I’ve been waiting alllll season for this episode.
So, I finally decided to just leave Team Alvarez and go train with Team Gaethje. I didn’t really give too many fucks at this point about Eddie’s feelings, what the other girls would think, or how it would come across. I just didn’t want to be around Eddie anymore.
As soon as I grew some balls, pulled the trigger, and went, I felt like a million pound weight was lifted off my chest. I felt so much relief to be out of Eddie’s presence and with the other team, I couldn’t stop smiling. Team Gaethje welcomed me with open arms. They all started clapping and cheering when I walked in, it was great. They knew what Eddie had been like, and most of them weren’t fond of him either. They were excited to have me and I was excited to get to know them. Justin’s assistant coaches were Trevor Whitman, Matt Lopez, and Luke Caudillo. Johnny Nunez and Miesha Tate also helped coach quite often.
Walking on to Team Gaethje like
I was really nervous to talk to Eddie. They edited out a big part of the conversation we had, but the general gist of it was right. He did ask me specifically several times what was wrong and what I didn’t like, and I stammered and stuttered out that I didn’t like the coaches being cycled thorough, I didn’t like the way the fight was handled, I didn’t feel like I was getting enough rest, I had friends on the other team that I felt close to… I made sure to say to him that I didn’t blame him for the outcome of my fight, and that me losing was because I didn’t perform, and he just nodded and agreed. They edited that part out, but honestly I was relieved they did because I stuttered quite a bit and was obviously nervous. It wasn’t the super smooth, put-it-all-out-there situation I had planned in my mind, but I was glad I at least talked to him face to face. I still believe that Eddie was not a good coach for me before, during or after the fight. I also believe, I should have been able to overcome that and fight well. I should have been able to fight no matter the circumstances and win, because that IS The Ultimate Fighter: Who can fight best under the weirdest/worst/unfamiliar circumstances. And obviously, it wasn’t me. So, while I felt responsible for my loss, I was still pissed at Eddie for being an ass about it.
Somewhere in the middle of me talking, Eddie threw his hands up and started yelling about Barb. “Barb’s going to the Blue Team! She don’t give a fuck! Barb is going to the Blue Team!”
I actually thought for a second, “Barb is coming to the Blue Team too?” And then I realized, no, she wasn’t. Eddie just had us mixed up, which, looking back, is hysterical. I mean, I get it, it was tense, but come ON, dude.
Side note: If you look carefully, you can see Shana’s shoes in the bathroom stall right behind us. She heard the whole thing go down and decided it would be best to not open the door and come out until the storm passed, haha.
For the rest of the season, Shana and I would re-enact this scene at different times- when we played charades, whenever it came up in conversation, sometimes at random. I’ve even received messages of people re-enacting this scene with their friends and kids and whatever, which I honestly think is awesome. If you’re in a shitty situation you don’t like…change it.
So TUF is kind of unique in that you can look back and see what everyone was saying in their private interviews. It’s way different than just reviewing the past by yourself, through your own mind, because you can’t see ANY perspective but your own. But on a TV show, you literally see yourself from an outside view. It’s honestly kind of fascinating once you get past the weirdness of it all. So, for instance, now I know that Eddie thought I was a nut from the beginning-he really thought I was “conspiring against the team” from day one, because of the question I asked about fighting Barb. I hate that it came across like that, and I’m kind of sad that that is what set Eddie off so much. The way I phrased the question about Barb was kind of stupid, but to be honest, I say like 14 stupid things a day. So does Eddie, and if you’re being honest with yourself, so do you- Usually, though, we just get over it, talk about it, or make fun of each other. But not on TUF.
On TUF, it gets caught on camera, turned into a story line and blown out of proportion. So I asked how I would train to fight Barb if she was in the same room with me, Eddie took that to mean I was conspiring against the team, which shaped the way he treated me, which shaped the way I treated him back, and set me off to leave the team eventually. Now, looking back, I know all this, but in the moment, I didn’t. All I knew was that Eddie didn’t like me, and was treating me like shit. So of course, I didn’t like him, and I just wanted to get away from him.
So there you have it. I left Team Alvarez, and started training with Team Gaethje. I didn’t feel bad about it then and still don’t now.
Well, actually, I did feel a tiny bit bad that I hadn’t just left earlier. I still think Eddie is an alright dude and good fighter, but not a good coach for me. I also feel a little sad that we got on like that because I think if Eddie could put aside the idea that I’m a plotting, evil woman, and I could put aside the idea that he’s an overbearing, hard headed, bro-type, we could have probably liked each other under different circumstances, outside of TUF.
Yeah, okay, probably not
Next is the coach’s challenge. Of course Eddie won.
I honestly didn’t care too much at that point. I mean, sure, money is always great, but I literally would have paid that much just to not have to be on Team Alvarez one more day. It would have been nice to get an extra paycheck, but it would have been nice to have won the damn tournament also, and nice to have gotten along with my coach too. $1500.00 was pretty much the least of my worries right then.
Plus, I was keeping my weight low in case anyone missed or got hurt, and that was taking pretty a good deal of my energy and focus.
Again with the plotting
Emily vs Christina was an intriguing matchup. They were ranked right next to each other and have opposing styles. They don’t really show it, but there was a big size difference as well. Christina is physical specimen, and cuts a LOT to get to 125. Emily usually fights at 115. Christina was probably one of the most athletic women in the tournament, but not great on the ground. She is, however, extremely strong, and fast, and explosive. Emily has great jiu jitsu. I watched her roll at tryouts and she schooled the girl she rolled with. The only question I had, was how difficult it would be for Emily to get Christina to the ground. She answered that question in about 1 second into the fight, which was good because if it stayed standing, Emily could have taken some damage, especially to her hurt rib.
I was super happy for her. Emily and I have very similar pasts: Both our dads died when we were kids, we were both kind of wild-childs growing up, we both overcame a lot and found MMA to help us become better people. We could relate a lot, and to this day I have a lot of love for Emily and hope she takes this sport by storm.
Me and Emily in another life, probably
I think that about sums up this week of TUF, fight fans! There is still more drama ahead, AND some awesome fights coming up in the quarter finals and semi finals, so STAY TUNED!!