The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 was back on FOX Sports 1 last night (Weds., Dec. 3, 2014) as the quarterfinal fights continued on episode 11 with No. 1-ranked Carla Esparza (Team Pettis) taking on No. 3-ranked Tecia Torres (also Team Pettis).
In addition, No. 2-ranked Joanne Calderwood (Team Pettis) went up against No. 7-ranked Rose Namajunas (Team Melendez) to determine the remaining semifinal spot.
We get things started with flashbacks to Invicta, which briefly chronicles the "awkward" history between Esparza and Torres, who were expected to fight before joining the TUF squad. Torres wants to keep the fight standing, where she believes she holds a distinct advantage.
Esparaza, meanwhile, is still complaining that Torres got a second chance to get back into the house, even though it was like eight episodes ago. Might be time to get over it. Anyway, she is confident she will take her opponent to the floor and submit her.
Two fights this episode, so not much filler before we get right to it.
Quarterfinal fight No. 3: Carla Esparza vs. Tecia Torres
Round 1: No gloves are touched and nothing happens for 30 seconds until a half shoot fails by Esparza. More bobbing and weaving and they trade jabs. Esparza shoots again and Torres scampers out of the way. A brief exchange and Esparza once again shoots and gets denied. She tries yet again (persistent little thing) and gets a leg, but Torres sprawls -- only to succumb to the ankle pick. Unfortunately she's too strong to hold down and muscles her way back up. Esparza drives her to the cage and they battle for wrist control. Esparza secures a headlock and then a sweet hip toss. She loses position because Torres is too strong to subdue and it's back to the feet. Esparza shoots and gets a big takedown and finishes the round on top. 10-9 Esparza for wrestling.
Round 2: Torres lumbers in with a combo and doesn't get much. Esparza shoots and gets denied. A minute down and nothing has happened. Esparza back to the takedown and after a long, drawn out attack can't get it. Two minutes down and Torres has remained upright but hasn't landed any punches. She paws the jab and it connects and Esparza makes her pay with a big takedown. Torres trying to wall walk and gets to her feet. Esparza jumps on her back and can't get any submissions but does an effective job of wrapping her up and neutralizing any offense. Torres turns her around and instead of separating tries to get a takedown of her own. She fails and gets taken down. 10-9 Esparza. This fight sucked.
Final result: Carla Esparza def. Tecia Torres via majority decision
Torres thinks she fought a great fight but it was basically a game of cat-and-mouse. Very little mixed in their martial arts. In any case, Esparza moves on to fight Jessica Penne, also of Invicta fame. Now it's time to shift gears and focus on the next (and last) quarterfinal match up.
Prior to the fight, Jo-Jo talks about putting on a better performance than she did in her last fight. Rose, by comparison, is excited to test herself against a highly-ranked opponent, but once again gets hit with a case of rampaging emotions. Coach Melendez feels good about her chances of winning.
We shall see.
Quarterfinal fight No. 4: Joanne Calderwood vs. Rose Namajunas
Round 1: Rose comes flying out of the gate with a leg kick and punches. Joanne willing to stand and bang with her. Rose throws a kick and Calderwood catches it and takes her down, right into the stingiest of guards. Rose jumps back up and they go back to violent striking. Rose pushes her into the cage and lights her up like the Times Square Christmas tree. Calderwood tries to grab a leg and gets dumped on the floor. She scrambles to her feet and gets whaled on. Rose is an animal. Jo-Jo roars back with a nice hip toss and steps into guard and nearly gets tapped with a leg lock. She escapes and jumps back into guard but Rose nearly breaks her arm with a kimura. Joanne rolls over -- nice escape -- and Rose gets on top. 10 seconds left and it's a race to the finish. Holy shit what a round. 10-9 Namajunas.
Round 2: Push kick puts Rose on her ass. She gets up and fires back with a cross. They lock up and go to the fence. Now it's dirty boxing and Calderwood looks to get the better of the exchanges. Joanne creams her with a violent combo and Rose shoots but can't get it south. Calderwood flips the script and takes Rose down but it proves to be a colossal error in judgement as Rose taps her with a nasty
Final result: Rose Namajunas def. Joanne Calderwood via submission (kimura)
After the fight, Jo-Jo is crushed, more because she tapped than because she lost. Rose, as expected, is all smiles. Now it's time to face off the semifinalists and here's what we have:
Semifinal match ups:
Randa Markos vs. Rose Namajunas
Jessica Penne vs. Carla Esparza
Stay tuned next week for the semifinal match ups to see who moves on to the Dec. 12 live finale!