TUF 26 Episode 5

Man this episode got me fired up.

 

It opens with this scene of me talking about the fight. I was broken hearted, embarrassed, and lonely. That shit is real, guys. I was a wreck. I have actually felt like that after every loss. The difference was, this time, it was on national TV, I didn’t have Joe there, and I couldn’t even see the fight afterward to see what I had done wrong. Oh yeah, and there was also the little fact that my dream of being a UFC and TUF champion had crumbled away in the space of ten minutes. I was so bummed to lose, and ESPECIALLY in the first round. Sorry if it was all Debbie Downer style, but that night, I WAS Debbie Downer.

The morning after my fight, I stayed home. The van for practice leaves at 9:30am, and I wanted to sleep, and let my body and mind take a breath. Most fighters actually take a week off after they fight, so I figured a morning was reasonable. I knew Eddie would not be happy, but I didn’t think he’d say the things he said.

I actually didn’t know what he had said about me until I saw the episode. I didn’t know he had said I wasn’t “built for this”, and that I was bringing down the morale of the team, that I was selfish and those girls depend on me. I didn’t know he had said any of that.

First of all, they don’t depend on me. I’m not their fucking coach, Eddie is. It’s his job to get those women ready for their fights. That’s what the UFC paid him to be there for, not me.

Secondly, who is bringing down morale? The woman taking a rest day, or the guy talking shit about her to the rest of the team while she’s not there? How do you think those other girls felt knowing that Eddie would give them the same treatment if they wanted a day off? Gah! It’s making me mad all over again just thinking about it!!

Besides, I’m pretty sure Eddie didn’t go running to the gym the day after Conor McGregor knocked him out so he could help his teammates get ready for their fights.

I thought the whole situation was a load of crap then, and I especially think it is now that I’ve seen the episode.

Anyway, that morning, probably right about the time Eddie was telling the camera that I was being selfish, I wandered into the kitchen. Nicco, Gillian, and Emily were having breakfast at the counter and I sat down and started talking to them. Nicco was taking the day off too (because that’s what you do after you fight). They couldn’t believe Eddie wanted me to come to the gym. On Team Gaethje, Justin was the opposite: He let the girls on his team rest whenever they felt they needed it, no questions asked. Sometimes he even forced them to take rest days. After their fights, everyone took a day off on his team.

Me eyeing Justin Gaethje’s team

 

I hadn’t really talked to Nicco before our fight and it was pretty cool to get to know her a little. We talked about how sore we felt and how hard we had fought each other, and as we sat there I felt a weird sense of like… I was happy for her, honestly. It’s kind of cool to see the next generation come up, you know? I’ve never really felt that way about an opponent, and it actually felt pretty good.

So the girls got back from morning practice. I figured Eddie had said something, but no one would really tell me what it was, so I knew it was probably something shitty. I did go to the afternoon training session that day, and as you can see, Eddie didn’t give me the same talk he gave the rest of the girls. In fact, he changed his tune entirely. I told him I had just been too much of a wreck to come in the morning and that I needed some time to myself. Off camera, he actually thanked me for staying home and not bringing a bad attitude on the mats, but by that time, the damage was done. I was already pissed he had said whatever he had said, and him thanking me in private didn’t sit well with me after I knew damn well he had just said something shitty publicly.

 

This is really where I swerved not only from Eddie, but also from my other teammates. Some of them thought Eddie was a great coach, and I couldn’t disagree more. It was unspoken, but there was definitely distance between myself and some of the other women on the team after this.

Around this time, but a little later in the week, we got another new coach, a boxing guy. His name was Ray. You can see Sijara hitting mitts with him to cut weight. Look guys, the coaches were all nice people, I’m sure. But now, we’re three weeks or so into the tournament and we’ve had 9 different coaches come through at least. Go ahead, you can count them on your TV. It was hard to learn anything because there was no consistency, and I was starting to get pissed about that. I was pissed that my corner for my fight was Eddie, a dude I had never met, and a guy that didn’t speak English. I was pissed at myself for losing. I was mad Eddie talked shit about me to the rest of the team and mad at the team for believing him. I was pissed we couldn’t get a rest day and frustrated that I was the only one speaking up about anything. Then I would look over at Gaethje’s team and they got to have lots of rest days, they had the same four consistent coaches to work with the whole six weeks, and the girls all seemed really cool-especially after the morning I stayed home and got to know them a little. I started eyeing Justin Gaethje’s team pretty enviously.

y’all got rest days AND regular coaches over there on Team Geathje?

 

Alright, moving on.. let’s talk about Sijara and Maia. I really liked both of these women. Maia was the house mom. She took care of all of us. On fight days, she made everyone pancakes. She was always offering to do people’s makeup, was easy to talk to, funny as hell, and very caring. Maia is one of my favorite people I met on The Ultimate Fighter. This episode takes place before I get to know her very well, but we had all heard by then that she is a bad ass striker, and actually pretty tricky on the ground. Unfortunately, in MMA size matters, and Maia was the smallest in the house, walking around below the flyweight limit.

Sijara is cool chick too. I enjoyed hearing her story. The thing I always think about when I think of Sijara is her attitude. She almost always had the most chill, roll with the punches, nothing bothers her kind of way. It was really pretty cool, and a big part of me wishes I had been like that. Another part of me knows that….well, guys, that just ain’t me.

 

Also, I was shocked that Sijara was ranked 12. I really thought she would be in the top 4 or 5 when the show started. Her record wasn’t fantastic, but you don’t fuck around with a black belt and someone as big for the weight class as she is.

Sijara’s weight cut was tough, but her attitude stayed the same. I’ve seen grown ass men cry after cutting less weight. I couldn’t believe it when she walked out almost on weight with a smile on her face. It has me shaking my head as I’m writing this. I was wondering how she was going to make weight a second and third time, if she won. Generally, weight cuts get harder on TUF, not easier, and she wasn’t exactly looking chipper while waiting to get on the scale. Also, the later in the competition you fight your preliminary fight, the less time you have before the quarter finals. Sijara wasn’t the last prelim fight, but I didn’t think she was getting any favors by having less time to cut weight again for the quarterfinals.

So Sijara got a submission on Maia, and moves on to the quarterfinals. To be honest, once Sijara gets a takedown and gets on top, she’s a nightmare for anyone in the division. Maia gave it hell and took Sijara to the second round, but even after her tough weight cut, Sijara didn’t seem to tire at all and was able to get a finish before the second bell.

Now we get to wait for next week’s episode, where Barb and Gillian throw down, and although I don’t want to give too much away, I will say this- this was a great fight, so don’t miss it!! See you guys next week.