After a week off, The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion was back on television on Wednesday and another contestant moved closer to becoming the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion.
UFC president Dana White paid a visit to the fighter house and gave the fighters a motivational talk about female fighting in the UFC. White was reluctant to bring women’s MMA into the Octagon and once famously said that women would never fight in the UFC. Today, the female fighters are as big of a draw as the men.
“There’s no fight organization on the (expletive) planet that does for their fighters what we do for ours. Not even close. Not even in the same (expletive) universe,” said White. “You get so much more being a part of the UFC than being a part of anywhere else.”
This week’s matchup pitted No. 7 seed Melinda Fabian against No. 10 seed Rachael Ostovich-Berdon. The team competition was even heading into the bout with Team Gaethje and Team Alvarez each winning three fights. The tie was broken.
Fabian enjoyed a reach advantage and tried to keep Ostovich-Berdon on the outside but pawing with her jab. Ostovich-Berdon found her range early and landed right hands. She landed an overhand right midway through the opening round that whipped Fabian’s head back. With 90 seconds remaining in the round Ostovich-Berdon took Fabian down. As Fabian tried to scramble to her feet, Ostovich-Berdon took her back. The slight underdog hammered away with left hands before locking on a rear-naked choke that forced Fabian to tap out.
“I feel great. I’m happy. I’m very, very happy but it isn’t anything that I haven’t seen already in my head,” said Ostovich-Berdon following her submission win. “No it’s on to the next.”
Seven fights into the tournament, Team Gaethje leads Team Alvarez 4-3. The final opening round bout will be between No. 8 seed Emily Whitmire of Team Gaethje taking on No. 9 seed Christina Marks of Team Alvarez. The fight will determine the last spot in the quarter-finals.