On Wednesday, Nov. 19, the UFC aired the ninth episode of the 20th season of its famed reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.
The show is serving as a title tournament for the first time in its history, showcasing the 115-pound, women’s strawweight division.
The roster for The Ultimate Fighter 20 started to take shape late last year when the promotion announced its acquisition of a number of strawweight fighters from the Invicta FC roster, including reigning champion Carla Esparza, unbeaten Tecia Torres, Bellator veteran Felice Herrig, undefeated Scottish fighter Joanne Calderwood, Australians Bec Rawlings and Alex Chambers, Rose Namajunas and Emily Kagan.
On April 28, the UFC held tryouts to find eight additional cast members who would join the Invicta imports and round out the field of 16 on the show. On July 3, the promotion revealed those additions: Heather Jo Clark, Aisling Daly, Lisa Ellis, Angela Hill, Justine Kish, Angela Magana, Randa Markos and Jessica Penne.
The season filmed for six weeks beginning in July. The season was coached by former Strikeforce champion and UFC title challenger Gilbert Melendez and current lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Pettis and Melendez will fight for the 155-pound title following the show’s conclusion.
For the show’s opening round fights, the fighters were ranked from No. 1 to No. 16 by UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby and matched accordingly. Team Pettis won the coin flip and opted to pick the first fighter. When a fighter was selected, their opposing-ranked fighter was automatically put on the other team.
*Due to the ACL injury suffered by No. 9-ranked Justine Kish, Kish and Torres switched teams.
For the first quarterfinal bout of the season, Team Pettis teammates Felice Herrig and Randa Markos battled it out in the Octagon.
Markos quickly closed the distance and tied up Herrig in the center of the cage. Herrig pushed the fight to the fence, but Markos reversed the position. Herrig fired knees with her back against the cage. Markos tried to power into a trip takedown, but Herrig was able to get top position and return to her feet. Markos stayed glued to Herrig and used a front headlock to bring the fight to the ground. Once there, Markos attacked Herrig’s right arm from the scarf hold position and coerced a tap.
On episode ten, No. 4-ranked Jessica Penne will face off with No. 5-ranked Aisling Daly.