There hasn’t been as much anticipation surrounding a new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” since, well, a very a long time. With UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and bitter rival Miesha Tate serving as opposing coaches, and with ladies competing in the long-running reality series for the first time, how could there not be massive hoopla?
“The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate” aired Wednesday night on Fox Sports 1, immediately after the live broadcast of UFC Fight Night 28 from Brazil.
Rousey was slotted to coach against Cat Zingano, but received a last-minute surprise when Tate entered the TUF gym and said she was now Rousey’s rival coach. Rousey threw a little tantrum before discovering Zingano was forced out with a knee injury.
The “Rowdy” one will now be stuck with Tate, and vice versa, for the next several weeks. The 135-pounders will battle for Rousey’s belt at UFC 168 on December 28 in Las Vegas.
Elimination fights to get into the TUF house:
Jessamyn Duke def. Laura Howarth via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1
David Grant def. Danny Martinez via submission (armbar) – Round 2
Jessica Rakoczy def. Revelina Berto via submission (omoplata) – Round 1
Michael Wootten def. Emil Hartsner via decision
Peggy Morgan def. Bethany Marshall via TKO (punches) – Round 1
Roxanne Modafferi def. Valerie Letourneau via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1
Tim Gorman def. Lee Sandmeier via TKO (punches) – Round 1
Raquel Pennington def. Tonya Evinger via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2
Chris Beal def. Sirwan Kakai via decision
Josh Hill def. Patrick Holohan via decision
Shayna Baszler def. Colleen Schneider via submission (armbar) – Round 1
Chris Holdsworth def. Louis Fisette via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1
Julianna Pena def. Gina Mazany via decision
Anthony Gutierrez def. Matt Munsey via decision
Sarah Moras def. Tara LaRosa via decision
Cody Bollinger def. Rafael De Freitas via TKO (strikes) – Round 2
Team Tate won the coin toss and elected to pick first. Team Rousey, therefore, had the option of choosing the first fight.
Below are the final rosters, in order each contestant was selected:
Rousey chose to have Shayna Baszler take on Julianna Pena from Tate’s team in the opening fight.
The series resumes next Wednesday, Sept. 11, on FOX Sports 1 at 10PM ET.