were doing, and that’s wrong,” McCarthy explained. “I said that and I stood by it. He got mad, and from that, he has never licensed me again. And that’s okay. That’s his choice. I’m not going to cry about it and worry about it.”
McCarthy apologized publicly to Kizer and three years ago resubmitted his application for licensure. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t heard back, other than an ominous note stating that his “application will stay on file.”
“Bringing The Ultimate Fighter to FOX Sports 1 is like adding a big bat to an exciting young lineup,” said [Fox Sports Media Group COO and co-president Eric] Shanks. “TUF has jump-started the careers of dozens of fighters, many who have gone on to become UFC champions. It’s going to be a welcomed addition to FOX Sports 1, and the perfect anchor for our Wednesday prime time UFC block. We’re absolutely thrilled to have it.”
“Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter just ended and it was the best season we’ve ever done,” said UFC® President Dana White. “Season 18 is going to be historic and groundbreaking with the first-ever women coaches, and men and women training and living together, and we’re excited to be airing it on the best new sports network in the country, FOX Sports 1.”
(Anderson Silva’s knees and GSP’s shorts — no can defend. / Photo via Getty Images)
According to information released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the UFC paid out $708,500 in disclosed salaries and bonuses to the 24 fighters who competed at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on Saturday. Main-eventer Urijah Faber was the only fighter to crack six-figures. (If you don’t include end-of-night bonuses, he was also the only fighter to earn over $50,000 in show/win money.) Check out the full payout list below, and keep in mind that these numbers don’t include additional revenue from sponsorships or undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” or deductions from taxes, insurance, and licensing fees.
At the The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale last night, Cat Zingano earned a shot at Ronda Rousey’s UFC bantamweight belt as well as an opposing coach slot on The Ultimate Fighter 18 with her beastly TKO over Miesha Tate. At the post-event press conference her and Rousey posed for photos and Rousey spoke with MMA Junkie about, among other things, the tight ship she plans on keeping as a TUF 18 coach.
Presumably for the same reason that TUF producers have been quick to stock and re-stock at fighter requests the TUF House liquor cabinet in direct opposition to what is good for training, fighting and fighters, the TUF 18 House will be co-ed, occupied by both female and male contestants on the competition. That is, the idea that setting up as many extra curricular, dangerous roadblocks for fighters can make for tragic lost opportunities but also, and more important, great, drama-riddled television.
If anyone wonders what type of sexual tension and (network executive fingers crossed oh so tight) actual activity might be spurred on among male and female fighters locked in a mansion for months without access to their family or friends back home, television, radio, newspapers or reading material of any sort outside of the Bible (the Matt Hughes special dispensation), then it is likely you’ve gotten the precise point of why the UFC and Fox are doing this way. Rousey was clear, however, that she’ll tell her female team members what types of consequences will be in store for those who can’t keep it in their pants.
“If they’re the chick that was screwing around the house, for the rest of their career they’re going to be known as the chick that was screwing around the house. Sponsors are going to be looking at that. Everybody’s going to be looking at that,” she told MMA Junkie.
“If you think it’s $100,000 worth of that lay [ed. note - she talkin 'bout boning], then go for it, but I’m just going to remind them that there’s a lot of very permanent consequences to how they carry themselves in the house,” Rousey went on.
Every UFC main event has to be about something, and when there aren’t any titles on the line, things tend to get pretty creative. Leading up to the main event of the TUF 17 Finale, the talk surrounding the bout focused on the friendship between competitors Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen and how it may affect the bout. Whether the two were actually the close friends that the media made them out to be was completely irrelevant; which is good, because Jorgensen revealed during fight week that they weren’t.
What we were left with was a bout between the number two and number seven ranked bantamweights that played out as expected. This isn’t to say that the fight wasn’t entertaining (it was), but Jorgensen was outgunned early and often by Faber before “The California Kid” sank in the fight ending rear-naked choke in the fourth round. It was closer than the gambling odds indicated it would be, but not exactly a close fight, and though Jorgensen managed to mount some offense of his own, he never appeared to be any real threat to Faber.
The bantamweight division is very top-heavy, which perhaps more than anything explains why Urijah Faber is seemingly always one fight away from a title shot. The gap between the top five guys and the rest of the division is wider than most fans would care to acknowledge, and it showed last night. Still, I’d rather watch Urijah Faber fight Michael McDonald than watch him get crammed into yet another title fight. I doubt I’m in the minority here – at least among hardcore fans.
Handling play-by-play duties for our TUF 17 Finale liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will stack up results from the FX main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.
This post is ostensibly about the fighters who weighed in yesterday for tonight’s big TUF 17 Finale event. We will not, however, judge you if you skip right to the twenty five minute mark to watch Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano, who for some reason, both decided to weigh in wearing bikinis (do you, ladies. No complaints here at the CP office.).
If you didn’t get enough Zingano from her open media workout which was ostensibly about giving a taste of her workouts but was really about stretching… Oh, the stretching….anyway, she’s in this video along with Meisha and some other guys who we guess are fighting, too. I don’t know.
We heard something about a couple guys named Urijah (what are the chances of that, huh?) fighting, a Brazilian Sasquatch with a black belt on a come-back tear and a do-or-die featherweight match up on facebook between some straight bangers named Cole and Bart. Who knows?
If you watch the above video, you’ll probably end up learning more than we know. So, go for it.