On Wednesday, Nov. 5, the UFC aired the seventh 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.
No. 2 Joanne Calderwood def. No. 15 Emily Kagan by majority decision (Episode No. 2)
No. 14 Randa Markos def. No. 3 Tecia Torres by unanimous decision (Episode No. 1)
No. 4 Jessica Penne def. No. 13 Lisa Ellis by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:47 (Episode No. 3)
No. 5 Aisling Daly def. No. 12 Angela Magana by TKO (punches). Round 3, 2:26 (Episode No. 6)
No. 6 Felice Herrig def. No. 11 Heather Jo Clark by unanimous decision (Episode No. 5)
No. 7 Rose Namajunas vs. No. 10 Alex Chambers
No. 8 Bec Rawlings vs. No. 3 Tecia Torres*
*No. 9-ranked Justine Kish was forced out on Episode No. 5 due to a torn ACL and was replaced by Torres
For the seventh bout of the season, coach Anthony Pettis selected No. 10-ranked Alex Chambers to fight No. 7-ranked Rose Namajunas of Team Melendez.
Namajunas scored with a series of kicks early in the fight that backed Chambers against the cage. The Aussie fighter fired back with punches, but Namajunas closed the distance and flurried along the fence. The kicks of Namajunas continued to find their mark. She secured a trip takedown and went to work from half guard. Chambers tried to get back to her feet, but gave up back in the process. Namajunas was unable to secure her hooks and the fight returned to the feet. Chambers then looked for a takedown, but Namajunas stuffed it and again took her back along the cage. After softening Chambers up with punches, Namajunas locked in a rear-naked choke and coerced the tap from Chambers.
On episode eight, No. 8-ranked Bec Rawlings will face off with No. 3-ranked Tecia Torres.