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SciFighting Exclusive: TUF 18’s Chris Holdsworth Shares his Opinions on his Female Co-Stars

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Photo Courtesy UFC, TUF Media Gallery

Chris Holdsworth shared his thoughts with us on Womens’ MMA and his female co-stars in this season of TUF. For those who don’t know him Holdsworth is not only a likable character but also a talented fighter. He holds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has some very developed grappling skills. Starting his training at an early age he’s had nothing but dedication to the sport ever since. Prior to his appearance on TUF he had four pro MMA victories, all by submission. If you’ve been keeping up with this season of TUF you’ll likely remember he finished Chris Beal via submission, yet many fans didn’t expect to see his fast hands beating Beal on his feet before taking him to the ground. As is true of many fighters, Holdsworth has an impeccable work ethic that keeps him focused, continuously honing his skills. While the story of this rising MMA star may seem familiar, the fact he is one of the lucky few to be cast in the first ever Co-Ed season of TUF naturally led to questions that we were curious to get the answered.

SciFighting: This season of Tuff is the first to feature women, what do you think about this addition to the show?
Chris: I think they are pretty entertaining…some guys are like “Who wants to see two girls fight?” but I think they draw a big audience…I think it gets more views and reaches out to different demographics…Girls can have role models now with the female fighters on the show, they have someone to look up to.

SciFighting: What was it like having female teammates in the house?
Chris: Having girls in the house for six weeks leveled out the testosterone, you didn’t always have to look at and bump shoulders with another dude. It was nice to have the girls to talk to.

SciFighting: Do you think that fighting adds or takes away from a woman’s beauty?
Chris: It does and it doesn’t, everyone has their own way of expressing themselves…I mean we see the girls without makeup training and working hard, but then when they get dressed, put on makeup… it’s a like a big difference.

SciFighting: What was it like to be under a female coach this season?
Chris: It was a great experience.  Your mind has to work like a parachute, always open. I am always willing to learn and I keep a white belt mentality. There is so much going on with the evolution of MMA, I embraced Meisha and Rhonda. They are two great athletes and great fighters.

SciFighting: Speaking of Rhonda Rousey, her temperament has been brought into question lately by many who’ve worked with her.  What did you observe in your time on TUF 18?
Chris: Some of it’s her personality and some of it’s editing. Nothing was false on the show. She’s competitive and she wants to win [but] for her not to be winning at times brings it out. Her mother is an intense [person] as well, but I learned a lot from her. If you disrespect Rhonda she won’t treat you the best [but] she was always cool to me when she would come to the house. She’s a Champion, [an] Olympic athlete. To get to her level it takes a certain mindset and it shows in the show.

In speaking with Chris it was clear he had sincere respect for the female athletes of MMA. His acceptance of women like Rhonda Rousey and Meisha Tate as role models in the sport is something that will probably hit close to home for many fans of WMMA. There’s no doubt the sport is continuously evolving and open minded athletes like Holdsworth set the bar higher than that of those who might say “Who wants to see two girls fight?”.

We look forward to seeing how the rest of Season 18 unfolds and something tells us this may not be the last time we hear from Mr. Holdsworth.

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Autumn Ziemba
Autumn’s interest in Martial Arts began in her early teens through her father and brother. They trained together for several years. During those years she was also active in Sports. Autumn took a break from Martial Arts and athletics to pursue her education. She completed her Undergraduate Degree at Oneonta State College in Sociology with a concentration in Pre-professional Human Services. She then studied Social Sciences at Binghamton University receiving her Masters in Social Science in 2009. Her passion lies in Gender equality for sports and facets of Mixed Martial Arts. She currently works as a Criminal Justice Professional. Writing is a passion of hers and she enjoys engaging with people of various backgrounds to gain an understanding of different perspectives in the world of MMA.