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Tag: TUF 18

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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Comparing and Contrasting Shayna Baszler and Julianna Pena’s TUF 18, Week 2 Blogs


(Photo via Getty.)

By now, you probably know (or have heard from an outside, spoilery source) that Julianna Pena scored a massive upset over Shayna Baszler in yesterday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18, choking out the WMMA pioneer in the second round of their scrap. The shocking victory was made all the more impressive by the fact that everyone in the TUF house, every assistant coach, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Dana White, cameramen 1-3, the Mayor of Television, 4 out of 5 dentists, Bono and the Duke of Lacrosse Team knew that Baszler was all but a lock to win the season, let alone some preliminary fight against a 4-2 nobody.

But no one believed that Shayna Baszler was fighting a certified tomato can more than Shayna Baszler. If that sounds like an insult, it isn’t. The fact is, Baszler was only setting herself up for disappointment with her weigh-in card tricks and chest-puffing statements like “[Pena] doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring with me. She should be coming to my seminars and learning.” Well it looks like THE THUDENT HATH BECOME THE TEACHER, THAYNA. (Ed note: Apologies, I sometime write with a lisp.) 

In any case, other MMA websites who aren’t CagePotato were able to secure exclusive access to both Pena’s and Baszler’s TUF 18 blogs (or at least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves) and have passed along their thoughts on what was surely an emotional week on the show for both fighters. Which is where we come in: To highlight the most interesting blurbs from said blogs and punctuate them with the occasional fart joke. God I love my job.

We shall begin with Ms. Baszler’s blog, the somewhat pretentiously titled “Queen’s Manifesto” (courtesy of TheMMACorner). Not only is it the more personal blog of the two, but it also showcases the delusional and often contradictory lengths at which a fighter must sometimes go to justify a loss.

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TUF 18 Episode 2 Recap: Some Pussy-Ass Bullsh*t


(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…

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‘TUF 18′ Debut Averages 762,000 Viewers for Smallest Premiere-Audience in Series History


(Okay, new strategy: We just turn this show into an offshoot of Naked and Afraid. / Image via Fox Sports 1)

Blame the new channel. Blame the new night. Blame viewer fatigue from the five hours of UFC fights on FOX Sports 1 that preceeded it. Blame it on the a, a-a-a, a-al, co-hol. Whatever the explanation is, Wednesday’s The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate premiere didn’t exactly blow up the airwaves, averaging 762,000 viewers, the smallest audience for a season premiere in the show’s history. The number is less than half of the 1.51 million viewers who tuned in to episode 1 of TUF 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which aired Tuesday nights on FX earlier this year.

The current-record holder for lowest-rated Ultimate Fighter season is TUF 16, which debuted with 947k viewers but went as low as 624k viewers in its fifth episode, and introduced the world to Julian Lane. It seems likely that TUF 18 will sink below TUF 16‘s low-water mark, given the audience drop-off that generally happens after the season premiere. (In a related story, UFC Fight Night 28 brought in just 539,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 earlier that night — down 35% from the previous week’s Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann show in Indianapolis — but I guess that shouldn’t surprise anybody.)

Of course, there’s always a way to spin stories like these, and UFC president Dana White defended the numbers on a UG post last night:

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TUF 18 Episode 1 Recap: Welcome to Co-Ed Sleepaway Camp Fight Club

By Elias Cepeda

The first episode of The Ultimate Fighter season 18 begins with Ronda Rousey finding out that she will be coaching against Meisha Tate instead of Cat Zingano. She isn’t very happy. In fact, she loses her shit, storms around the TUF gym after Meisha walks in and surprises her, looking for Dana White so he can explain.

When he does, Rousey looks relieved. For some reason, she thought that seeing Tate there meant that she herself was being kicked off as a coach. Not sure why she’d assume that, but it just reaffirms that Rousey’s mind is a dark, scary place built to use everything it encounters as anger-inducing motivation. She’s a terrifying, awesome chick.

The reality sets in — Ronda will coach against Mr. and Mrs. Tate on TUF and will rematch Meisha when it’s all over. Rousey seems cool with it, finally, talking of destiny and broken limbs. This season, of course, will feature both men and women bantamweights vying for a UFC contract.

Thirty-two fighters, sixteen of each gender, have been invited to Vegas and will fight their way into the TUF house. First up, is the obligatory former female model turned fighter Jessamyn Duke out of Kentucky winning by triangle choke. The Invicta vet is 5’11 and somehow makes 135 pounds. Nuts.

Next up, David Grant from Britain faces Dominick Cruz’s teammate Danny Martinez. Martinez is desperate for the take down from the get-go. While defending a takedown against the fence, Grant throws a downward elbow to Martinez’ spine and has a point deducted.

Martinez finally gets a takedown near the end of the round but Grant immediately works a triangle choke. Time runs out and Martinez is saved by the bell. The second round starts and Martinez looks gassed.

Grant knocks Martinez down with a punch, then transitions to his back and, as Martinez gets up, Grant knees him to what he believes is the shoulder but what referee Herb Dean calls as an illegal knee to the head. Another point is deducted.

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The TUF 18 Cast List Features a Who’s Who of Female Bantamweights and a Who’s That of Male Bantamweights


(Well if there’s one thing we know about Tonya Evinger, it’s that she can generate a lot of power even off her back.) 

The cast list for TUF 18: Rousey vs. Zingano Tate Again was released earlier today, and among the female bantamweights competing for that glass plaque and a contract worth almost $10,000 a year for the next 10 years are such familiar faces as Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger (the power bottom pictured above), Tara Larosa and Roxanne Modafferi to name a few. There’s also Valerie Letourneau, a 4-3 Canadian slugger who should not be confused with Mary Kay Letourneau, the schoolteacher who diddled a “lil slugger” back in 1996.

Among the male participants, however, you will not find nearly as many recognizable names. Or any. The lone exception to the argument we just presented would be Cody “Bam Bam” Bollinger, a 14-3 KOTC and Bellator veteran who you might have seen get TKO’d by season 8 featherweight tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev (no joke, I spelled that correctly on my first try) back at Bellator 76. Despite the lack of familiar faces, there are a lot of (albeit modest) undefeated records on the men’s side of the equation, which calls to question why the 1-3 Jessica Rakoczy would be selected given her-oh now I see why.

Check out the full cast list after the jump, then give us your predictions as to who the early favorite should be in our newly-upgraded comments section.

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[VIDEO] The Latest ‘TUF: Rousey vs. Tate’ Preview Features Guy-on-Girl Action, Chicken Wing Poses, Paint Fights (?)

You know, for being a fairly straightforward ad that clocks in at just over 30 seconds, the latest TUF: Rousey vs. Tate preview offers more than its fair share of interesting moments and head-scratching editorial choices. A few highlights…

00:00 - The preview hasn’t even started yet and already we feel like we’re trapped in one of those Technicolor iPod commercials.
00:04 - Wait…were those gloves covered in yellow paint?
00:08 - Nothing says “Intimidating” quite like MORE YELLOW PAINT.
00:12 - My God, the overediting. Who directed this clip, Michael Bay on PCP?
00:17 - Surely this season will play host to the greatest pool hijinks since Caddyshack.
00:20 - Ronda Rousey, rocking what’s become known as “The Chicken Wing” pose or “The Sassy Arm Triangle of Insecurity.” In any case, we’d appreciate it if women never posed like this again for the rest of eternity.
00:21 - Tate, rocking the cross-armed, no nonsense stance. Point Tate, although we would have preferred she went full on B-Boy style.
00:22 - “Mommy, I think these Hulk Hands are knockoffs. They keep melting whenever I play with them outside.”

The top Youtube comment says it all, really:

-J. Jones

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[VIDEO] Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate Go Head-to-Head on SportsCenter, Zero Birds Flipped

After witnessing the non-fight that was Jake Ellenberger vs. Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8, Dana White vehemently declared that “fights with trash talk always suck.” It was an odd thing to hear coming from a fight promoter, especially one who made enough money off the Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz trilogy alone to purchase a chalet bungalow overlooking the finest waterfalls in all of Elysium (TOPICAL!). Also, Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen was a thing that happened.

In any case, let’s hope that the second incarnation of Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate — which is being billed as the biggest rivalry in ALL of MMA Rrrrrrrr *catfight sounds* Snap into a Slim Jim oh yeah! — lives up to the additional pressure it is stacking on the already weighed-down shoulders of WMMA. In the past few days, the champ has flipped off Tate during a staredown, labeled her an Anti-Armenian and allegedly threatened to “cram an entire Lincoln Logs set up her boyfriend’s asspussy.” Allegedly. Anything less than an in-ring decapitation or double KO will be an utter disappointment at this point and the show hasn’t even started yet.

Thankfully, the two were able to keep it together during a recent face-to-face appearance on SportsCenter to hype their upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. You’d think that these two have said all they can say about each other, yet Rousey is still finding new reasons to dislike Tate. Mainly, that smug look of (sexy) disinterest she is always wearing. If DW’s statements about how batshit crazy the both of them are this season have any truth to them, we should expect this conversation to play out several times over the course of TUF 18. 

-J. Jones

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Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate II Slated for UFC 168, December 28th in Las Vegas


(“Hey, that woman might not be a bitch at all. That might just be her bitch-face, and…that’s okay.” / Photo via Getty)

MMA Junkie reports that Ronda Rousey‘s UFC title defense against her old pal Miesha Tate will happen at UFC 168, December 28th in Las Vegas. Yes, that’s a long friggin’ way off, but keep in mind that the two have been busy filming TUF 18: The Rashes, which won’t begin airing until September 4th. Rousey hasn’t competed since her first-round armbar victory over Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in February, meaning that the champ will be carrying a full ten months of “cage corrosion” (as Mauro might say) when she has her rematch with Tate at the UFC’s year-end show.

Speaking of TUF 18, tensions on the set have been high, to say the least. Here’s Dana White with the hype-up we all knew was coming: “I’m telling you, they hate each other so bad,” he said. “You’re going to see a lot of blur marks. Every f—ing time [Ronda is] seeing her, she’s flipping off and getting in her face…It’s not reality bulls–t. It’s complete and total hatred. They hate each other.”

Careful, Dana, we’ve been hurt before. Meanwhile, Ronda’s original opponent/rival coach Cat Zingano has been busy getting her knee drained and stirring up shit on Twitter. So are you guys psyched for the Rousey vs. Tate rematch, or is this the most unnecessary do-over since Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2?

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Oh, Praise the Lord: Miesha Tate to Appear in ESPN’s Next ‘Body Issue’


(“For this first shot, Miesha, I’m going to need you to disregard everything you know about the cleanliness of weight room floors.” Photo via MMAJam.)

Well, if there’s one good thing that has come out of the Cat Zingano-knee injury debacle, it’s this.

Likely to promote her coaching gig and subsequent rematch with Ronda Ronda on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, MMAJunkie is reporting that Miesha “Cupcake” Tate will be featured in ESPN’s fifth edition of The Body Issue, which hits stands July 12. July twelfth. That’s JULY 12.

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