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.
TEAM MELENDEZ: Heather Jo Clark, Lisa Ellis, Angela Hill, Emily Kagan, Angela Magana, Rose Namajunas, Bec Rawlings, Justine Kish
TEAM PETTIS: Joanne Calderwood, Alex Chambers, Aisling Daly, Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig, Tecia Torres, Randa Markos, Jessica Penne
*Due to the ACL injury suffered by No. 9-ranked Justine Kish, Kish and Torres switched teams.
OPENING ROUND FIGHTS
No. 1 Carla Esparza def. No. 16 Angela Hill by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:42 (Episode No. 4)
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 def. No. 10 Alex Chambers by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:38 (Episode No. 7)
No. 3 Tecia Torres* def. No. 8 Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision (Episode No. 8)
*No. 9-ranked Justine Kish was forced out on Episode No. 5 due to a torn ACL and was replaced by Torres
QUARTERFINAL ROUND FIGHTS
No. 1 Carla Esparza vs. No. 3 Tecia Torres
No. 2 Joanne Calderwood vs. No. 7 Rose Namajunas
No. 4 Jessica Penne vs. No. 5 Aisling Daly
No. 6 Felice Herrig vs. No. 14 Randa Markos
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.
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