(The front of the card says, “You will die, bitch.” The back of the card says, “But I’ll be in the hot tub tonight around 10 p.m. if you want to hang out, no pressure, I just think you’re cool and you look like you could use a backrub.”)
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a good ringer on The Ultimate Fighter. I’m talking about guys like Roy Nelson or Mac Danzig, who entered the TUF house with literally ten times more experience than some of their cast-mates, and performed like men among boys, cruising to the glass-trophy with shocking ease.
In recent seasons, the talent pool on TUF has dried up to the point where you simply don’t see that kind of fighter anymore; every hot prospect or free agent that’s not immediately snatched up by the UFC gets poached by Bellator or World Series of Fighting, and they don’t have to beat the hell out of near-amateurs on a reality show between sessions of binge-drinking and furniture-abuse.
Of course, since this is the first time that The Ultimate Fighter has featured women, the range of experience in the female bracket is stunning. You’ve got Peggy “Daywalker” Morgan, the 2-0 rookie. Jessamyn Duke, Sarah Moras, and Jessica Rakoczy each have just four pro fights under their belts (and Rakoczy has a losing record). Somehow, these girls are supposed to compete with Shayna Baszler (15-8), who carries over a decade of professional experience with her, and a history of gnarly submissions that include two (two!) wins by twister.
Shayna Baszler was supposed to be the first female ringer in TUF history*. Unfortunately, she knew it just as much as we did, and became convinced that winning the show was a foregone conclusion. She got cocky. She got really cocky. She got really, really, embarrassingly cocky. And she paid for it.
Here’s how last night’s episode played out…