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)

About The Author

Shayna Baszler
TUF 18 Blogger

Shayna Baszler, also known as the “Queen of Spades,” is a veteran fighter and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt who is competing on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter. She made her professional debut in 2003 and has appeared in such notable promotions as Strikeforce, Invicta FC and EliteXC. Baszler has faced many of the sport’s most notable names, including Tara LaRosa, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Sarah Kaufman, Sara McMann, Julie Kedzie, Roxanne Modafferi and Sarah D’Alelio. Training with Josh Barnett at CSW, she has a background in catch wrestling and is widely considered to be a top-10 bantamweight fighter. Outside of the cage, the South Dakota native is a certified EMT and counts roller derby and heavy metal among her interests.

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  • Andre

    Obviously you can’t give spoilers about results, and it may be heard to seperate those results from your analsis of the teams now but can you comment on how you felt about the strength of your team, particularly the women, at the time they were picked? Maybe I’m letting my biases and knowledge of other fights influence me, but a solid veteran and two beastly undefeated prospects seems like three picks I would all choose before anyone on Tate’s team

    • Qos

      I definitely felt like we had experience on our side. One thing I think that stood out was that it seemed like our girls were the more calculated fighters. We seemed to better listen to our corners during the elimination fights.

  • Manuel Gomez

    I like to thank you for bringing us closer to the action good job in your fight and good luck in the house

  • John S

    I was ridiculously excited to see you in the show. It’s been over a year since I left
    NextEdge And its awesome to see you going after what’s rightfully yours.
    I have rearranged my work schedule to watch you
    Dominate the house lol. Your first victim didn’t know
    What she got herself into ha. Excited to see the next one!!

  • Steve

    Awesome! Never doubted you would get in. Can’t wait to see you move through the crowd!

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  • It was driving me nuts waiting to see what would happen. I have been following everything, all media, videos, interviews. :) I was happy to see you on Rousey’s team! I almost cried for you when Tara lost. I knew you were counting on her and Rox being with you. Green huh? I guess that is better than blue. Don’t want you coming across looking like wonder woman, not very fitting for QOS. Just don’t do the red and green together or you will end up looking like a Whooville zombie. John wants to go to Vegas!

  • Enjoyed watching your performance on the first episode, and I enjoyed this post. Glad you are keeping a blog.

    Do you have a twitter handle?


    • Qos


      • Mike

        I’m so glad you lost. Your attitude sucks, but your skills are even worse. Time to retire and take a crash course in humility and TV/VCR repair.

  • Karpok, Rider of the Wind

    Shayna, I hope you win your first fight; I’ve enjoyed watching you over the years and you’ve been in some major scraps with some tough ladies. I’m a bit annoyed with the ads that say “shocking finish” on Wednesday, as if you might lose. Hopefully the shock is you ripping out your opponent’s arm and walking out on a river of blood. Back in Nam, we used to drop aces of spades cards on dead enemy combatants. Might be a cool idea to keep some handy for after your fights. Peace.

  • Cheese Dick

    Oh my God when will you just shut your arrogant annoying yap already? You lost Shayna, you’re a loser. A loser not because you lost, but because of the kind of person you are. You have 1 of the blackest hearts of them all, call yourself queen of blackhearts and I would agree.

    To say someone doesn’t deserve to breathe your air and then to get beaten badly and submitted by them, yet still have the gall to call yourself 3x the fighter that she is, shows just how delusional you are. Even the round 1 you barely won, she beat your ass in round 1 as well.

  • Man with average sized dick

    Well Shayna, to be honest I would love to fuck the shit out of you.

  • Research Man

    Invicta FC 2 had your dumbass as the main event with your name on the billing. You lost, then you lost again at Invicta 4. How dare you say you’re too good to be on the TUF? You’re positively pathetic and a complete losser both in your personality, fighting and everything. You even lost to that girl Julie Pena who doesnt even know how to fight. She was simply brawling and your stupid face couldnt even get moving away from her punshes.

    • Joe Shine

      Agree as Baszler is terrible and loses almost every fight she is in. Pena choking her out was cheered across America as the arrogant marginally talented old Baszler got humiliated on the choke out. Baszler is finished in the UFC.

  • Mr Sack

    So when will it be my turn to deposit my load in the Shayna Baszler?

  • Kris

    If you’re fighing is really that good, you shouldn’t need to arrogantly advertise it every second breath. Great fighters stand on the merits of what happens in the cage- talk is cheap. I really do hope you get another shot, but I also hope that you adjust your trashy attitude. Both you and Rousey came off as pure trash in the wake of the loss.

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