The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate continued tonight on FOX Sports 1. This season features 8 men and 8 women bantamweights battling together in The Ultimate Fighter house for the first time in the show’s history. Tune in each week as the fighters, coached by UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and rival Miesha Tate, vie for a six-figure UFC contract on FOX Sports 1. [Spoilers Below]
This week’s episode starts off in the aftermath of last week’s epic bout between Team Rousey’s Jessamyn Duke and Team Tate’s Raquel Pennington. Duke is thankful for her coaches’ and teammates support. White tells Pennington that if she lets her hands go then she can win the whole tournament, a sentiment that people have followed her have thought for awhile now.
Rousey stops by the house to give the dad’s of the house some gifts for Father’s day. Rousey brings a picture for Chris Beal, who had previously mentioned his regret at not bring a picture of his son. It is a pretty moving gesture for the guys in the house who are missing their kids. Rousey even picks up a gift for Team Tate’s Cody Bollinger, and it is clearly an appreciated gesture but it brings up emotions for the father.
We meet Team Tate’s Josh Hill after the break, who talks about the origin of his nickname coming from a relative who was in the WWE. The former hockey player and model talks about how he got into the sport and his motivation for picking MMA.
After the Team Tate practice they hang up and bunch of pictures of a movie character to serve as a bad joke making fun of Rousey and her coach, Edmund Tarverdyan, UFC president Dana White is clearly exasperated as he tries to take down all of the pictures before Team Rousey shows up. Unfortunately, he misses a few and both Rousey and Tarverdyan are clearly annoyed with the passive aggressive nature of the whole thing after the two teams has previously been told to knock it off by White.
Team Rousey’s training session runs well as Rousey shows some alternative exercises before we’re introduced to Michael Wootten. The British fighter talks about how he has really enjoyed the coaching he has received and talks about how he got into MMA. Rousey really enjoys working with the kid and really wants to see him do well.
Wootten is shown back at the house having a really hard weight cut but his friend, teammate David Grant, helps him through the grueling process. The extra help pays off as Wootten makes weight, albeit behind the towel. Bit of comedy as the towel is dropped a bit too early and it breaks the tension in the room. Wootten is embarrassed after the moment but laughs it off.
Josh Hill (Team Tate) vs. Michael Wootten (Team Rousey)
Rd. 1-Herb Dean is tonight’s referee and a touch of gloves gets us started. Hill looks for a takedown nearly immediately as Wootten looks to defend against the cage. Hill keeps pressure against the cage and eventually scoops Wootten up and slams him hard to the canvas. Wootten tries a poor guillotine that allows Hill to advance to his back. Hill works for the choke/neck crank but Wooten keeps his cool and defends. Hill locks up the choke fairly deep but Wooten battles out and stands up in the process. Hill loses his mouthpiece in a striking exchange but he’s still controlling against the cage. Dean keeps them in position to give Hill back his mouth piece. Hill goes for a single but only uses it to land a nice left. Wootten is bleeding now and he eats a big knee as he defends and that keeps to Hill’s MO of rarely throwing but landing effective shots when he does. Wootten reverses him as the round ends and he lands a few knees but nothing major. Easy 10-9 for Hill.
Rd. 2- Touch of gloves and Wootten lands a huge shot before reversing Hill’s takedown and landing one of his own. Wootten fights off a kimura and goes to work with good ground-and-pound. Wootten is staying very active on the ground as Hill looks for submissions/stand-ups. Hill works up and tries a double but eats a knee from Wootten. Wootten fights off the cage and lands some strikes before taking a double leg attempt that Hill counters with a guillotine. Wootten separates the hands and goes back to work with ground-and-pound. Wootten takes his back and tries a choke but he cannot get under his chin. Wootten gets too high and Hill wisely reverses position. Wootten is still active off his back as Hill lands intermittent punches. Hill finishes the round on top but loses the round. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Wootten.
Rd. 3- Spinning back fist by Hill early but it glances off as Wootten drops to a double. Hill fights it off and tries his own takedown. Wootten listens to his corner and uses the underhook to reverse position. Wootten looks for a double but is too close to the fence to establish position. Hill reverses position but eats strikes as he tries to control the clinch. Punches from Hill now before he tries a single leg but Wootten breaks free. Wootten times a telegraphed spinning backfist from Hill to secure a takedown in the center and he goes to strikes with just over a minute left in the the fight. Short elbows by Wootten and he passes to half guard when Hill tries to stand. More strikes by Wootten but Hill does recover guard. Big elbows now as the fight ends. MMAFrenzy has it 29-28 Wootten.
Michael Wootten def. Josh Hill via unanimous decision
Hill takes his first loss ever pretty hard, while Wootten is relieved with the victory. Our final two fights were made by default with Peggy Morgan taking on Sarah Moras and Anthony Gutierrez taking on Cody Bollinger.
The Ultimate Fighter 18 Opening Round:
Shayna Baszler(lost to Pena) Jessamyn Duke(lost to Pennington)
- Peggy Morgan
- Jessica Rakoczy def. Roxanne Modaffieri
Chris Beal(lost to Holdsworth)
- David Grant def. Louis Fisette
- Anthony Gutierrez
- Michael Wootten def. Josh Hill
- Julianna Pena def. Shayna Baszler
- Sarah Moras
- Raquel Pennington def. Jessamyn Duke
Roxanne Modafferi(lost to Rakoczy)
- Cody Bollinger
- Chris Holdsworth def. Chris Beal
Josh Hill(lost to Wootten) Tim Gorman(injured in Ep. 2) Louis Fisette (replaced Gorman)(lost to Grant)