Every week we have the scheduled fight at the end of the show, and then sometime before that the unscheduled near-fight between coaches. Episode 3 featured Ronda Rousey and Edmond Tarverdyan getting all up in Bryan Caraway’s face over some twitter drama from March where Brybry said “if [Rousey] wants to challenge a man I’ll knock her teeth dwn (sic) her throat the (sic) break her arm!” And this week featured Edmond again, this time getting into it with Dennis Hallman:
The confrontation of the episode was between coach Edmond and Team Tate’s guest coach Dennis Hallman, a UFC veteran. At one of the weigh-ins, which they didn’t show on TV, Hallman was staring a hole through Edmond. This was the first time we had seen Hallman and for some reason he decided to try and mean mug Edmond. It’s one thing to glance and catch eyes with somebody but he was making it obvious.
Finally, Edmond spoke up and said, “What’s your problem man, why are you staring at me?” What you saw on the show was Edmond giving Dennis the look back because he was insulted by it. In the locker room, Ronda was sure Hallman was trying to provoke Edmond into a fight to get him kicked off the show, which would have hurt our team because Edmond was considered the head coach and Dennis was a temporary guest coach for them. We thought it was a cheap tactic but the episode only shows Edmond’s reaction, not what provoked him. Trust me, Hallman started it.
As you will all recall, if you light Edmond’s fuse, the bomb at the other end is a big one. Team Tate knew this. I don’t want to get into all the whys of how we heard it being talked about, and I’m sure that the haters will point at this paragraph and say I am making up a bunch of stuff and whatnot, but whatever. Team Tate brought Hallman in to egg Edmond on. Period. From the second Hallman got there, he was fronting Edmond. A brilliant and dastardly tactic, really. Edmond was our head coach. He ran practice while Ronda Rousey trained right alongside us. If he gets kicked off the show, we are essentially screwed. If Hallman gets kicked off, who cares, really? And if you know Hallman, then you know he can be a bit of a dick.
There’s been a lot of talk about unfavorable editing on TUF – the show basically making you look like a bigger dick or wuss than you really are. Examples of this: Ronda coming across as crazy (because they aren’t exactly showing many of her more relaxed and laid back moments) or Shayna talking about how Julianna was beneath her for 30 minutes right before getting subbed by her.
This situation between Tarverdyan and Hallman seems like more of the same, but perhaps not for the surface reasons you may think. Unlike past seasons where producers milked every bit of drama for as much as it was worth, the people behind TUF almost seem embarrassed by this incident, and only showed as much of it as necessary before Dana White laid down the law and told everyone to knock it off.
What happened in all this that made the guys who built an episode of TUF around semen eating go ‘Whoa, too much’? Maybe it was that anti-Armenian racism Ronda Rousey alluded to weeks ago. Or maybe the dickery between coaching staff took away too much from the much more interesting action going on in the house leading up to the Roxy fight. Whatever the case, it’s interesting to see how this season of TUF is being put together, and fun speculating why.
Yesterday the NSAC had its first meeting since one of their judges almost fucked up the biggest boxing match in the history of the state by scoring it a draw. Leading up to this, it sounded like there might finally be some traction on turfing screw-ups and making sure only the best judges score the big fights. NSAC Chairman Bill Brady had to apologize to the Governor for the headaches it caused everyone and promised they’d stop rubber stamping Keith Kizer’s judge selection. But here’s what actually happened at the event:
At Wednesday’s Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting in Las Vegas, Chairman Bill Brady stated that fighter camps & promoters will be approached before big fights with pool lists of officials and will be given an opportunity to voice any displeasure with certain officials. (In other words, nothing has changed). Kizer was asked to provide pool lists and background information on officials he nominates into pool lists for the commissioners. Kizer, amusingly, told the commissioners that if they want information on the officials he books that they can go to Boxrec and check out the information themselves. Skip Avansino, who basically is treated as the don of the commission, said that he didn’t have time to go to Boxrec and wanted information supplied to him directly on officials. Brady said that the process Kizer has been using for selecting officials and notifying others about the process has been ’somewhat sloppy.’ That was the only official criticism stated publicly on Wednesday.
Keith Kizer’s job security remains unscathed. Marc Ratner, Skip Avansino, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Sig Rogich apparently won’t pull the plug on the guy and neither will the Attorney General or Governor offices. When Bob Arum rants and raves about the commission being controlled by Republicans, he’s actually telling the truth. It’s a very close-knit community and the political glue is Sig Rogich, a self-styled political fixer for Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush. Rogich is the classical political fixer who brings celebrities & pols to big fights and has a school named after him in Las Vegas. Rogich has lobbied the Nevada state legislature to legalize gay marriage & raise state taxes & increase immigration; he’s pretty much your classic Establishment Republican who has the ear of every state pol & wannabe pol nationally because of his public relations operation, Rogich Communications Group, and his background in advertising.
Oh yeah, he’s one of those classic pro immigration and pro higher tax Republicans. But regardless of what his red / blue designation is, Rogich was still a former NSAC chairman. As was Lorenzo Fertitta. And Marc Ratner used to have Keith Kizer’s job. It’s interesting to hear Zach opine that these ex-NSAC dudes are the ones with the power to dictate whether Keith Kizer stays or goes. If that fell upon anyone, you’d figure it’d be commission chairman Bill Brady, but that hero sure did put his foot down when he dared to criticize judge selection as being ‘somewhat sloppy.’
Last night the Roxanne Modafferi vs Jessica Rakocszy fight aired on TUF, and while Roxy won the first round on ground control and aggressive submission attempts, the second round didn’t go as well:
I was pleased I got her down a few times, but between the first and second round, I felt the strength strangely leaving my body. She rocked me a few times in round two. Miesha had told me get one take down, so I stupidly and doggedly rushed at her when we got close, thinking if I could just get it, things would work out. It didn’t.
When the ref stopped the fight due to her holding the fence, I thought he was calling it her win, so I screamed “I’m okay! I’m okay!” When he brought her over to the side, I still had no idea what was going on, but my legs felt like lead. He then said “GO,” so I went.
Then the irony of the slam. I hate the powerbomb. My Achilles heel. Ever since I had lost my Strikeforce title shot to Kaufman by the powerbomb slam in 2010, I swore it’d never happen again. Part of the reason my loss tore me up so much was that this is the second time. I swore I’d just let go of her before I got lifted. Actually, earlier in the fight I felt her lifting a few times, so I let go. I don’t know what came over me to hold on. When I realized I was up in the air, it was too late. After it happened, I wanted to get up. My head was spinning, but my inner voice said, ‘Just get up. Get up. Go after her.’ I tried to keep fighting, but was too dizzy to stand, so the ref called it.
Fighters step on other fighter’s dreams in order to reach their own. I’m glad that if I had to give up my dream of being ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ at least it was to a great person like her. I mentioned myself being a ‘vet,’ but she’s a ‘vet’ in her sport of boxing, too. It’s disrespectful to not think of her as a veteran.
I haven’t achieved perfection of my technique yet. I want to be a master at my art. So I’m going keep going hard. Always get back up. It’s so easy to stay down. It’s so hard to get back up again. When you do hard things, physically, mentally, or emotionally, you grow.
I let down the people who love me and support me. But I think those same people would be sadder to see me stay down. So I’ll smile and promise to do my best.
When you do something hard or painful, you grow, but you can’t tell until some time passes.
”The heart is what makes you a champion.” ~Jessica Rakoczy
I think I prefer to keep my Ultimate Fighters at a comfortable mocking distance so when they get defeated by power slam it doesn’t hit you right in the feels. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, steal a Tivo or headbutt the internet so you can get it. A shitty recap and 30 second FOX highlight doesn’t do this week’s show justice. I do have a couple gifs and a Canadian-friendly video for you after the jump though.
Come join us for post-fight chat at Roxy’s website!
*UPDATE* Thanks to everyone who came and hung out til 3AM in the morning with Roxy, Shaynya Baszler, Kaitlin
T-Minus 1 hour til the Ultimate Fighter chat on Fightlinker. While you’re waiting, why not watch this compilation of brutal MMA bodyshots?
I bet someone was pissing blood for a week…