One fighter failed to make weight and was kicked off the show and the semifinal match-ups were revealed on the The Ultimate Fighter 18’s ninth episode.
Cody Bollinger Sent Packing
The ninth episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate was supposed to feature the final two preliminary bouts, but when Team Tate’s first male fighter pick, Cody Bollinger, couldn’t make weight, he was unceremoniously kicked off the show.
Four hours prior to weigh-ins, Bollinger was five pounds over weight.
“He’s five pounds over right now. I don’t know if that’s maybe due to eating too much sodium, or not drinking enough water, flooding his system,” said Team Tate coach Bryan Caraway. “It’s just going to be a grind for the next four hours trying to get him down. We’re going to do everything we can. Salt bath, we’re going to come to the house and we’re going to be with him every step of the way and push as hard as we can trying to get him down.”
Bollinger began to break mentally.
“I’m done man. I’m sorry. You don’t have to waste your time, I’m done,” he said to the coaching staff. “I’m not going to make weight. I’m sorry.”
Coach Miesha Tate and Caraway urged him to continue trying to drop the pounds, but their efforts were useless. Bollinger had already decided that he wasn’t going to make weight and quit.
“I was given enough time. I was given what I needed. I could have made the weight, I just don’t know. I couldn’t get it. There’s no excuse. Whatever. I quit,” said a dejected Bollinger. “That’s all there is to it.”
UFC president Dana White was made aware of Bollinger’s situation and called a meeting with the two teams at the gym.
“It’s the day of the weigh-ins. I get a call that Cody is having trouble making weight, so I came down here. I wanted to bring him into the gym and I wanted him to tell everybody, not just his team and his coaches and the assistant coaches but Ronda’s and everybody elses,” said White.
At the meeting, White put Bollinger on the spot. “I missed weight. I (expletive) up,” said Bollinger. “I broke mentally and quit.”
White informed Bollinger that he was off the show.
“You took somebody’s (expletive) lottery ticket and ripped it up. Did you realize that you don’t belong here, you don’t want to fight, this isn’t want you want to do? Do you want to go home and get another (expletive) job,” said the UFC president.
“This is the one (expletive) thing that drives me crazy,” added White. “See that door over there? That’s the (expletive) door you go out right now. Have a good day.”
“I just don’t want to have to tell my wife and kid,” said a tearful Bollinger. “This was my (expletive) shot. This was my (expletive) shot. I (expletive) up.”
Anthony Gutierrez Given a Choice
Team Rousey’s Anthony Gutierrez was supposed to fight Bollinger. He was given the choice to rehydrate and cut weight again in a few days and fight Chris Beal or advance to the next round via forfeit.
“I was like 159 just like a few days ago. So for me to have to hit 136 again, if I look at it, I don’t think that would be fair to me when I made weight. So I’d probably rather take the forfeit and move on,” said Gutierrez.
The Final Preliminary Fight: Peggy Morgan vs. Sarah Moras
Moras’ game plan heading into the fight was to take Morgan down, while Morgan planned to keep the fight standing and utilize her striking.
Morgan landed her jab early but Moras answered with counter shots. Moras closed the distance, got inside and clinched but was unable to get Morgan to the ground on her first attempt.
On her second try, Morgan sprawled and a scramble ensued. Moras gained top position. She advanced to the mount position and delivered hard elbows. Moras transitioned and applied an arm bar. She pried Morgan’s arms apart and extended the arm forcing Morgan to tap out in the closing seconds of the round.
Semifinal Match-up Deliberation
The coaches met with Dana White to discuss potential semifinal match-ups. The fighters were brought in individually and asked whom they wanted to face.
Julianna Pena from Team Tate was called in first. She called for a bout with Jessica Rakoczy from Team Rousey. Moras and Raquel Pennington also asked to face Rakoczy. Of course, Rakoczy is the only female fighter from Team Rousey in the semifinals. Rakoczy said she’d fight anyone and that it didn’t matter to her.
Team Tate’s Chris Holdsworth was the first male fighter brought in to discuss the semifinal match-ups. He requested to fight Anthony Gutierrez. David Grant said he’d fight anyone left in the competition. Gutierrez took the same position as Rakoczy and Grant and said it doesn’t matter to him. Michael Wooten took the opportunity to mention a match-up with Gutierrez.
White asked the coaches to play matchmaker to see what matches they preferred. For the females, Coach Ronda Rousey picked Rakoczy to face Moras and Pena to go against Pennington. Coach Tate agreed with Rousey’s female fight suggestions.
“For the first time ever probably in history, Miesha and Ronda really didn’t disagree that much,” said White. “I thought that that was going to be a war.”
The Semifinal Match-ups Announcement
The semifinal round fights will be three, five-minute rounds instead of two-round fights in the elimination and preliminary rounds.
The first semifinal fight will be Wooten against Holdsworth. The first female semifinal fight will be Moras vs. Pena. Grant will face Gutierrez while Rakoczy meets Pennington.