The producers from The Ultimate Fighter instructed me, “be ready to fight for The Ultimate Fighter 16 in three weeks!” I was beyond excited at the good news! But, I couldn’t just drop what I was doing and bank on getting into the UFC—there are no guarantees in the tumultuous world of MMA.

I was extremely busy leading up to the TUF fight date. For starters, I was 1,200 miles from my Las Vegas home in Washington state at my fight promotion, Reign Fighting Championships, just two weekends prior. I was nervous about my weight; I hadn’t weighed 170 pounds in over 12 years! After dieting hard and running on almost no energy, I was walking at 194 pounds—albeit completely miserable. All I wanted was a huge meal and a couple weeks to detox after so much stress from promoting a fight, which was not going to happen.

With one week left until the first TUF fight, I knew I needed to be in top shape ASAP! I was working out like a madman knowing that the biggest fight of my life was fast approaching. I didn’t have anything that resembled a training camp. Here I was cramming for the biggest fight of my life, knowing it would be viewed by millions of people.

With weigh-ins the next day, I was still dieting hard at my house in Vegas. I had never fought at welterweight! I didn’t care if I had to cut my arm off, I was going to make weight!

My girlfriend, Aubrey, drove me to the hotel where we were staying and I gave my last good-byes—planning on six weeks, but hoping that I wouldn’t lose and see them in two days!

I got to my room and started my first weight cut to 170 pounds. That night was miserable! I was watching the clock, counting down the hours to weigh-ins. I had gone 23 hours with no food or water and still had eight pounds left! I knew I’d have to cut the rest the morning of weigh-ins.

Finally, 36 hours later and the most miserable weight cut of my life, I made 170! Then it was back to my hotel room where I was secluded from contact with anyone. I would’ve been dismissed if I had left my room!

On fight day, Jacob “Stitch” Duran began wrapping my hands in the locker room for my fight in the Mandalay Bay Event Center.  I was set to fight George Lockhart—a giant, savage-looking Marine. I knew that I better not lose or I’d have to go back home. I couldn’t face my girlfriend if I lost. I told myself that I refused to let that happen, but it still lingered in my mind. I was nervous as hell, telling myself, “I HAVE TO WIN!”

When it was my time to fight, the TUF theme song played and I walked out alone to an empty stadium which was completely… utterly… painfully… silent. My opponent entered the cage and all I could think was, holy sh*t, he’s huge! I need this win! The ref started the fight and I was throwing knees—hoping to hurt the Marine. I landed one on the chin and he shot for a takedown. I sunk in a deep guillotine and squeezed with all my strength to choke him unconscious.

YESSSSS! I had won… but I could hardly celebrate. I was so relieved and happy it was over—the weight lifted off my shoulders.

I walked back in a dark corner of the stadium and just sat down—thankful I wasn’t going home. My next thought was, “what have I done? I’m going to be gone for six weeks!”

All of the winners were lined up at the TUF gym for team picks. I was about to lose it because I couldn’t handle the suspense of waiting to see which team I was going to be on for the next six weeks. I knew Roy Nelson didn’t like me and we’re far from compatible… so, after what seemed like hours, Shane Carwin picked me to be on his team! I was sooo happy to be on Team Carwin.

That was a stressful weight-cut and fight, but now it was on to the house and the crazy, wild and awful world of The Ultimate Fighter 16.

Check out Bristol’s video blog as well:

Photo: The Ultimate Fighter cast, including The MMA Corner’s guest blogger, Bristol Marunde (third from left) (Josh Hedges/Zuffa, LLC)

About The Author

Bristol Marunde
TUF Blogger

Bristol Marunde is an American mixed martial artist who is competing on The Ultimate Fighter season 16. He was formerly signed with Strikeforce and is the current Superior Cage Combat (SCC) middleweight champion. Bristol holds notable wins over Jay Silva, Victor Moreno, Chuck Grigsby, Shane Primm and Rich Attonito. He currently resides in Las Vegas where he trains at Throwdown Training Center. Bristol also owns Reign Promotions in Washington state. Each week during the reality show, the Team Carwin member will blog about his experience, leading up to the finale on Saturday, Dec. 15, where the show's winner will be crowned.

  • Richard

    Bristol, I don’t know if you are answering questions on here or not but I hope you are. What are the issues between you and Roy Nelson? You made it clear on the show as well as your blog that you had no interest in being part of his team and indicated here he doesn’t really like you either.