With all the hype surrounding Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate’s match at UFC , it’s easy to forget that Cat Zingano was originally set to coach The Ultimate Fighter 18. Rousey was under this impression early in the first episode as she stood in a “TUF” gym decorated with posters of herself and Zingano. Anticipation quickly turned into confusion as Tate walked in. Dana White pulls them aside and says that Zingano blew out her knee and Tate would be the replacement coach.
After Rousey takes time to digest the change, the women prepare to watch 32 fighters battle for a spot in the “TUF” house:
Jessamyn Duke defeats Laura Howarth via submission
Jessica Rakoczy defeats Revelina Berto via submission
Peggy Morgan defeats Bethany Marshall via TKO
Roxanne Modafferi defeats Valerie Letourneau via submission
Raquel Pennington defeats Tonya Evinger via submission
Shayna Baszler defeats Colleen Schneider via submission
Julianna Pena defeats Gina Mazany via decision
Sarah Moras defeats Tara LaRosa via decision
Davey Grant defeats Danny Martinez via submission
Michael Wooten defeats Emil Hartsner via decision
Tim Gorman defeats Lee Sandmeier via TKO
Chris Beal defeats Sirwan Kakai via decision
Josh Hill defeats Patrick Holohan via decision
Chris Holdsworth defeats Louis Fisette via submission
Anthony Gutierrez defeats Matt Munsey via decision
Cody Bollinger defeats Rafael de Freitas via TKO
At the conclusion of the elimination round, White informs the surviving fighters of incentive that could be earned. “Knockout of the Season,” “Submission of the Season” and “Fight of the Season,” will be voted on by fans at the conclusion of the season and can earn a fighter $25,000 per award. This is in addition to the six-figure UFC contract that goes to the winning male and female.
Rousey wins the traditional coin toss and elects to pick the first match rather than pick the first fighter.
The selections went as follows:
|Team Rousey||Team Tate|
|Shayna Baszler||Julianna Pena|
|Jessamyn Duke||Sarah Moras|
|Peggy Morgan||Raquel Pennington|
|Jessica Rakoczy||Roxanne Modafferi|
|Chris Beal||Cody Bollinger|
|Davey Grant||Chris Holdsworth|
|Anthony Gutierrez||Josh Hill|
|Michael Wooten||Tim Gorman|
After completing their selections, Rousey announces that the first match will be between top pick Baszler and Pena. “We want to just go straight for the jugular and demoralize their whole team, take their No. 1 pick out, and retain control of the fight picks for the rest of the tournament,” Rousey said. Aside from dirty looks and snide comments, Rousey and Tate weren’t at each other’s throats in the season’s first episode. Then again, there’s a long way to go before TUF 18 wraps up.