Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ultimate Fighter 18: Ep. 13 recaps, Overall show thoughts and Finale preview

NOTE: It appears that none of my episodes last week went up (for Arrow or this show) so really fast, here are my thoughts on the 12th episode: A whole lot of nothing happened.

Ronda Rousey beat Miesha Tate in rock climbing and Gutierrez, the guy who was too lazy to take a replacement fight after his opponent missed weight, missed weight himself. Truly one of the biggest jack-offs in the history of the show.

So my episode thoughts are in the audio, as are more in-depth thoughts on the fights on tonight's Ultimate Finale 18 card. Really quickly, here are my picks:

Gray Maynard over Nate Diaz (TKO 2)
Julianna Peña over Jessica Rakoczy (Sub 2)
Chris Holdsworth over David Grant (Sub 1)
Jessamyn Duke over Peggy Morgan (Decision)
Raquel Pennington over Roxanne Modafferi (Decision)

And now, I give you my final thoughts on the season's coaches and one future suggestion:

Ronda Rousey: I don't think she came across the way Fox wanted here. I, for the most part, thought she was really likable and genuinely cared for her fighters. She went over the line once or twice (explained in the audio), but all her rage was directed at Tate directly, and it came across that she's an otherwise chill person when Miesha isn't around. I really respected the way she handled her 'teammate vs. teammate' bout between Grant and Gutierrez (even if one of the fighters was a total idiot).

Miesha Tate: She was far and away the better strategist here. Tate planned her matches well and knew what weaknesses to exploit. Her ability to strategize was a huge factor and it may be her saving grace in the fight with Ronda. House-wise, Tate struck me as kind of a sorority girl, as I've said a few times. She loved to joke around, pull pranks and mess with Ronda because it's easy to mess with someone who doesn't like to be messed with. I have no issues with that, as it's no different from previous coaches. HOWEVER, she did do the one thing that upset me about this show, and that leads me to my suggestion for Dana White.

Give Sarah Moras a rematch with Julianna Peña!!!

I'll preface this by saying that I like Peña. I thought she didn't deserve the rap she got in the house and was an unbelievable hard worker. I also have no issues with Miesha. She did the best she could as a first-time coach and was very successful in the house...

But I'm not kidding here: the fact that Miesha saw no issues with giving Julianna (who had the longest rest of anyone) the first women's semifinal against Moras (who had fought less than an hour ago) Pissed. Me. Off.

Moras had virtually no time to recover, re-strategize, and was immediately back to weight cutting. No one else had this issue. Even Gutierrez, who didn't even fight his quarterfinal match, got to be in the second semifinal.

I don't think Miesha intended to screw over one of her fighters, but she certainly didn't help matters by doing this. Nor did she help when she didn't attempt to be more active with Sarah. Nor did she help when, even after teammates went up to her with complaints about bias, she told these facts to Julianna, giving her bulletin board material.

When these two fought with similar prep time before TUF, Moras won. Peña had plenty of time to adjust from her first fight while Moras had to go right back to weight cutting. It's rare I say a 1st-round win mandates a rematch, but this was BULL!

I understand that TUF has its own rule set, but when you have more than half the semifinal fighters, you should make sure they each have a reasonable shot to advance because you're their coach. I'd understand if Raquel fought Julianna, or Jessica, or if her fight with Sarah was the second semifinal. But whether intentionally or subconsciously, Miesha Tate failed Sarah Moras as a coach.

Hope everyone enjoys the fights tonight, and I hope this season opened you up to more weight classes in UFC.

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