On Wednesday, Oct. 1, the UFC aired the fourth 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.
For the fourth bout of the season, coach Anthony Pettis selected No. 1-ranked Carla Esparza to face off with No. 16-ranked Angela Hill of Team Melendez.
Esparza looked for takedown early, but failed to set it up and Hill easily avoided it. However, when Hill threw a leg kick, Esparza snatched onto the leg and put Hill on her back. Esparza took Hill’s back as she tried to scramble and then transitioned to mount. Esparza rained punches from the dominant position before taking Hill’s back once again. Hill exploded into the top position, but Esparza secured another takedown. Esparza remained calm as the pair scrambled, securing Hill’s back while standing along the cage. Esparza sunk in the rear-naked choke late in the round and Hill was forced to tap.
On episode five, No. 6-ranked Felice Herrig will face off with No. 11-ranked Heather Jo Clark.