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Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 26 results, recap for ‘Alvarez vs Gaethje’ (Ep. 6)

Episode six is titled “Predator.”


Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) was back on FOX Sports 1 last night (Weds., Oct. 4, 2017) with episode six of “Alvarez vs. Gaethje,” the all-female flyweight season searching for the next big star at 125 pounds.

If you missed episode five, click here for our complete recap.

We start on Team Alvarez’s side, where Coach Eddie’s strength and conditioning coach, Rich Pohler, runs the team through a routine. Alvarez describes his conditioning as his “greatest defense,” since he can get “reckless” and get away with it. Watching what Pohler puts them through, it’s easy to see where Alvarez’s bottomless gas tank comes from.

Lauren Murphy isn’t happy with proceedings, claiming that she prefers it when coaches keep things “simple” and that she disagrees with Pohler’s dismissal of overtraining as a valid concern.

Now for a look at the woman of the hour: Barb Honchak, the first-ever Invicta flyweight champion who believes she has a “bullseye” on her back due to her status. She hasn’t fought since picking up her second title defense in November of 2014 and is the show’s oldest fighter at 37.

Honchak claims that she feels better now than before her hiatus due to having time to rehab lingering injuries.

Over to Team Gaethje to check up on Gillian Robertson, the show’s youngest fighter at 22. Dana White describes her as “promising” and we get to see highlights of some slick armbars. Coach Gaethje advises her to believe in striking, describing jiu-jitsu as a “passive” sport.

“You can never win a fight on your back or with your back on the cage,” he reminds her.

Robertson appears to take that to heart, focusing her training efforts on staying off the cage and off her back. Gaethje calls her the team’s best grappler, but doesn’t want her searching for subs from disadvantageous positions.

In the house itself, we see Team Alvarez’s Melinda Fabian going through a rough patch. She discusses her lack of self-belief and issues with a leg injury that hampered her in training. She goes to the Performance Institute to deal with the hamstring strain, where we get to see cupping in action.

More on Honchak now, complete with footage of her kickass boat and adorable pit bulls. She and her husband are planning a year-long cruise once they get the thing completely ready.

One of the dogs has cancer and now I’m sad.

Team Geathje, meanwhile, is getting geographical as they attempt to determine which major landmass Rachael Ostovich’s breast bruise most resembles.

“Your nipple can be Sri Lanka” is my pick for Quote of the Season.

On the SFW side, Robertson talks about her love of training. Despite being primarily a grappler, she got her start through kickboxing, which she started on a whim at the age of 16. She soon fell in love with BJJ, though, and the rest is history.

Robertson has some cute dogs, too. Her best friend among them is a pit bull, which adds another layer of appropriateness to her matchup with Honchak.

Coach Alvarez admits that he’s unlikely to fundamentally change Honchak this late in her career, but he’s very confident that she’ll be too much for Robertson. Honchak is happy to trust Alvarez and her team despite having so much experience.

Both women make weight without issue. Team Alvarez’s Christina Marks talks about ring rust, which could certainly be a factor for Honchak after nearly three years.

Honchak, for her part, believes that pressure only comes from without and can be shut down. Robertson shows off her daily affirmations in her notebook.

Fight time.

125 lbs.: No. 2 Barb Honchak (10-2) vs. No. 15 Gillian Robertson (3-2)

Round one: Leg kick exchange. Honchak showing solid hands early, eats a hard right cross. Honchak shoots off a Robertson leg kick, lands knees to the body as they move around the cage. Robertson winds up pressing her against the cage, can’t keep her there but both exit with solid right hands a minute in. Nice counters from Honchak. She ties up and lands inside. Elbow by Robertson, then a heavy knee to the body from Honchak that appears to trouble her foe. Two minutes in. Honchak ducks a right hand to take her down into guard. They scoot to the fence and Robertson throws up an armbar. Honchak defending patiently, has a brief scare when she tries a hammerfists while Robertson adjusts her grip. Two minutes to go.

Robertson nearly rolls Honchak onto her back, but is forced to settle for guard. Good right hands and elbows by Honchak as Robertson looks for deep half guard with a minute to go. Nice elbows piling up. Honchak snuffs out an attempt to stand via underhook and slams home some major punches. Big elbows before the bell. 10-9 Honchak, only avoiding a 10-8 because of the armbar.

Round two: Eddie Alvarez is adamant Robertson wants out. Nice punches from Honchak, who stuffs a takedown and takes half guard. The ground-and-pound commences once again. Honchak takes mount and cranks on a straight armbar, only for Robertson to sweep into top position. Honchak immediately uses the cage to stand, stuffs a takedown, and retakes half guard. Back to mount two minutes in. Nasty elbows from Honchak and the ref steps in.

Final result: Honchak def. Robertson by TKO (elbows)

Here’s where we stand after episode six.

By fight:

No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi (21-13) def. No. 16 Shana Dobson (2-1)
No. 2 Barb Honchak (10-2) def. No. 15 Gillian Robertson (3-2)
No. 14 Nicco Montano (3-2) def. No. 3 Lauren Murphy (9-3)
No. 4 DeAnna Bennett (8-3) def. No. 13 Karine Gevorgyan (3-2)
No. 12 Sijara Eubanks (2-2) def. No. 5 Maia Stevenson (6-4)
No. 6 Montana Stewart (7-4) def. No. 11 Ariel Beck (4-4)
No. 7 Melinda Fabian (4-3-1) vs. No. 10 Rachael Ostovich (3-3)
No. 8 Emily Whitmire (2-1) vs. No. 9 Christina Marks (8-8)

By team:

Coach Alvarez:

Barb Honchak (10-2)
Shana Dobson (2-1)
Christina Marks (8-8)
Melinda Fabian (4-3-1)
Sijara Eubanks (2-2)
Ariel Beck (4-4)
DeAnna Bennett (8-3)
Lauren Murphy (9-3)

Coach Gaethje:

Roxanne Modafferi (21-13)
Gillian Robertson (3-2)
Emily Whitmire (2-1)
Rachael Ostovich (3-3)
Maia Stevenson (6-4)
Montana Stewart (7-4)
Karine Gevorgyan (3-2)
Nicco Montano (3-2)

Team Gaethje has nothing but support for the heartbroken Robertson, who takes solace in the fact that she has a long career ahead of her to rise to the top. Honchak is over the moon.

We’re tied at 3-3. Looking to break the deadlock next week are Rachael Ostovich and Melinda Fabian. Dana White calls it a “tossup.”

Come back next week to see White paying the house a visit, Fabian dealing with her hamstring, and Ostovich sporting some lacy gear at the weigh-ins.

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