Striker vs. grappler!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back for episode four of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18: "Team Rousey vs. Team Tate," and things get underway with Jessica Rakoczy celebrating the fact that she was picked to fight Roxanne Modafferi, a "p---y move" according to coach Ronda Rousey.
Not even five minutes into the show and "Superman" is already ready to come to blows with Rousey's head coach, who like "Rowdy," has a meltdown every five seconds. Turns out it all comes back to Bryan Caraway, who apologized for his silly tweet earlier this year but no one on Team Rousey is willing to let the grudge go.
UFC President Dana White has to intervene to calm things down.
Raquel Pennington was annoyed that Modafferi was asking her to go easy in practice, worried that being soft in camp will translate to a loss inside the cage. Coach Tate, being the equal rights lass that she is, mixes up the guys and gals, much to the dismay of Josh Hill.
Deal with it, sucka!
Rakoczy refers to herself as "the motherly one" back at the TUF house because she's doing dishes and kissing boo-boos. She blames her neatness on OCD and Davis Grant has no complaints, because it's less housework for him and the rest of the guys.
Team Rousey hits the gym and Rakoczy is frustrated because her shoulder is all banged up from her elimination fight. Ronda makes sure we know (again) that Team Tate took the path of least resistance and promises her injured fighter will prevail.
We shall see.
Modafferi is teaching Shayna Baszler Japanese and they talk about their fight in Tokyo eight years ago. She refers to herself as "The Happy Warrior" because she's, well, happy. Her inspiration is Power Rangers and Dragon Ball Z and everyone in the house gives Roxy props for being the town sweetheart.
Ready? On three: 1, 2, 3 ... awwwwwww.
Now it's time to not be happy as Rakoczy starts spilling her guts over her abusive stepdad. She moved out when she was 15 and her mom got her ass whooped by el psycho, who may or may not have been responsible for Mrs. R's untimely death.
She broke down before finishing the story.
But her struggles in the wake of that tragedy turned her to combat sports and she found success as a boxer, something she wants to parlay into a lucrative UFC career. Naturally, her best bet against Modafferi -- an accomplished grappler -- comes in the stand-up.
Both fighters make weight without incident and I'm happy to report that no contestants were injured by Roxanne's foam nunchaku.
Prior to the fight, they get their hair braided and experience the awkwardenss of sharing a room with the person they're about to sling leather against. Modafferi creates a dummy and dances him around the house. I think his name was Plato or something.
And Rakoczy just called herself a p---y. Wait, what?
Julianna Pena gives Modafferi a note of encouragement, which may have been re-gifted from Chris Holdsworth. Jessica gets her encouragement from a picture of her son. It's still early in the episoode and these two are ready to throw down, so we could see a judges' decision or a late finish.
Jessica Rakoczy (Team Rousey) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (Team Tate)
Round 1: They spend the opening minute on their feet exchanging hands. Rakoczy is in retreat when Roxy tries to clinch and falls on her ass. Modafferi all over her and looks to gain position. Jessica being very stubborn from the bottom and keeps her attacker in half guard. Jessica scrambles and gives up her back but Roxy can't capitalize. Rakoczy is able to roll her over and take over from top, but Roxy quickly works for the armbar. Jessica is too strong and powers out. The hold breaks and Rakoczy plops into guard. Roxy rolls for a heel hook and Jessica runs for the hills. Back on the feet and Roxy's spinning backfist goes wide by a mile. She shoots but Jessica is not having it. They clinch against the cage and Roxy finally drags her down and finishes the round on top. 10-9 Modafferi.
Round 2: Roxy is sucking wind. Bad sign. Rakoczy comes out swinging for the fences and connects. Roxy gets tossed to the mat and Jessica swarms. She gets spooked by submission attempts and lets her back to her feet. Modafferi eats one clean in the jaw and crumbles. Just as the end is near, the ref stops the fight to warn Rakoczy for fence grabbing. They restart and Roxy manages to get a takedown but is too exhausted to do anything with it. Rakoczy rolls her over, picks her up and "Rampage" slams her. Roxanne sits up, Undertaker style, and Jessica creams her with a punch. Modafferi hangs on but it happens again and the fight is stopped.
Rakoczy def. Modafferi via knockout
After the fight, everyone is emotional but welp, it's the fight game and the machine stops for no one. Baszler gets a little choked up over the whole situation, partly because they are friends and partly because the same thing happened to her a few weeks back.
Here's what the updated TUF 18 co-ed bantamweight roster looks like:
Stay tuned next week for a special guest appearance from Ronda Rousey's mom, the struggles of weight cutting and the next elimination fight between Lois Fissette and David Grant.
See you in seven!