As excited as I was for last week’s episode, I was dreading this one.
After watching, to be honest, I still feel I did the right thing. It’s a competition, right? I was there to compete until the bitter end. I knew it would piss a bunch of people off, but honestly….
Sijara walked into the competition weighing 150. Thats a LOT of weight to lose, especially in a scenario like TUF, where you have several weight cuts in a short amount of time. She struggled to make weight for her preliminary fight, and conventional wisdom says that each weight cut should be harder and harder. For this season of TUF, take all your conventional wisdom, and throw it out the window. None of it applied to TUF 26.
Everything I thought I knew going into TUF
Anyway, I thought she might miss, but I still couldn’t believe it when she did. I had cut some weight at my own morning practice that day, so I would be ready, but when Sijara missed, I was as surprised as I have ever been. I can’t even describe how nervous and hopeful and determined I felt. I had watched the other girls who lost in the prelims let their weight go up, or drink on the side, or get lazy in training, but I didn’t. I figured if someone was out, either through missing weight, or an injury, I could compete again and maybe still win, and besides, staying in shape and keeping the weight off made the time go by faster. To this day I don’t understand why every other woman in there who wasn’t on a medical suspension DIDN’T do the same thing. And I couldn’t believe that anyone in the tournament would miss weight in the first place. This is for a UFC championship, how the hell is someone going to miss weight?
But Sijara did miss on her first try, and had an hour to cut the .75 pounds she had left. She had one chance to get back on the scale, and if she missed again, she was out of the tournament. I wasn’t even sure if she would get back in the sauna. She looked like she was knocking on death’s door. I’ve seen lesser weight cuts break grown men, and even if she did get back in to sweat, I wasn’t sure if her body would. Sometimes that happens.
I was 2 pounds over (128) when Sijara missed. I could cut that in about 30 minutes without much of an issue. I was well hydrated and ready, the weight cut wouldn’t be hard. It was the confrontation with Sijara that I knew was coming that was going to be hard. I’m not a huge fan of confrontation really anyway. I will stand up for myself when someone is an asshole to me, but this wasn’t like that. I mean, I like Sijara. We got along alright for the most part.
A big part of me wanted to say “fuck it” and keep the peace. But a bigger part of me knew I would always regret it if Sijara missed weight and I wasn’t ready to get back in the tournament. Yes, I think I was doing the right thing for the competition, and yes, I would do it again if I had to replay it. But I still felt like an asshole. Obviously Sijarra wouldn’t be happy about it, and I wasn’t thrilled about pissing off her and everyone else on Team Alvarez (except Eddie, I didn’t give a fuck about him).
I remember telling Trevor Whitman I was nervous about Sijara coming in the sauna with me. He said, “Do you want to get back in the tournament or not? Are these girls your friends? Is one of them going to send you a check for a house payment if they win the championship because you wanted to avoid sitting in there with her?” And to me, that makes perfect sense. Of course I did, they weren’t, and wouldn’t. Of course.
So I got my ass in the sauna. To this day I am grateful to Maia and Rachel for coming in there with me. And Maia cut with me the whole time, I can’t even tell you guys how big of a fan of hers I will be for life for that.
So then Sijara does come in the sauna, and I was already on edge and expecting… I don’t know what. A yelling match, I suppose, which is what ensued. I don’t remember now if they showed it, but Sijara threw a bag of ice at me. Right then I knew she would most likely make weight. If you got the energy to be throwing shit, you probably have the energy to cut 3/4 of a pound.
I went outside and circled the parking lot a few times, looking like the Great Cornholio, trying to sweat as much as I could.
Eddie wouldn’t let me use the scale inside, so I had no idea how close I was or if I was on. So I just kept running, in a sauna suit, in 118º heat, until it was time for Sijara to reweigh in. Which, she did, successfully. At that point I was just glad it was done with. I was able to check my weight when I came back inside and I weighed in at 122, which means I cut 11 pounds that day- something I had never done before (and hopefully will never do again, I felt like shit the next day).
After she made weight I apologized to her for not just going outside to cut weight. It would have avoided a dramatic scene, but it just never occurred to me until Justin said it. To be honest, I hated all the drama, especially knowing I caused it.
It wasn’t pleasant for anyone, but would have been worth it to me to have another shot at the belt. So I apologized and shook hands, just trying to make sure my side of the street was clear and I could sleep at night. I think it was the right thing to do, and if Sijara accepted it or not, I figured wasn’t my problem.
So that’s that. The rest of the time spent in the house was a little awkward, but we managed to talk it out a bit and live together the rest of the season, which was thankfully almost over.
The next day, Sijara KO’d Deanna (holy shit) and moved on to the semi-finals.
Also in this episode, Emily fought Roxy. I love Emily, she is my soul sister. She was doing awesome, until something just got in her head and pulled her away from the fight mentally. That happens sometimes. That’s why people say fighting is 90% mental. I think it’ll make her 10 times a better fighter knowing how well she fought the #1 seed. It was a disappointing loss but I am fully confident she will be back even better. And Roxanne looked great on the ground, and proved why she was the #1 seed.
Things not shown in this episode: While we were on the boat (which was really fun), Emily talked a little shit to Eddie, in front of everyone. Eddie was bragging about how much money he has made fighting on Pay-Per-View cards, and Emily remarked that he had gotten knocked out for the Pay-Per-View money. The whole boat went silent and every kind of stared. Eddie stuttered some response, I don’t remember what, and then we all started talking again like it hadn’t happened. That night, we gave Emily a nickname: Emily “Spitfire” Whitmire. I hope she uses it when she walks out to fight, because that girl IS a spitfire. Also on the boat, a few women from Team Gaethje confronted Eddie about some things he had said about them, and again, Eddie stuttered out a response, but it wasn’t anything over the top dramatic. I wish the editing team would leave stuff like that in, to show that I wasn’t the only person that had a problem with Eddie, but I suppose there was enough drama to fit in this episode without adding that too.
And there you have it fight fans. Stay tuned, next week the fights are bad ass. We have Montana and Nicco, and Barb and Rachel. Not that you guys would, but make sure you don’t miss it!