The seventh episode of The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion featured the final preliminary round bout. No. 8 seed Emily Whitmire of Team Gaethje made quick work of No. 9 seed Christina Marks of Team Alvarez to secure her spot in the tournament quarterfinals.
16 female 125-pound fighters were selected to compete in a tournament format to crown the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion. The field has been cut in half and eight fighters remain.
Whitmire wasted no time implementing her game plan. The ground specialist threw one punch and immediately put Marks on her back with a takedown. Marks made her way to the cage in an effort to get back to her feet. She kicked off the cage and attempted to stand, but Whitmire transitioned to take Marks’ back. Whitmire was too high on Marks’ back and Marks nearly escaped out the backdoor. She was nearly out of the bad position when Whitmire latched onto an arm and locked on an armbar. Marks was forced to tap out seconds later.
“There are no words to describe what I’m feeling right now,” said Whitmire following the submission victory. “I couldn’t be happier with myself, with the team, and everything just worked out perfect.”
“She did everything we did not expect her to do,” said the defeated Marks. “She just rushed in and I didn’t see it coming.”
With Whitmire’s win, Team Gaethje has five fighters left in the competition while Team Alvarez has three. The tournament match-ups were determined by seeding, but the order of the quarterfinal bouts were revealed.
The next two episodes will feature two fights. Top seed Roxanne Modafferi will face fellow Team Gaethje teammate Whitmire in the first quarterfinal match-up. No. 4 seed DeAnna Bennett meets No. 12 seed and Team Alvarez teammate Sijara Eubanks in the next quarterfinal match-up.
In the third quarterfinal bout, former Invicta FC flyweight champion and arguably the favorite in the tournament Barb Honchak faces No. 10 seed Rachael Ostovich-Berdon. The final quarterfinal bout pits No. 6 seed Montana Stewart against teammate Nicco Montano.