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Tag: TUF 20

Full Fight Video: Felice Herrig Out Points Heather Clark (Again) on TUF 20


(Props: TheUltimateFighter on YouTube)

After a 2-week hiatus, TUF 20 returned last night with a much anticipated grudge rematch between #6 seed Felice Herrig and #11 Heather Clark. As luck would have it, the fight went down in very similar fashion to their first encounter, with Felice using her Muay Thai background to set up her consistently improving takedowns and generally outwork Clark all around. The UFC has made the full fight available via its Ultimate Fighter Youtube channel, so check it out above.

Also on last night’s episode, it was revealed that #9 seed Justine Kish had torn her ACL and would therefore be removed from the tournament. In her place, #3 Tecia Torres — who was upset by #14 Randa Markos back in episode 1 — was reinstated to face #8 Bec Rawlings in a later episode. The twist: Torres will now fight for Team Pettis, who are currently up five to nil over Team Melendez.

After the jump: Clark and Herrig continue their war of words on TUF Talk, which is apparently a thing that exists now.

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Video Highlights: Carla Esparza Chokes Out Angela Hill on TUF 20


(Props: TheUltimateFighter on YouTube)

Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned featured #1-seeded former Invicta champ Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza taking on #16-ranked Angela “Overkill” Hill. And while Hill and her coaches were confident that the fight would be a lot more competitive than the rankings suggested, Esparza’s elite wrestling skills overwhelmed the Muay Thai champ. Once Esparza secured a takedown, she aggressively went for Hill’s neck, eventually sinking a rear-naked choke late in the first round. With Esparza’s win, Team Pettis is now up 4-0 on Team Melendez.

As for Angela Hill, she may have been eliminated in the first round, but she’s left a lasting impression on her teammates…

Respect the gas.

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VIDEO: Jessica Penne Chokes Out Lisa Ellis on TUF 20, Episode 3


(Props: TheUltimateFighterFX)

On last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, #13-ranked Team Melendez strawweight Lisa Ellis had the chance to avenge her Invicta FC 1 TKO loss to #4-ranked Team Pettis fighter Jessica Penne. It didn’t go so well. This time, Penne only needed a single round to lock in a rear-naked choke and secure the tap from Ellis. Video of the full fight is above.

The victory gives Team Pettis a 3-0 lead over Team Melendez going into next week’s rankings-mismatch of Carla Esparza (#1, Team Pettis) vs. Angela Hill (#16, Team Melendez). Also, remember that tease-scene of Bec Rawlings crying in episode 1? Well:

The episode begins on a somber note. Dana White comes into the locker room looking for Bec Rawlings. He takes her into a side room and gives the bad news. After a long bout with Parkinson’s disease, her stepfather passed away. Bec knew that there was a chance of this happening when she left Australia, but the news still hits her hard. Her stepfather was a big fan of her career and she laments that, “I was hoping he could hold on a little longer so he could see my UFC debut.”

Dang. Our condolences, Bec.

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TUF 20 Episode 2 Video Highlights: Calderwood vs. Kagan, Felice Herrig’s Blurred-Out Crotch + More

I decided not to do a “TUF Checklist” post for TUF 20 episode 2, because there were no absurd Dana White exaggerations, none of the women said “I’m not here to make friends” or made any scary proclamations, there were no misleading teases for future episodes, and honestly, the ladies didn’t really “bring it” during the fight. (#2-ranked Joanne Calderwood looked hesitant and flat in the first round, and still managed to beat #15-seed Emily Kagan in a two-round majority decision.) The updated TUF 20 bracket is here, if you’re interested.

Luckily, the Ultimate Fighter YouTube channel has posted clips of the relevant moments from last night’s episode, as well as some unaired footage. Notably absent: The scene where some of the Team Pettis fighters tell their coaches that they’re not happy with the stop-and-go vibe of the training. According to Randa Markos, that confrontation may have compelled Duke Roufus to leave the show.

The clips continue after the jump. If you have any thoughts on the episode — other than the obvious — please share ‘em.

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TUF 20 Debut Pulls In 536k Viewers For Worst Premiere Ratings in Show’s History


(“Beauty might be skin deep, but so are our viewers.”) 

If you were overcome with a sudden feeling of deja vu while reading that headline, you’re not alone. We’ve written some variation of it at least three times now — once for the TUF 16 premiere, again for the TUF 18 premiere, and probably once for TUF 19, but we don’t care enough to look it up — with the only variant between them being the perpetually-descending number of viewers tuning in each season. But yes, the numbers are in, and with 536,000 viewers, TUF 20: Easy on the Eyes, Hard on the Face has shattered the record for the lowest viewed season premiere in the show’s history. I guess we should have seen this coming.

I don’t mean to make some overarching statement about the state of WMMA here, but this can’t be a good sign for the popularity of the women’s strawweight division. Between the social media campaign, the PR tour, the red carpet premiere, and the blatantly sexualized marketing campaign that was put together for this show, it was safe to say that the UFC had a lot riding on TUF 20. Expectations were high, and the season premiere bombed. Hard. Like, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive line hard.

The craziest thing about all this? The TUF 20 premiere was actually good. The brackets, the attention to the fighters backstories, the massive upset that was Torres vs. Marcos — it was a top notch episode from production to pacing. While the dwindling quality of seasons past has been rightfully reflected by its viewership (or flat out discussed on the show itself), TUF 20 is the first season in the show’s history to crown a champion at its conclusion. It had stakes, dynamic participants, all of the stuff that reminds us what a compelling show TUF can be. Yet no one fucking watched it.

I’m not sure what there is to take away from TUF 20‘s abysmal numbers, really, other than the fact that FS1 will likely never be a comparable platform for delivering MMA content to Spike TV. But be honest, how many of you actually tuned in for last week’s premiere?

-J. Jones

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The TUF 20 Checklist, Episode 1: A Loaded Bracket, An Early Upset, And the Coin That REFUSED TO DIE


(Here’s what the TUF 20 bracket looks like after episode 1; click image for full size version. Team Pettis is in green, Team Melendez is in purple. Props: Reddit MMA)

Last night’s premiere episode of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned ended with Invicta FC standout Tecia Torres losing in a major upset, when she dropped a three-round decision to the relatively unheralded Randa Markos. If you think that’s a “spoiler” because you haven’t watched the episode yet, well, now you know how the rest of us feel. Due to some epic screw-ups by the UFC production team, the Torres/Markos result was briefly revealed on the broadcast before the fight had even aired, and UFC.com posted an episode recap while the show was still going on. Those are spoilers, my friends.

But all that weirdness aside, TUF 20 episode 1 was a highly satisfying two hours — and not just because the CagePotato logo appeared on the broadcast several times (!) in footage from Rose Namajunas’s Invicta fights. In an interesting change of format, the 16 strawweight competitors were given seeding-numbers based on their rank in the division, and placed into a bracket; #1-ranked Carla Esparza will fight #16-ranked Angela Hill, #2-ranked Joanne Calderwood will fight #15-ranked Emily Kagan, and so on. Coaches Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez still got to pick their teams based on which fighters they liked best after an evaluation session — and they’ll still decide the order of the fights — but they weren’t given the seed-numbers beforehand. It worked out like this…

Instead of giving you a scene-by-scene rundown of everything that happened on the show, we’d like to debut the TUF 20 Checklist, which will hopefully hit the major themes that you’ll be seeing each week. Here we go…

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 20: A Champion Will Be Crowned’ Premieres Tonight on FOX Sports 1


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

The most high-stakes season of TUF since “The Comeback” kicks off tonight, as The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned debuts on FOX Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Yes, that’s the official title of the season, but feel free to keep calling it TUF 20, or TUF: Strawweights, or TUF: Easy on the Eyes, Hard on the Face, or TUF: A Buncha Catty Broads Complaining About That One Bitch at Work.

And because our buddy Angela “Overkill” Hill didn’t really get any screen-time in the media day promo (see above), here’s a video of her choking out that mark-ass Greg Kelly last week on Good Day New York.

After the jump: A handy, bingo-card-sized guide to the TUF 20 cast.

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Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez *Tentatively* Booked for UFC 181 on December 6th (Tentatively.)


(Your captions, please. via Pettis’ Twitter)

I would like to begin this article by proposing a new category for this year’s Potato Awards, “Most Excruciating Absence By a Champion (a.k.a “The Dominator Award”)” and preemptively awarding it to lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Or maybe Cain Velasquez. No, definitely Pettis. Iiiit’s been nearly a year since we last saw “Showtime” secure said championship via a first round submission over Ben Henderson, and thanks to his coaching gig opposite Gilbert Melendez on TUF 20, it will be at least another half a year before we see him compete again.

That’s because earlier today, Pettis told MMAFighting that his fight against Melendez has been scheduled for December 6th at UFC 181. I honest-to-God want to believe that both men will make it to that date intact, but the TUF coaches curse has fooled me five too many times to place any real faith in Pettis’ words. But there you have it: December 6th. UFC 181. Vegas.

As for how the season itself is going, Pettis seems to have found the space between “it sucks” and “ERMAHGERD BERST SERSERN ERVER!!!” that Dana White has never been able to…

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Let’s Count All the Cringeworthy/Shit-Stirring Moments From Ariel Helwani’s Interview With the TUF 20 Cast

If you’re not familiar with MMA reporter/occasional UFC employee Ariel Helwani by now, all you need to know is that he loves to instigate shit between MMA fighters more than MMAMania’s Jesse Holland loves to eye-rape Brittney Palmer. The shots, they have been fired.

Helwani has been rightfully punked for talking noise on several occasions in the past, most notably by sirs Diaz, Page and Ortiz, but has never ceased in his quest to poke bee nests from afar while simultaneously acting as if he isn’t the one holding the honey-covered stick. His shit-stirring skills were on full display at the unveiling of the TUF 20 cast last week, where he sat down (sort of) with each member of the cast to ask hard-hitting questions like:

-”Is there anyone you saw while moving into the house that you were like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to live with this person?’”

-”Is there anyone that you’re annoyed that you have to live with for the next six weeks?”

-”Like who, who are we talking about?”

-”C’mon, it’s more fun that way.”

-”Is it Felice? Are you talking about Felice?”

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Fight Pass FTW?!: UFC to Begin Broadcasting Invicta FC Events Exclusively on Digital Network


(“Cris Cyborg is a roided-out, Wanderlei Silva in a dress-looking freak…who you can now watch compete for just $9.99 a month!”)

Of all the suggestions we made as to how the UFC could improve their Fight Pass programming, one obvious oversight we made was that of Invicta FC events. The UFC’s ties with the all-women’s fight promotion haven’t exactly been kept under wraps over the years, with the UFC recently pillaging Invicta’s strawweight division to fill the roster for The Ultimate Fighter 20. Considering Invicta’s past struggles with their website and iPPV process, it was only a matter of time before they partnered with the best the second best digital subscription-based combat sports (entertainment) website out there, right?

Well I’ll be damned if my fictionalized, rhetorical version of you CP readers isn’t actually right for once. Earlier today, the two promotions announced “an historic multi-year, multi-event deal” (via MMAJunkie) that grants the UFC exclusive broadcast rights to all future Invicta events via their Fight Pass network in addition to the promotion’s entire library being made available in the FP archives.

Said Invicta FC president and co-founder Shannon Knapp about the deal:

This is a great day for my company. Since the start of Invicta, I’ve been committed to providing the biggest and best possible platform for women athletes, and with this distribution deal with UFC Fight Pass, Invicta will reach the most passionate MMA fans, wherever they are in the world. 

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