TUF 20 Episode 1 – Major Upset Starts the Season

randa tuf 20The first episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 20” delivered, introducing the world to 16 of the top strawweights in the world many long time WMMA fans have known about for a while.

The show did a great job of paying respect to InvictaFC early on, since 12 of the sixteen have fought for the promotion. We saw InvictaFC footage throughout which is one of the many advantages of having signed top fighters directly from there.

We were introduced (or for some of us re-introduced) to the fighters on the show, starting with former InvictaFC champion Carla Esparza, then Felice Herrig, and Australia’s Alex Chambers. Pieces about Lisa Ellis, Angela Hill, and Heather Clark would soon follow.

It was interesting they used tryout footage for the show (if you pause at a certain point you can see our own news editor MarQ doing interviews). UFC President Dana White was impressed and figures he would see the ones not picked in the UFC soon.

The fighters arrive to the gym and White announced they are all in the UFC no matter what. This season is about the title and he seemed more excited than ever. He also explained the seeding/selection process. Each coach would evaluate the fighters. After a coin toss, the coaches will alternate picks. After one coach picks, the opposing coach would get the pick’s first round opponent based on seeding.

You can see the bracket here and refer to it throughout the season.

After a lengthy coin toss (the coin rolled for like 30 seconds before dropping) Team Pettis won and took first pick in #1 seed Carla Esparza. That mean #16 seed Angela Hill went to Team Melendez. #3 seed Tecia Torres would be Team Melendez’s first official pick.

Melendez would chose Torres to be the first match, and she would face Team Pettis’s Randa Markos. Torres’s profile talked about how coming from a single mom and overcoming addiction to be a top MMA fighter. Markos would talk about leaving Iraq during the first Gulf War as a refugee and settling in Canada.

That match itself was closer than expected. The first round went to Torres, who used her grappling skills to hold Markos in a reverse triangle until the bell. Marko’s wrestling would prove a factor in round 2, getting mount and was close to finishing the fight before the bell ended the round. The third saw Markos aggressive, with Torres winning the striking battle. Markos would get the takedown and Torres would try to work off her back before time ran out.

The judges saw round 3 for Markos, and Torres, a season favorite, was eliminated from the tournament.

Next Wednesday on Fox Sports 1, #2 seed Joanne Calderwood takes on #15 Emily Peters-Kagan.

A reminder that you can watch episodes on FoxSports.com every week for free.

Quotes of the Night:

  • “I’m riding a pony!” – Felice Herrig after mounting a tackeling dummy in the gym
  • “These women are my prey. I need to feed my daughter” – Angela Managa
  • “I’d rather talk about bubble gum than talk about Heather Clark” – Felice Herrig
  • “I want to fu%#ing fight now” – Joanne Calderwood



4 thoughts on “TUF 20 Episode 1 – Major Upset Starts the Season”

  1. Hi! Sherdog did not update Tecia’s and Randa’s records and I cannot find the information if the TUF 20 elimination bout do affect fighters’ professional MMA records. If you find out, please let me know 🙂

    1. No, they actually don’t. The UFC sometimes computes the three round fights which don’t occur in the preliminaries into the UFC records but none of the fights become part of their official record since they are all technically sanctioned as exhibition matches even though they are definitely fully competitive and full contact like any other MMA fight. They can’t be anything but exhibitions, though, or they wouldn’t let them fight so many times in such a short space of time.

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