Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate TUF 18 CoachesOne of the most anticipated seasons of The Ultimate Fighter kicked off Wednesday on Fox Sports 1 with Team Rousey vs. Team Tate.  For the first time, women are featured on the reality series as coaches and contestants.

Thirty-two UFC female and male bantamweight hopefuls made it through the rigorous tryout and interview process to compete for a spot in The Ultimate Fighter house.

Jessamyn Duke vs. Laura Howarth

Duke made history by becoming the first female fighter to win a fight on The Ultimate Fighter by submitting Howarth in the first round via triangle choke, earning her place in the house.

Danny Martinez vs. David Grant

Grant overcame a point deduction for illegal blows to finish Martinez by arm bar submission in the second round, securing his spot in the fighter house.

Jessica Rakoczy vs. Revelina Berto

Rakoczy fended off several submission attempts on her way to a submission win over Berto.  She transitioned from an arm bar to an oma plata and forced Berto to tap out.

Michael Wooten vs. Emil Hartsner

It was an uneventful fight that left UFC president Dana White with nothing to say about it.  Wooten won by decision to advance to the house but didn’t impress.  White’s only comments on the match was that “it sucked.”

Peggy Morgan vs. Bethany Marshall

Morgan took Marshall down, mounted her and unloaded shots from the top until the referee stepped in to stop it.  Coach Miesha Tate called Morgan the biggest 135-pounder that she’s ever seen.

Roxanne Modafferi vs. Valerie Letourneau

Modafferi quickly closed the distance and took Letourneau down.  She took Letourneau’s back and submitted her with a rear naked choke.

Tim Gorman vs. Lee Sandmeier

Gorman immediately took Sandmeier down and moved to side control.  He took Sandmeier’s back, flattened him out and pounded his way to a technical knockout.

Raquel Pennington vs. Tonya Evinger

Evinger looked good early but faded in the second round.  Pennington took advantage and locked on a guillotine choke that forced Evinger to tap out.

Chris Beal vs. Sirwan Kakai

Beal, a cancer survivor, utilized his striking to hurt Kakai early in the fight.  Kakai came back with takedowns and submission attempts in the second round and the fight went to a third.  Beal won by decision and left an impression on the coaches and UFC president Dana White.

Josh Hill vs. Patrick Holohan

Hill, an accomplished grappler, outwrestled Holohan on his way to a clear-cut decision victory earning his place in the fighter house.

Colleen Schneider vs. Shayna Baszler

Baszler quickly closed the distance and got the fight to the ground.  She took Schneider’s back but Scheider scrambled back to her feet only to be taken down again.  Baszler applied an arm bar, extended the arm and Schneider was forced to tap out.

Louis Fisette vs. Chris Holdsworth

Fisette came out aggressive early.  He took Holdsworth down and landed shots but the Team Alpha Male trained Holdsworth kept his composure.  Holdsworth applied a triangle choke but Fisette escaped and landed leather.  Holdsworth gained top position and advanced to the mount.  He then applied an arm triangle choke that forced Fisette to tap out.

Gina Mazany vs. Julianna Pena

Pena advanced in dominating fashion.  She landed punches while standing and brutalized Mazany with ground and pound.  Pena mounted Mazany and rained down strikes until the referee step in to stop the action.  Dana White scored the two rounds 10-7 for Pena.

Matt Munsey vs. Anthony Gutierrez

It was largely an uneventful fight with a lot of jockeying for position.  Gutierrez won the grappling portion and the decision to secure a place in the fighter house.

Tara LaRosa vs. Sarah Moras

LaRosa landed early and Moras quickly took the women’s MMA pioneer to the canvas.  She was able to get LaRosa in bad positions on the ground and win a decision.

Rafael de Freitas vs. Cody Bollinger

De Freitas landed leg kicks early but Bollinger took him down.  De Freitas applied a guillotine choke but Bollinger fought his way out of the submission attempt.  De Freitas had Bollinger in a triangle choke as the bell sounded ending the opening round.  Fatigue set in on de Freitas in the second frame and Bollinger began landing big shots.  De Freitas eventually wilted under the pressure and the referee stopped the fight.

Team Selections 

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey won the coin toss and opted to pick the first fight, allowing Miesha Tate to choose the first fighter.  The team selections began with the female fighters.

Tate chose Julianna Pena as he first pick.  Rousey chose Shayna Baszler.  Tate then chose Sarah Moras.  Rousey’s second team pick was Jessamyn Duke.  Raquel Pennington went to Team Tate next while Peggy Morgan went to Team Rousey.  Roxanne Modafferi was Tate’s final female pick.  The last lady standing, Jessica Rakoczy, landed on Team Rousey.

The men were up next and Tate chose Cody Bollinger as her first pick.  Rousey’s first pick was Chris Beal.  Chris Holdsworth went to Team Tate next, while Rousey chose David Grant.  Tate’s third male pick was Josh Hill.  Rousey decided on Anthony Gutierrez.  Tim Gorman completed Team Tate, while Team Rousey’s final addition was Michael Wooten.

Fight Announcement

Rousey could have chosen the first fight to be male or female and she decided to pit the two top female team picks against each other.  The first fight between Team Rousey and Team Tate will be Shayna Baszler vs. Julianna Pena.

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