So…the elimination fights.
I won’t lie to you, I didn’t know who any of the guys were, and I didn’t really watch any of their fights. It seems strange, because we all got so close living together. But whatever. So I watched them for the first time right along with you guys.
As for the girls, I didn’t know we were allowed to watch the other fights before our own, so I didn’t get to watch the ones before mine either. I knew Jessamyn Duke won the first fight, because I heard her victory scream all the way in the back. We were in opposite locker rooms, so I didn’t get to talk to her. I was lucky enough to have Tara LaRosa and Rox [Modafferi] in my room, as they were the fighters on the show that I knew the best.
As for my fight, I had no idea that my dad was going to make it. All that interaction between us in the hotel room was genuine. It’s pretty funny reminiscing with my dad about when I started. He was totally against it. And now, here I am, set up to take over the world!
I invited Josh Barnett too, and if you listen during my fight, you can hear him yelling. He and I have always had a good athlete/coach dynamic. He knows where I’m going, and I listen to everything he says. It was a blessing to have him there. Closed the ring off, took my girl down, drowned her. Easy peasy, another day at the office.
Then Tara fought. And lost. I was probably just as devastated as her. One of my closest friends, and the one I was depending on to keep me sane. They didn’t show it, but I lost my shit. Cried. I’m not a crier. I won’t lie, in those moments of realizing she wasn’t going to be there, I was worried I would be the one to crack and go insane in that house…
When we met the coaches, Ronda Rousey came up and introduced herself to me. We both talked about how it is actually pretty freaking strange that we haven’t met before all this. We talked zombies, guns, video games…I liked her immediately. I just hoped “Rowdy’s” dominant personality wouldn’t clash with the “Queen of Spades’” very dominant personality. I was a little worried. I don’t do well as the sidekick. We all know I’m the hero in this world!
The team picks couldn’t have gone better. I wanted to be on Ronda’s team, just because I had worked and competed with Miesha Tate before. I think our styles are so similar, I just thought I would come away with more in my toolbox after training with Ronda. Something different. Such a different style than me, but same basic game plan: Take people’s limbs home. I was stoked and honored to be her first pick.
We had no clue about having to pick the first fight, that was a complete surprise. They kind of edited how much it actually caught Ronda and the coaches off guard to have to pick right then and there.
Again, honored that she had so much confidence in me that she picked me as the first fight. I would be in shape, I would be close to weight and get it out of the way. Perfect.
Photo: Shayna Baszler (Esther Lin/Invicta FC)