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Tag: TUF 20

TUF 20 Video Highlights: Felice Herrig vs. Randa Markos Ends in First-Round Submission


(Video via TheUltimateFighterFX)

TUF 20 got its first semi-finalist on last night’s episode, when #14-ranked Randa Markos tapped out #6 seed Felice Herrig in the first round with a brilliant modified armbar. Now carrying wins over Herrig and Tecia Torres, Markos has become the season’s Cinderella story — but keep in mind that her next fight will be a true buzzsaw against the winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Joanne Calderwood.

Also on the episode, Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez squared off in the Coaches’ Challenge, which was a non-physical competition for the first time ever, on account of Pettis’s gimpy knee. So if you feel like watching a semi-awkward UFC trivia competition hosted by Bruce Buffer, that’s after the jump.

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Tecia Torres Outpoints Bec Hyatt, Advances to TUF 20 Quarterfinals [VIDEO]


(Props: The Ultimate Fighter)

After losing an upset decision to Randa Markos on episode 1, Tecia Torres was brought back into the TUF 20 bracket as an injury replacement for Justine Kish — and the Tiny Tornado made the most of her opportunity. Check out these video highlights from Torres’s win against “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings on last night’s episode. Rawlings did her best to make it a competitive brawl, but Torres earned a unanimous decision after two rounds thanks to her trademark aggressive striking.

Despite the fact that she began the season on Team Melendez, Torres was technically fighting for Team Pettis in her role as an injury fill-in. And so, Team Pettis dominates the round-of-16 by a final score of 7-1. Damn, Gilbert…even Rampage did better than that.

And then there were eight. Follow us after the jump for the updated TUF 20 quarterfinal bracket, and a video of the matchups being announced. Rose Namajunas vs. Joanne Calderwood should be nasty.

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Rose Namajunas vs. Alex Chambers Video Highlights From TUF 20 Episode 7


(Props: The Ultimate Fighter)

Team Melendez was in a tough spot heading into last night’s episode of TUF 20, after going winless in the first six preliminary fights. Luckily, they still had their ace in the hole — “Thug” Rose Namajunas, who stepped up in a big way and earned a first-round rear-naked choke submission against Alex Chambers.

Check out highlights from the fight above, which show an ever-evolving Namajunas frustrating Chambers with flashy kicks before taking her down and sinking the choke. Other than the heavy right hand that Rose eats at the 0:56 mark, it was a virtually flawless performance, and one that surely put her housemates on notice. Also on the episode…

- Team Melendez struggles with some infighting related to Heather Jo Clark and Lisa Ellis’s fraternizing with Team Pettis.

- Clark learns that she’s suffered a full ACL tear in her right knee, and will be out of action for the rest of the competition.

- Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team stop by to say what up.

- Rose Namajunas discusses how she endured sexual abuse growing up in Milwaukee, and advises other females to seek help if they’re experiencing similar abuse in their own lives. Much respect to Rose for making this issue public.

After the jump: Rose and Pat Barry sit down with Karyn Bryant to discuss the episode on FOX Sports Live’s “TUF Talk.” Rose and Pat are still the best.

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Video Highlights: Aisling Daly TKO’s Angela Magana In a Barnburner on Last Night’s TUF 20


(Props: TheUltimateFighter on YouTube)

Team Pettis’ Aisling Daly has a style that can be best described as…unorthodox. She throws awkward, repetitive 1-2 combos and standing hammerfists that evoke memories of Jade Chun vs. Taeler Jackson. She attacks with her chin sticking straight up in the air — her head’s on a beanpole, as Joe Rogan might say. When it comes to submissions and scrambling, she often seems like she’s just making it up as she goes along. Uhhh…maybe if I just grab her arm like this…and twist it that way?

But Aisling Daly also has surprisingly decent head movement, an iron chin, and the kind of killer instinct that would make Gary Ridgway blush with envy. Daly is just plain aggressive, and the relentless pace she sets from start to finish will fucking break you. While it’s easy to understand how her less-than-flashy style led her to be picked last despite being ranked #5, her third round TKO of Team Melendez’s Angela Magana on last night’s episode of TUF 20 surely erased anyone’s doubts when it came to her skills as a fighter. “Aisling is just one of those ladies that you just know can fight,” as Pettis summed it up.

Full fight recap after the jump.

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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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