This season of The Ultimate Fighter is likely the most vitriolic one since Ken Shamrock vs Tito Ortiz. Coaches Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and their respective coaching staffs have been at each other’s throats since day one, and it’s a miracle a bare-knuckle brawl hasn’t broken out yet.
One fighter is pretty fed up with it though, especially at what she sees as “bullying.”
Women’s bantamweight contestant Jessamyn Duke recently discussed what she saw as Team Tate’s “unwarranted” treatment of Team Rousey coach Edmond Tarverdyan.
“As you saw on this episode Team Tate pulled off what they referred to as a ‘prank,’ where they left a figurine of ‘The Count’ with a coupon for an eyebrow wax in our locker room and wrote Edmond’s name on it,” she said.
“Honestly, it turned my stomach. That’s not a prank; it’s an unwarranted personal attack on Coach Edmond. Pranks are supposed to be mindless and funny. That wasn’t funny or tasteful. It was hurtful and mean and what I expect from high school bullies. What a horrible example to be setting; that making fun of someone’s appearance is funny and okay.”
She added that while Dennis Hallman may have been the one to do it, Tate and Bryan Caraway were in on it too.
“We heard that it was Dennis Hallman who did that, but if you see the episode, Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway were involved,” Duke said. “It was just stupid and I would hope that anyone watching the show sees the difference from pranking and bullying. Obviously we didn’t show Edmond, because it would have enraged him.”
“Team Tate was just trying to get him kicked off the show and get him off focus. He was really important to our team because even though Ronda was the head coach, Edmond really ran the practices and was our main strategist. Plus, Ronda had already told Dana White that we would knock off the bullshit, so we didn’t respond. Team Tate really took advantage of the fact that we were going to stand by our word to Dana, and as a result, really tried to bully us.”
No matter what happens in the rest of the season, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey will finally get to put all of this nonsense aside, and meet in the octagon at UFC 168 in December.