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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…

In a sequence lifted from 20 years’ worth of The Real World episodes, the fighters bum-rush the TUF house, scramble to pick bedrooms, then immediately hit the hot tub. ”A little Hot Tub Time Machine action going on!” says Chris Holdsworth, and everybody cringes, inwardly.

In confessional shots to the camera, the fighters discuss the elephant in the room: Would they be hooking up with their fellow cast-mates while stranded in the TUF house? The general consensus among the women is no.

“I came here to do business,” Julianna Pena says. “Looking for a boyfriend was not on my list of things to do.”

“You don’t really want to be that girl,” Peggy Morgan adds.

Still, that doesn’t stop Anthony Gutierrez from running down his odds with each woman: “Sarah wants me really really bad, and I’m not toally into her, I think maybe because she wants me? Jessica, she’s my hot cougar. Jessamyn, she says she’s got a boyfriend, but sometimes we lock eyes a little longer after the conversation’s over…” Oh boy, looks like we’ve got a ladies’ man over here!

As some of the male and female fighters discuss the prospect of training together — specifically, whether or not men should go less than 100% when training with women —  Tim Gorman cements his status as house jackass by shouting: “A GIRL IS NOT GONNA SUBMIT ME!” into the camera. As it turns out, no one of either gender will be submitting Tim Gorman this season. But we’ll get to that.

On the last episode, Ronda Rousey made the bold move of selecting her #1 female pick Shayna Baszler to take on Miesha Tate‘s #1 pick Julianna Pena in the first quarterfinal match. “What organization would put on Julianna vs. Shayna?” Shayna asks. Now, referring to oneself in the third-person is a well-known warning sign that a person’s ego is getting out of hand. But it’s true. Out on the real world, MMA bouts are occasionally shot down by athletic commissions if there’s a vast disparity in experience. Julianna Pena is 4-2, and coming off of two losses (including one against her TUF teammate Sarah Moras). You probably wouldn’t be seeing this matchup in Invicta.

Pena recalls the time she met Shayna Baszler at a Strikeforce show and got pictures with her. Now she’s fighting this woman she looked up to, and she’s a bit spooked. She admits that she’s nervous about Baszler’s submission skills. Even some of her own teammates are dubious that Julianna will be able to pull this one off.

During a light recovery day on Team Tate, Coach Miesha notices that Tim Gorman is nursing an injury. He says he tore his hamstring during his elimination round fight, and his ankle is noticeably swollen. Miesha sends him off to see a doctor. On a related note, Team Rousey’s Chris Beal has a jacked-up hand, but he’s dealing with it.

The second that it’s time for Team Tate to leave the gym, Ronda Rousey kicks the door in and shouts them out of the room. “I know it’s rude,” she explains later, “but psychologically, you have to be like, ‘You move when we tell you to, and we never have move for you.”

Shayna throws in some more trash talk: “I’ve been doing this for over a decade, and [Pena's] not the one to put the stamp at the end of that…I’ve got stuff for here she’s never seen”

We learn more about The Queen of Spades’s tough journey as a female MMA fighter — coming up at a time when nobody cared about female MMA fighters, and the top payday was $300 cash under the table — and what this experience means to her: “I wish there was some way I could Vulcan mind-meld to you people the long road it’s been for us…the epic battles you’ve missed just because it wasn’t in the UFC. And now it’s finally here.”

We see Tate teaching Julianna how to avoid getting armbarred — something that Tate has spent a lot of time thinking about lately. “I think Julianna is the hardest-hitting 135-woman on the planet,” Tate says. “She’s mean and nasty.”

Gorman gets the bad news: One of his major hamstring muscles has nearly torn off, and the doctor recommends 4-6 months of rehab.

“Are you taking into account, like, what a big opportunity it is?” Gorman asks the doctor.

“No opportunity on Earth is worth doing permanent damage to your leg,” Dana White tells him.

“To me it is,” Gorman says. Aw man. He might be a jackass, but you gotta feel for the guy. At any rate, the decision has been made, and Gorman gets bounced from the competition. Replacing him will be Louis Fisette…hey, the deadbeat kid!


(“Lives With Parents.” That’s going to be on his tombstone, isn’t it.)

In a rather unique bit of skullduggery, Baszler pops a Queen of Spades card into Pena’s sports-bra at the weigh-ins. “Spade’s the death card,” Baszler says. “So I gave her a little Queen of Spades card for what’s to come.” Dang.

“It wasn’t cool,” Fissete says. “Keep your cards at home and don’t pull that shit at weigh-ins.”

“Shayna was already in her head, and doing something like that even makes it more so,” Jessamyn Duke says. “I don’t think Julianna really realizes with what intensity Shayna is coming.”

“I’m not gonna lose to her,” Baszler says. “She doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring with me. She should be coming to my seminars and learning.” And so, Shayna Baszler officially jinxes herself out of the win. Ah well.

Ronda, in ice-cold terminator mode: “Shayna’s great, she’s ready. This other girl doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air as her, and she knows it.”

“You’re the queen of fucking spades,” Ronda tells Shayna, pre-fight. “You need to show everybody what that fucking means.”

Famous last words, from Shayna Baszler: “There is a side of me that feels like I shouldn’t have to dance this dance. I fought a lot of the girls that are already signed in the UFC. I’m ranked higher than some of them, you know? I don’t know why I kept getting passed up, I don’t know why. I think it’s time to teach the people a lesson.”

Time to dance this dance…

Round 1: Shayna comes forward, looking to establish herself early. Coach Tate screams “BE FIRST!” and suddenly Julianna remembers the game-plan — she storms forward with hard punches and has Shayna on her heels, pushing her against the cage. Shayna ties her arms up, drags her to the mat once, then twice, and lands in side control. Shayna takes Julianna’s back, works for a choke, loses it, and gets in Julianna’s guard. Julianna lands a pair of elbows from the bottom. Julianna looks to work her guard, and Shayna lands a couple strikes from the top before she’s kicked off. Shayna grabs a headlock when they’re on their feet, and tries to set up a crucifix on the mat. She loses it, but puts Julianna right back on the mat after the younger fighter tries to stand. Julianna tries to kick out, Shayna scrambles back on top of her. Shayna rolls for guillotine, loses position completely, and gets reversed. Shayna has her arm around Julianna’s neck but can’t do anything with it. Julianna gets some space and tees off as Shayna stands and tosses her back down. Shayna re-establishes top position as the round ends. Julianna may have landed more strikes, but I’d probably give the round to Shayna for her takedowns and ground control.

I was wondering if they’d have ring girls working the round cards on this season, and my question is answered. What up, Vanessa.

Round 2: Julianna comes out slugging just like in round one. She fires wild, heavy punches and Shayna is just trying to weather the storm. Shayna tries to toss Julianna but can’t. Shayna ties up with Julianna against the fence. Shayna might be running out of steam. Julianna turns her around and lands some brutal knees from clinch. Julianna takes Shayna down. Shayna’s nose is bloodied. Julianna gets in side control, then back mount. Shayna covers up as Julianna rains down punches from above. Julianna sneaks an arm under Shayna’s chin, then rolls her and squeezes out a tap. It’s a huge upset, and Team Rousey’s gets their heart ripped out early.

Coach Ronda is absolutely heartbroken for Baszler: “I wish I could take everything that Shayna’s feeling and feel it myself right now,” Rousey says. But it seems like she already is. Have we ever seen a TUF coach cry for their losing fighter before last night?

Baszler is inconsolable, but Ronda does her best: “Everyone’s seen you and everyone knows you…there were a lot of Ultimate Fighters before you that ended up doing nothing, but there are lot of people who were on the show [and didn't win] that ended up being everything.” Well, maybe not everything, but yeah, close enough.

Ronda, still crying: “It was my job to make sure they got through this, and I fucking failed today. I looked over and saw Shayna just hurting like that, and I looked over and saw Miesha just smiling at her pain. She’s gonna pay for every smile she smirks today.”

For the record, there wasn’t any moment where we saw Tate “smiling at [Shayna's] pain.” Sure, she celebrated her fighter’s victory, but unlike some other TUF coaches we could name, she wasn’t a dick about it whatsoever. Still, Ronda confronts her after the fight and threatens to punish her for smiling at her girl’s pain. Tate is understandably confused. “Smile at your girl’s pain? Shayna’s my friend,” Tate says. Still, Tate didn’t show the proper level of respect for poor Shayna Baszler, and Ronda has another reason to hate her.

Now that Team Tate has fight selections, the next matchup will be Chris Holdsworth (Team Tate’s #2 male pick) vs. Chris Beal (Team Rousey’s #1 male pick). Tate’s crew noticed Beal’s hand injury, and they want to take advantage of it while they can.

Of course, this further infuriates Ronda Rousey, who calls the move “some pussy-ass bullshit.” Maybe it is. Maybe it’s just smart play. What do you think?

On the next episode: Rousey and Tate get into a verbal altercation at a makeshift bar, and Miesha claims that Ronda doesn’t know how to hit pads. Don’t miss it!

Team Rousey Women
Shayna Baszler (eliminated by Julianna Pena in the quarterfinals, episode 2)
Jessamyn Duke
Peggy Morgan
Jessica Rakoczy

Team Rousey Men
Chris Beal
Davey Grant
Anthony Gutierrez
Michael Wootten

Team Tate Women
Julianna Pena
Sarah Moras
Raquel Pennington
Roxanne Modafferi

Team Tate Men
Cody Bollinger
Chris Holdsworth
Josh Hill
Louis Fisette (replaced Tim Gorman)

Actually, Tara LaRosa was supposed to be the female ringer on this season, but she didn’t even make it past the elimination round.

Ben Goldstein

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BEAM- September 12, 2013 at 9:45 am
Tara LaRosa got beat in elimination? Wow. I remember when she was supposed to be the better than Carano
LetsBetOnIt32- September 12, 2013 at 9:27 am
I really hope tates hot ass puts a beating on Rousey. That chick is a cunt, and that mole on her face gets on my nerves :)
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