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Tag: The Ultimate Fighter

‘TUF: China’ Cast Includes 0-0 Yoga Instructor Who Doesn’t Know How to Fight


(The soon-to-be-forgotten and/or fired TUF China cast. Photo via the Global Times.)

That The Ultimate Fighter: China features the powerhouse *coaching* duo of Tiequan Zhang (currently riding a 3-fight losing streak with his sole UFC win coming over Jason Reinhardt) and Hailin Ao (retired) should say more about the talent level of its contestants than we ever could, but you guys have got to read this.

The premiere episode of TUF: China transpired last Saturday. While most of us here in the states failed to take notice of this, f4wonline‘s Mark Harris recently published a recap of the episode and offered some insight. You should check out the entire summary here, but the following paragraphs truly emphasize how fucked this season is going to be (emphasis mine):

The fighters on this season are a mixed bag of promising talent and hapless newbies…The quirkiest character this season is Li Jin Ying (0-0, welterweight), who admitted to having no MMA experience before sparring in front of the cameras. His appearance on the show is so bizarre I have to wonder if he’s only on to illustrate to viewers the level of training and experience that’s needed to succeed in MMA.

Li is a spiritualist yoga instructor “eager to be Asia’s biggest MMA star”. Yes, a yoga instructor. He has a photogenic face, the kind of face UFC would probably want to put on advertisements in China, but he apparently has no MMA experience and describes himself as shy.

I never dreamed that there would come a day when TUF and American Idol adopted the same criteria for selecting contestants. I was wrong.

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TUF 18 Finale Results — Diaz Smashes Maynard in First Round


(“Alright boys, this one’s for all the marbles. Well, maybe not *all* the marbles, but some of the marbles. There will definitely be marbles involved, that much I can promise you.” Photo via MMAJunkie)

After three months of an Ultimate Fighter season that we lost interest in around episode 10, we’re finally at the finish line. Tonight’s TUF 18 Finale card in Las Vegas is headlined by a quasi-rubber-match between Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz — assuming that Nate’s high school reunion doesn’t run late. But the rest of the lineup shouldn’t be overlooked. For one thing, the main card is 60% female, which is unprecedented for the UFC, and the winner of the women’s bantamweight final could theoretically wind up fighting her own TUF coach in the not-so-distant future.

Handling our liveblog of the FOX Sports 1 main card is Matt Kaplan, who will be sticking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and shoot us your thoughts in the comments section.

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TUF 18 Finale Lineup Complete With Pena vs. Rakoczy, Modafferi vs. Pennington + More


(Jessica Rakoczy vs. Raquel Pennington full fight video, via TheUltimateFighterFX)

Assuming you had better things to do on Wednesday night, you probably missed the 13th and final episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18, in which Team Rousey dark horse Jessica Rakoczy fought through an injured shoulder to win a unanimous decision over Team Tate’s Raquel Pennington. (Now everybody pat Jared on the back for calling it.) Rakoczy, who came into this season with a rather stinky professional record of 1-3, now heads into the TUF 18 Finals against Julianna Pena. New prediction: Bruce Buffer will announce Rakoczy’s record as “4-3,” including her exhibition bouts on the show. Call it a hunch.

After Wednesday’s episode aired, the UFC released the full fight lineup for this Saturday’s TUF 18 Finale. Headlined by the lightweight grudge match between Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard, the main card will kick off with two bouts between female TUF 18 castmembers, including the Happy friggin’ Warrior herself. None of TUF 18‘s male castmembers made the cut, besides Chris Holdsworth and David Grant in the men’s final. Harsh, but fair, considering how badly some of these dudes embarrassed themselves.

Check out the full TUF 18 Finale lineup after the jump, and come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT for our liveblog of the main card.

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‘TUF 18′ Episode 12 Quick Recap: Anthony Gutierrez Blows Weight, David Grant Earns Bye to Finals


(Wow, Miller Lite *and* NOS Energy drinks? Am I in heaven?? / Video via TheUltimateFighterFX)

When was the last time we’ve seen an episode of The Ultimate Fighter that didn’t feature a fight? Has this not happened since Season 3 episode 6, when Noah Inhofer left the house over a letter from his jealous girlfriend? (TUF armchair-historians, please feel free to correct me in the comments section.)

The mood was light in the beginning of last night’s episode of TUF 18, with Team Rousey enjoying a backyard BBQ and male strippers. And then, the moment that maybe a few of you have been waiting for: The Coaches’ Challenge. The game is rock climbing, with a $10,000 cash-stack awarded to the winning coach and an additional $1,500 for every member of her team. Ronda out-hustles Miesha at the top of the wall and yells “FUCK YOU BITCH!” (“I just like Miesha being in the habit of always getting beaten by me,” she says later.)

But the good times could only last so long. Team Rousey teammates Anthony Gutierrez and David Grant start cutting weight for their semi-final showdown, and Gutierrez’s casual approach to his diet is coming back to haunt him. On fight day, he wakes up at 145 pounds, a full weight class over where he’s supposed to be. Four hours later, he hits the scales at 140.

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If Anybody Cares, Here’s the Semifinal Fight From Last Night’s Episode of TUF 18 [VIDEO]


(Props: YouTube.com/TheUltimateFighterFX)

After an action-packed Fight for the Troops broadcast, we had no intention of sticking around for an extra hour just to watch the silly-string pranks and Harley Davidson advertorials that made up last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18. Recapping this thing is probably a waste of our time, but we can’t let Episode 10 slip by completely without mention, so here’s the semi-final match between Team Rousey’s Michael Wooten and Team Tate’s Chris Holdsworth, which ended in a first-round rear-naked choke victory for Holdsworth.

The only other notable moment from the episode was the guest-appearance from Nate Diaz, who dropped in to lead a Team Rousey grappling session. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, you can watch it here.

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‘TUF 18′ Episode 9 CRUSHES The Record for Least-Viewed Episode Ever


(I *begged* them to have “Oh Yeah” playing in the background of this scene, but did they listen to me? Nooooooo.)

Yesterday, we mentioned that the Ultimate Fighter 18 mid-season recap episode which aired on October 23rd was the least-viewed episode in the history of the series. To be specific, it received an average of only 476,000 viewers, a 24% drop from the previous low-water mark of 624,000 average viewers, brought in by TUF 16 episode 5. It was a poor showing, without question, but you can’t expect much out of a clip-show, especially since it was competing against the first game of the World Series. Surely, the numbers would bounce back the following week, when there was an all-new episode with a women’s fight on the schedule.

Actually, the numbers sunk even further. On October 30th, TUF 18 episode 9 — which featured the forcible ejection of Cody Bollinger and a savage performance by Sarah Moras — received a viewer average of only 452,000, a 5% drop from the freakin’ clip show. Obviously, the numbers were hurt once again by having to compete with Game 6 of the World Series, but it’s safe to assume that the UFC will never put together a mid-season recap episode for TUF ever again, because that shit is apparently ratings suicide. (By the way, is there really that much crossover between MMA fans and baseball fans? I can’t think of two more dissimilar sports, but I guess a lot of people were watching the MLB post-season this year. I don’t know. I wasn’t one of them.)

The recent TUF ratings news is just the latest in a string of bad viewership numbers for the UFC…

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Mark Coleman Joins ‘The Ultimate Fighter 19′ as BJ Penn’s Wrestling Coach


(Can assistant swagger-coach Phil Baroni be far behind? / Photo via Getty)

Former UFC heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer Mark Coleman recently got a call from the returning B.J. Penn asking “The Hammer” to join Penn’s coaching staff on The Ultimate Fighter 19. “It’s hard to put it into words. The word ‘honored’, everybody uses it too much, but I really am just honored that this guy would want to use me as his coach,” Coleman told Fox Sport’s Damon Martin.

“Me and BJ Penn have been friends since the beginning of this thing, and I consider him a great friend…I’m honored that he respects me enough to handle this position. I don’t take it lightly. It’s going to be a serious job to me out there. I don’t have a whole lot of idols, but BJ Penn is one of them. I love the guy. For him to ask me to do this, I can’t put it into words. Hopefully, I can do a good job with him and as long as he’s happy with me, I’m good.”

TUF 19 will debut on Fox Sports 1 early in 0014. BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar will coach opposite one another on the show and then fight one another for the third time. Coleman will leave for Las Vegas in a few weeks to help Penn prepare the young fighters for the opportunity of their lives.

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‘TUF 18′ Episode 6 Recap + Videos: Hooters Girls, Bed Invasions, And an All-Out War


(The entire Raquel Pennington vs. Jessamyn Duke fight, via YouTube.com/TheUltimateFighter)

By Elias Cepeda

At the start of last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, we learn that this week’s paired up opponents — Team Rousey’s Jessamyn Duke and Team Tate’s Raquel Pennington — were supposed to fight once before. Jessamyn was to make her pro debut against Raquel but her coaches made her pull out because they didn’t like the match up for her.

Jessamyn says she’s glad it is finally happening and on this large stage, no less. Raquel is like, whatever, I’m happy to fight you now because I was ready to fight you a while ago.

Raquel gets make over from Julianna Pena, who is supposedly a “little princess.” Raquel talks about the difficulty of having come out as gay to her family and learning to value her own happiness above what others think of her, while we watch her try on high heels, perhaps for the first time, and get a runway walking lesson from Julianna near the pool.

Raquel takes off the heels and gets back into the gym to work on her Muay Thai kickboxing — specifically defending against the clinch of the taller Jessamyn. Coach Tate tells Raquel not to respect Jessamyn’s punching power because she thinks the beanpole ex-model has not yet learned to hit with power. By contrast, Tate says that Raquel is the strongest girl on her team, and she’s concerned that Raquel will get going to a fast start.

After a commercial break, the teams are taken to something called The Green Valley Ranch, which seems to be a high-end bordello. A bunch of scantily clad Hooters Girls await them and pour them drinks. A pool party ensues, featuring gratuitous slo-mo shots of Tate entering the water and bikini-clad backsides. Luckily, the TUF YouTube channel has released video of that too:

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TUF 18 Ratings Update: A Round of Applause For Our First Group of Female Contestants


(“I’m so sorry…I’m sorry…I’m…*looks down*…hey, those really are nice shoes.” Photo via Getty.) 

If you’ve been following The Ultimate Fighter this season, chances are that, like us, you’ve been more than impressed with the quality of the fights themselves. Four great fights with four decisive (not to mention brutal) finishes have easily outshined most if not all of the petty drama that oft permeates the TUF house, a trend that has only increased since the program’s move to the FX and FOX Sports 1 networks.

Unfortunately, great fights have not necessarily equaled great ratings this season. Blame it on the new network, blame it on the time slot, but TUF 18‘s ratings have been just barely swimming above the “lowest live-viewership” record since the premiere episode. Yes, despite seeing a temporary boost with the second episode, MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer is reporting that last week’s fight between Davey Grant and LivesWithParents pulled in just 640,000 viewers.

In fact, episode 3, featuring the fight between Chris Holdsworth and Chris Beal, similarly drew in just 639,000 viewers. Here’s the thing, episodes 2 and 4 – which featured the female fights of Baszler/Pena and Rakoczy/Modafferi — performed significantly better than those featuring their male counterparts. As Meltzer writes:

For the Ultimate Fighter, there has been an up-and-down pattern in the ratings. As in, the week of a women’s fight, the audience is up. The two women’s fights, airing on Sept. 12 and Sept. 26, did 870,000 and 778,000 viewers live. The men’s fights on Sept. 19 and Oct. 3 did 639,000 and 640,000. 

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TUF 18 Episode 5 Recap: Well, At Least We Know Where Ronda Gets Her “Crazy” From


(The shirt says “Fighting is in my DNA,” just in case you guys didn’t get the message. Photo via UFC.com)

After winning control of the fight picks and securing their first victory last week via dive bomb KO, Team Rousey has selected that roommates and BFF’s Davey Grant (Team Rousey) and Louis Fisette (Team Tate/Lives With Parents) will do battle this week.

Episode 5 starts off with Grant and Fisette shooting the breeze about still being friends after they fight and all that noise, then switches to Roxanne coping with her loss by bawling her eyes out in the fetal position, then switches to Raquel Pennington discussing what it was like coming out to her parents. Non sequiturs FTW!!

Anyway, Grant is our first featured fighter this week. He speaks in what I like to call “Terry Etim English,” in that I can only understand one out of every thirteen words he says. I think he’s missing his children, but he could just as easily be talking about buying his mum a caravan.

At the TUF house, a few members of Team Tate, including “friends with benefits” aficionado Julianna Pena (Author’s note: I’m a really good listener if you ever need one, Julianna. Just sayin’), start to play truth or dare. I shit you not. The first “truth” that comes up: Who’s the hottest guy in the house? Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras votes for Anthony “Sharkbait” Gutierrez. Pena strongly disagrees, labelling him the ugliest guy of them all. Choose your words wisely, Julianna, because if Gutierrez catches wind of his ugliness he will buwn this whole house to da gwound.

Josh Hill is up next and chooses dare. He is given the challenge of using a cheesy pickup line on Roxanne Modafferi. He chooses “Nice shoes, wanna fuck?” It should be noted that Roxanne is not wearing shoes at the time. She didn’t say “No,” though.

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