Another week and another episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” to review live … well, writing live at least. I’ll call this “live-ish” because I’m writing live but scheduling it for this morning. I would do it live but once I’m done watching TUF it’s off to watch The League and try to get a good night sleep.
It’s Thursday morning as you’re reading this, of course, and another episode of TUF is in the books. Tonight’s episode begins with the fallout of one of the biggest upsets in TUF history: Julianna Pena’s upset of Shayna Bayszler. Bayszler had the best resume of anyone in the house, on the woman’s side, and was the early pick to win once the rosters were announced. She should be in the UFC right now, not fighting to win a TUF contract, and it felt like they were setting her up to come in with emphasis like Roy Nelson did in season 10.
We start out tonight’s episode with Julianna celebrating her win with a buttermilk shake, something Tate promised her. Then it’s some Real World style shenanigans … again. This season has the usual amount of it but it feels so much worse, probably because of the male/female dynamic.
Julianna apparently divulged the matchups coming up for the women’s fights. That was the big to do for this week’s episode. Throw in awkward, forced flirting between Holdsworth and Julianna to make it really “interesting” and there’s a good chunk of your show until the first of what promises to be a number of screaming matches between Ronda and Miesha’s teams. Plus there’s love letters. Yeah … Pena is leaving letters for Holdsworth. Just what TUF needed.
Me, I’m curious as to when the first “TUF 18 Sex Tape” will find its way to Vivid Video.
The editing is pretty interesting, though, as Bryan Caraway comes off as a pretty decent guy all things considered. The two ladies … not so much. Miesha and Ronda aren’t coming off good in any aspect so far; they genuinely don’t like each other but it feels petty in nature. It’s hard to like either woman in these exchanges, much like Matt Hughes and Matt Serra. They didn’t like each other, either, but back then the coaches not liking one another was still kind of fresh. This is old and busted, lipstick on a formula that’s long since been relevant.
Other notes – Chris Holdsworth got into BJJ because of old UFC tapes. Chris Beal’s hand is injured but not broken … just swollen.
The build to the fight is the usual shenanigans. Holdsworth is fighting for his brother, Beal beat cancer. Unfortunately there can be only one. Holdsworth loves to grapple, Beal is being hyped as a bit of a banger despite his record reflecting one win by knockout. This is being hyped as striker vs. grappler … but let’s be fair and say that his power is a bit overrated.
This is TUF, I suppose, but it’s patent dishonesty to label him a knockout artist when he hasn’t knocked a whole lot of people out. Fight records matter, people, not what the talking heads say on TUF. When you only finish one fight professionally via KO/TKO, and the rest via decision, it doesn’t mean you’re a knockout artist.
This week’s fight – Chris Beal vs. Chris Holdsworth
Round 1 – Fairly boring fight until Holdsworth lands a big right and drops Beal, he grabs a guillotine and pulls guard. Beal taps after trying to fight out of it.
Miesha Tate gets the ability to make the next fight.
Next Week’s Fight – Roxanne Modafferi vs. Jessica Rakoczy
A prospect who hasn’t shown much in MMA so far, against a legend of WMMA. This should be … interesting to say the least. Trainwreck potential next week, for sure.
Tags: Miesha Tate, Mixed Martial Arts, Ronda Rousey, The Ultimate Fighter Season 18