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Tag: The Ultimate Fighter

‘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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TUF 18 Episode 4 Recap: Piss Fits, Toilet Paper Roll Men, And a Gnarly Dive-Bomb KO


(Rakoczy vs. Modafferi highlights, via Fox Sports.)

While the first women’s quarterfinal bout on TUF 18 featured an ego-driven meeting of Team Rousey and Team Tate’s top picks, the second one pitted the female bracket’s #4 seeds against each other. At the end of last week’s episode, we saw coach Miesha Tate select WMMA veteran Roxanne Modafferi (who comes onto the show with a five-fight losing streak) to go in against Team Rousey’s Jessica Rakoczy, a former boxing champ who has only earned one victory in five MMA fights. Once again, we have a meeting of the old school vs. the new school — not to mention a classic matchup between a grappler who’s shaky on her feet vs. a striker who’s still learning this jiu-jitsu stuff. Spoiler alert: The fight ends by stoppage, and it’s ugly.

Ronda Rousey is psyched about the matchup, though. “They’re such predictable little pussies,” she says. “[Modafferi's] not gonna be able to bully in, you’ll be able to pick her apart, it’s perfect.” Rakoczy apparently suffered a shoulder injury during her elimination fight, but she’s ready, and Miesha Tate will pay for every smile she smirked.

Modafferi thanks Tate for the fight-selection — in Japanese, obviously — and says she’s not going to underestimate Rakoczy, even though her team (and guest coach Dennis Hallman) are convinced that Modafferi’s got this one in the bag. Vengeful MMA Gods, that’s your cue to enter.

Edmond Tarverdyan mean-mugs Hallman and tries to pick a fight as soon as he sees him. Hallman calls his bluff and offers to settle it right then in the training center. Rousey holds her coach back, then gets in Hallman’s face and throws a “piss fit.” (Miesha’s words, not mine.) Dana White has to come in and play peacemaker, which is kind of an unexpected role for him. I’m sure it’s just that infamous reality show editing, but man, Tarverdyan and Rousey are really coming off like crazy assholes here.

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TUF 18 Episode 3 Recap: Romance, Liquor and Mad-Dogging Are in the Air


(Chicks. Pro fighters. Bar. Fighting. Sweet)

By Elias Cepeda

Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18 kicked off with some delicious fatness as Coach Miesha Tate delivers treats to last week’s fighters. Her BFF Julianna Pena gets a milk shake and, remembering that she told her how much she loves cake, Miesha brings Team Rousey’s Shayna Baszler some chocolate cake.

Miesha keeps it classy and magnanimous, boys and girls. Though she doesn’t look too happy when Shayna, her former roommate, tells her that Ronda Rousey has won her over a bit.

Julianna doesn’t seem to be making many friends in the house. The underdog won big last week and helped her team, but almost everyone interviewed seems to say that she annoys them.

Maybe it’s the fake British accent she’s adopted and refuses to drop. This week, Julianna’s teammate Chris Holdsworth is taking on Chris Beal, who was chosen by Tate to fight next because he has an injured hand.

Ronda is still furious at the pussy-ass bullshit move and insists that Beal will beat Holdsworth with one hand. Before that can happen, however, Cody meets with Coach Tate and her mascot/assistant coach/boyfriend/manager/suitcase pimp/fellow UFC bantamweight Bryan Caraway to tell them that he believes there’s a mole on their team.

He thinks that it is Julianna. Bryan seems to agree.

Apparently Team Rousey’s Jessamyn Duke guessed all the matchups that Team Tate had laid out as their number one choices. Of course, this means that Julianna, who is friends with Tate and trains with her, told Team Rousey the plan.

Why? Well, she’s already fought so she doesn’t care about what happens to the rest of the team, according to Cody.

When he confronts Julianna with the accusation, which he somehow says isn’t an accusation, she denies it but when others pile on, she suggests that perhaps Roxanne Modafferi, who rooms with Team Rousey ladies, shared the top secret info.

Roxanne flatly denies it and her team jumps to her aid, one of them calling her “a fucking Samurai” who would never stoop so low.

The Part Where We Learn Chris Holdsworth is a Smooth Operator

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What Sorcery is This? ‘TUF 18, Episode 2′ Ratings *Up* 14% From Season Premiere


(“Quick, someone get a trampoline and Adam Carolla before everyone stops watching!” Photo via Getty.) 

It looks like a few more of us were finally able to find the Fox Sports 1 network on our deluxe digital cable television packages (#whitepeopleproblems). According to MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer, viewership for the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18 jumped up 14% from the season’s premiere last week. It’s not incredible news given how abysmal said premiere’s ratings were, but it’s something gosh darn it:

It was the largest increase of a first episode of the season to a second episode in the 18-season history of the show. Only four previous seasons has the second episode had more viewers than the first, almost all in the early days of the show. Some of the gain was due to significant promotion of the show during FOX’s NFL telecasts on Sunday. Other was likely positive word-of-mouth coming from the first episode.

Right Dave, “promotion during NFL telecasts” and “word-of-mouth” were responsible for the increase in TUF 18 viewership. Please, explain to me again what exactly this “NFL” is that you speak of (*shakes head*). The ONLY reasoning behind these numbers is that the audience who tuned in the first week, like myself, instantly fell in love with Miesha Tate and had to come back for more. That being the case, I’d just like to let you all know right here and now that I CALL DIBS (after she leaves Bryan Caraway, which she totally told me she was doing this one time on Twitter).

Previously: Comparing/Contrasting/GIF-capping Shayna Baszler and Julianna Pena’s TUF 18, Week 2 blogs.

-J. Jones

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