Brian and Steve preview UFC 169 headlined by Renan Barao against Urijah Faber for the bantamweight championship along with the rest of the card for Saturday’s show. Plus, they talk about the recent argument between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva in Brazil while filming The Ultimate Fighter, Julianna Pena’s major injury and news and notes about upcoming shows.
Julianna Pena was the most recent winner of The Ultimate Fighter winning the 18th season defeating Jessica Rakoczy in the finale. Pena was scheduled to have her first fight since winning the show against Jessica Andrade at UFC 171. The fight will no longer be taking place as Pena tore her ACL, MCL, LCL, Meniscus and hamstring while in a training session at Sik-Jitsu Fighting Systems in Spokane, Washington.
UFC President Dana White stated on Twitter that Pena could be out for up to two years.
— Dana White (@danawhite) January 30, 2014
An opponent has been found to fight Andrade as fellow TUF 18 alum Raquel Pennington stepped up and took the fight.
UFC 171 takes place on Saturday, March 15th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main event for the show features Johny Hendricks battling Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight championship.
The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale takes place tomorrow night from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event will feature the trilogy fight between lightweights Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz. The TUF finale fights with Julianna Pena vs Jessica Rakoczy in the women’s final and the men’s final will feature Davey Grant vs Chris Holdsworth.
To make the fights official, the weigh-ins will take place today at the same place the fights will be starting at 7 p.m. ET, which you can watch on BetweenTheRopes.com on the video stream above.
The episode opens up with a recap of the last week’s premiere and showing which fighters ended up with each coach.
Then the fighters pull up to the house and the females run to get the rooms upstairs, figuring out where to put stuff in their rooms and wondering how five women are going to share one bathroom.
Some of the women then go into the hot tub and Team Tate Fighter Chris Holdsworth looks at the women and wonders if sexual relationships can occur and Julianna Pena from Team Tate says she’s here to win and not to find a boyfriend.
A group of competitors discussing how training sessions will play out when members of the opposite sex spar and grapple with one another.
The discussion heats up with the women insisting they would be insulted if the men take it easy on them. Team Tate’s Tim Gorman is the most vocal of the male fighters, saying that regardless of circumstances he will not go 100 percent in training.
Then we go to the TUF gym in where Team Tate trains first and the team has a recovery day with light training since the elimination bouts had taken place the previous day.
Miesha Tate notices that Tim Gorman hasn’t been moving well and Gorman admits that he has a hamstring injury. Gorman shows off the bruise on the back of his leg and describes that his ankle is swollen as well.
As Team Tate is finishing up their training session when Ronda Rousey storms into the gym and says that their time is up and to leave the gym immediately.
Rousey talks her team and discusses cutting corners and the importance of minor details.
At the house, there’s more discussion about potential relationships between cast members, but the women continue to say they are taking the competition and nothing will interfere with that.
Then at the next Team Tate training session, UFC President Dana White goes into Team Tate’s locker room and says he needs to see Miesha Tate and Gorman. The UFC doctor is in the room with White, Tate and Gorman. The doctor tells them that Gorman has a torn hamstring and shouldn’t be in the competition anymore.
Gorman is devastated by the news, but wanted to continue. White told them that he is no longer in the competition. White told Tate that he already had a replacement in Louis Fisette, who was submitted by Holdsworth in the elimination round .
Shayna Baszler and Pena then weigh-in to make the fight official.
Members of both teams discuss the matchup, saying Baszler should have her way with Pena.
Baszler talks about her path as one of the most experienced female fighters in the sport. The 33-year-old is highly confident going into the quarterfinal matchup, calling Pena an unworthy opponent who doesn’t deserve to be in the same cage as her.
The fight then starts with Pena coming forward early with a big flurry of punches and clinches Baszler against the cage. Baszler works her way out of the position and secures a takedown. Pena quickly gets back to her feet, but is taken down again, this time into side control. Baszler takes the back and works for a rear-naked choke to no avail. Pena brings it back to guard and Baszler throws big punches and elbows from top position. Pena eventually escapes to a standing position and goes for a takedown of her own. Several scrambles ensue on the ground and both fighters exchange turns in top position, but neither is able to inflict any significant damage. The round ends with Baszler in Pena’s half-guard throwing strikes.
Second round then gets underway as Pena appears to be the fresher of the two fighters and opens the round by connecting with a straight right hand. A firefight breaks out on the feet with heavy strikes going both ways. Baszler repeatedly clinches in an attempt to get a takedown, but Pena shrugs it off and presses forward with strikes. Pena clinches Baszler against the cage where she remains active with knees and punches. Pena completes a takedown and continues to hit a now bloodied Baszler, who is quickly losing the little steam she has left. Baszler gives up her back and Pena capitalizes by locking in a rear-naked choke, flattening Baszler out on her stomach and forcing the tap-out.
Julianna Pena def. Shayna Baszler via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 2.
The gym reacts to the major upset and Pena reflects on her stunning victory, saying she shouldn’t be underestimated due to her good looks and she has just as realistic a chance of winning the entire competition as anyone else.
A moment backstage shows Rousey comforting Baszler. Rousey reminds Baszler that while she may have lost her opportunity to win the six-figure UFC contract, many TUF cast members have gone on to do big things in the UFC and the experience of being on the show is still significant.
In confessional, Rousey talks about her failure to coach Baszler to a win and voices her displeasure with how opposing coach Tate reacted to Pena’s win, saying, “When I looked across and saw Shayna hurting like that, then I looked over and saw Miesha just smiling at her pain, she’s going to pay for every fucking smile she smirks today.”
It’s time for the next fight announcement, and with Baszler’s loss, control switches over to Team Tate, who must now pick the first matchup between male fighters.
After Rousey went after Tate’s top female pick in week one, Tate decides to flip the script by selecting the champion’s top pick. The matchup will see Team Tate’s No. 2 pick Holdsworth go up against Team Rousey’s top selection Chris Beal, who earlier in the episode had complained about an injured hand.
Tate explains the reasoning behind her selection, saying, “We wanted Chris Beal quickly because we noticed he had a hand injury and at this point any kind of advantages like that you want to take advantage of. So I know he’s a pretty heavy-handed fighter and it kind of takes away 50 percent of his game.”
An enraged Rousey reacts, saying, “She specifically picked Chris because they know he has a hurt hand. It’s some pussy ass bullshit. Chris is going to beat him with one fucking hand, I know it.”
The episode closes with both teams leaving the gym and as Rousey walks by Tate, she angrily whispers, “Just so you know, you smiling at my girl’s pain today is one more reason I’m going to fucking destroy you again.”