The Ultimate Fighter – Battle of the Sexes
In it’s 18th season, The Ultimate Fighter has been, and is sure to continue to be anything but boring. With it being the first season to have female coaches, and the first to have both men and women competing and living under the same roof, many conflicts are sure to arise.
The Ultimate Fighter is a reality competition put together by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC for short. It captures a six weeklong journey of 16 hopefuls that are aspiring to win a UFC contract. The fighters compete in different fights each episode, in which the all-star coaches pick who will compete against who.
This season, for the first time, both of the coaches are female fighters who are already under contract with the UFC. Both coaches are in the Bantamweight division, which is a weight class of 126-135 pounds. Each of the contestants on the show is also in this division.
The coach of the green and black team is Women’s Bantamweight Champion, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. She is the first ever women to be signed with the UFC and first ever women’s champion. She remains undefeated with a professional record of 7-0, with all of those wins coming from her vicious, arm bar submission move.
The coach of the blue and yellow team is Miesha Tate. She is a very balanced fighter who can come at an opponent from every angle, whether is be by striking, takedown, or submission. Her professional record is 13-4.
Tate and Rousey have already squared off in a match, which took place when neither of them was under UFC contract. Rousey arose as the victor, nearing breaking Tate’s arm in an arm bar. This match is when their rivalry began and this season of Ultimate Fighter will, and already has started to escalate this hatred they have towards each other.
The first episode started off with each coach picking her team. Rousey won the coin toss and chose to be the decider of the first match, instead of selecting the first pick for her team.
Each team is comprised of eight fighters, four being women and four being men. In past seasons, it’s only been all male teams.
With having first match choice, Rousey boldly opted for her best female, Shayna Baszler, to compete against Tate’s best female, Julianna Peña, trying to send a message early to Tate that she had the best female fighter in the competition. Unfortunately for Rousey, her plan failed during the second episode, when Peña pulled off the shocking victory over Baszler, submitting her by way of a rear-naked choke.
Rousey was extremely angry by this. She warned Tate that she would “destroy her” when it came time to do so.
With the tables now turned, and Tate in control of the match choice, she decided that for episode three, her top male, Chris Holdsworth, would fight Rousey’s top male, Chris Beal.
Beal recently injured his right hand. This is significant because he is a striker and his punches are a big part of his game. Rousey, once again heated with Tate over this decision, called her cowardly for knowing Beal was injured.
However, this didn’t stop the match from happening. Holdsworth defeated Beal by way of a rear-naked choke. Team Tate celebrated this huge victory because they now were up on Team Rousey, 2-0.
For the second week in a row, Tate maintains match choice advantage. For next week, her pick is her fighter Roxanne Modafferi to face Rousey’s, Jessica Rakoczy.
Will Tate’s team maintain control and pull off a 3-0 start or will Rousey’s team earn their first win? Find out next Wednesday at 10pm, on Fox Sports 1 Network.