(Sarah Moras vs. Peggy Morgan full fight video. Props: YouTube.com/TheUltimateFighterFX)
No, we didn’t skip an episode. Last week’s installment of TUF 18 was a mid-season recap/clip-show-thingy, and if you want to be a dick about it, you could say it was the least-watched episode in the history of the series. We didn’t watch it, you didn’t watch it, let’s move forward.
Last night’s episode began with Coach Miesha Tate showing up with some burgers for Michael Wootten and Josh Hill, as a reward for their not-terrible fight in episode 7. Meanwhile, Ronda Rousey angrily eats falafel balls alone in her car. Honestly, she’s such a pretty girl, she should smile more.
The last two quarterfinal matches are on the docket: Team Rousey’s Anthony Gutierrez vs. Team Tate’s Cody Bollinger, and Team Rousey’s Peggy Morgan vs. Team Tate’s Sarah Moras. Miesha feels good about the matchups, but Cody’s weight is a concern. He still has a lot of pounds to drop, and he eyes the burgers with longing and resentment.
Anthony has been watching TUF since season 5, when he was 15 years old. As you can imagine, the young gangster Nate Diaz made quite an impression on him. Being on the show himself is “completely unreal” to Anthony. Ronda describes him as “annoying and squirrely,” but in a good way.
Gutierrez’s weight-cutting routine involves sleeping while wrapped in multiple layers of blankets. Ugh, that looks terrible. I’m one of those “sleeps over the covers unless it’s freezing in the room” kind of guys. My wife is totally the opposite. She’s under the blanket even when it’s the middle of summer and the AC’s not working. Opposites attract, I guess. I don’t know. It’s something we’re discussing with out marriage counselor. Anyway, Anthony plans on rehydrating up to 155 pounds when this is all over.
Cody Bollinger is fading badly during the weight cut. The guy is painfully skinny as it is, and shedding all his water on the treadmill and in the sauna is breaking him mentally. Four hours before weigh-ins, Cody is still at 142 pounds. (Or, “141 and a half,” as Brian Caraway says, trying to stay positive.) But Cody has nothing left to give. He had just punished himself for the past two hours, and has made no progress on the scale. It’s a bridge too far.
Chris Holdsworth explains that all of Cody’s previous fights have been at 145 or higher, so doing the bantamweight season of TUF was sort of an ill-advised plan for him to begin with. Cody quits. Bryan and Miesha try to talk him off the ledge. “You’re not thinking clearly right now,” Miesha says. “You will hate yourself forever if you don’t try your hardest to make weight.” Miesha shows Cody a picture of his daughter, who is being held hostage somewhere, I guess. That is cold-blooded, Tate.
The two-headed being known as Mieshaway Caratate takes Cody back to the house and arranges a nice salt bath for him. Cody won’t even get in. “You’re just gonna give up like that?” Miesha asks, sounding like a disappointed mother. “You’re not even gonna try?”
“I can’t make weight,” Cody says. “It’s over. I’m sorry.”
He starts rehydrating. Coconut water, shit like that. Raquel Pennington tries a last-ditch effort to get him back in the game, urging him to try the salt bath. Amazingly, he does. But it’s too late. He already drank the coconut water.
And now it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for — the moment where UFC President Dana White shows up to the gym and publicly humiliates somebody for not being a real fucking fighter. Check out the video below:
Just like that, Team Tate’s #1 male pick is sent out the door. Bollinger is crushed that he blew his shot. Last night, Cody revealed on Twitter that he’s signed a contract with World Series of Fighting. Jesus. It breaks your heart to see something like that happen.
The good news for Anthony Gutierrez is that he might get a bye into the semifinals because of this. Though Dana thinks that Chris Beal deserves a second-chance to come back in as an alternate, the NSAC is concerned about Gutierrez (who spent all day cutting weight) having to cut weight again for a fight against Beal in the near future. So we’ll see.
Ronda is upset about how Miesha blah blah blah, you know what, it’s not even worth getting into.
Anthony is actually given the option of fighting an alternate or accepting the forfeit and moving on. Huh. So, do you do the smart thing and take a free pass to the next round, or do you cut weight again and take a quarterfinal match just to impress Dana? Luckily, Anthony is here to win this show, not to win respect points. He happily accepts the forfeit, arguing that it wouldn’t be fair to him to have to cut weight again a few days later.
‘Nuff bullshit, time for the women. Sarah Moras gives us the quote of the season: “I’m fighting Peggy Morgan. I think she’s very pale, and a ginger. Really tall, too, so she’s kind of like a giraffe.”
Moras’s origin story is the exact same as Gina Carano‘s, minus the old Thai man calling her fat. Basically, she just wanted to get in shape, her boyfriend was a fighter and took her to the gym one day, and she fell in love with it. Her game-plan is to take Peggy to the mat and pound her face in. She will break Peggy’s arm if the giraffe asks for it.
Peggy is a college professor who never planned to have a professional MMA career, but fell into one anyway. She says Sarah will be surprised at how hard she is to take down, and how hard she can hit.
Weigh-ins proceed without incident. After the face off, Sarah appears to drink coconut water out of an actual coconut.
Fight time. Peggy is seven inches taller, nine years older, and has a 4.5-inch reach advantage.
Round 1: Sarah takes the center of the cage and starts jabbing. Peggy fires back with long straights. Sarah moves in with a body kick and hook. Peggy works her own jab to good effect. Solid leg kick from Sarah. Sarah shoots to take Peggy down, but Peggy defends. Sarah pushes Peggy against the cage. Sarah is warned not to grab the fence. Sarah gets in a body kick, eats a jab in return. Sarah shoots in and drags Peggy down. Peggy tries to reverse it, but Sarah bulldogs her against the fence. Peggy is sitting against the cage, Sarah has her legs tied up with her own. Peggy holds Sarah in a headlock. Sarah breaks out of it, creates some distance and starts raining down elbows and punches. Peggy eats some nasty ones, and she’s cut. Sarah gets mount, and goes for a straight armbar. Peggy tries to defend, but Sarah straightens it out — hyper-extending the arm to a gnarly degree — and Peggy immediately taps, handing another win to Team Tate.
It’s time for the semi-finals matchups to be arranged, and each remaining fighter is asked who they want to go up against. You can watch that scene below. Unsurprisingly, all three of Team Tate’s women call out Jessica Rakoczy, the last female standing on Team Rousey. Also unsurprisingly, Jessica says she’ll fight anybody.
Chris Holdsworth says that he wants to fight Anthony Gutierrez next, because Anthony’s been eating his food, and that him vs. Davey Grant would make for a good finale fight. Davey and Anthony would happily fight any of the other men. Michael Wootten wants Anthony because he’s probably the easiest opponent.
Ronda wants to see Jessica vs. Sarah and Julianna vs. Raquel, and Miesha is agreeable to that. Dana is shocked.
As usual, the fighters’ and coaches’ preferences have absolutely no bearing on the semifinal matchups that are actually made. Seriously. This happens every season. Note to future TUF fighters: If Dana ever asks you who you want to fight next, tell him who you don’t want to fight.
The men’s semifinals will be: Chris Holdsworth vs. Michael Wootten and Davey Grant vs. Anthony Gutierrez.
The women’s semifinals will be: Sarah Moras vs. Julianna Pena and Jessica Rakoczy vs. Raquel Pennington.
Until next week…
Team Rousey Women
Shayna Baszler (eliminated by Julianna Pena in the quarterfinals, episode 2)
Jessamyn Duke (eliminated by Raquel Pennington in the quarterfinals, episode 6)
Peggy Morgan (eliminated by Sarah Moras in the quarterfinals, episode 9)
Team Rousey Men
Chris Beal (eliminated by Chris Holdsworth in the quarterfinals, episode 3)
Team Tate Women
Roxanne Modafferi (eliminated by Jessica Rakoczy in the quarterfinals, episode 4)
Team Tate Men
Cody Bollinger (removed from show after not making weight, episode 9)
Josh Hill (eliminated by Michael Wootten in the quarterfinals, episode 7)
Louis Fisette (eliminated by Davey Grant in the quarterfinals, episode 5)