So, after the emotional exhaustion you witnessed on last week’s episode, we all returned to the house.

And as much as I did not want to be that person—that crying sissy during interviews—I told the producer I wanted to do my confessional first, right when we got back. I knew the emotion would still be fresh and that I would probably cry. I know I could have avoided that if I had given myself a few hours to compose and remove myself from the emotion of it. But I wanted it to be fresh. I wanted to share that moment of honesty. I felt like Roxy deserved that moment of pure honesty, and I wanted to be sure it was 100 percent.

So we get back to the house, and honestly, it’s life as normal. You see Roxanne Modafferi being Roxy to Jessica Rakoczy, congratulating her even in her loss, and Rakoczy taking care of her like she always did for everyone. Of course, she would have the Q-tips and everything needed to put Rox back together. She had everything we ever needed! The two most loved girls in the house, hands down.

You also get a taste of what it was like being in a reality TV situation. Roxy was literally hiding to try to have a moment alone so she could absorb and really feel all the feelings, but to no avail. There is no privacy in the TUF house. Cameras are everywhere. And when they aren’t, they follow you there too. We have to deal with everything openly. And it’s true what they say: after some time, you really start to not care. It’s a hard thing to keep up appearances all the time when you have spent a career building a part of your personality into such a known character. And I get to see for the first time, along with all of you, that Roxy had just as much a hard time in keeping up the “Happy Warrior” as I did bringing out the “Queen of Spades” in the few days after my fight.

The things this house and this show do to you are like nothing you can ever experience in any other situation. You hear everyone else that has ever been on the show say it. You probably do like I did and brush those comments off. “They don’t know what I’ve been through. Tough? This isn’t anything.” I even had ammo that others didn’t have. “WMMA is such a close and tight-knit community. I know better than anyone how it is to fight your friends. This will be a piece of cake.” But it’s not like that at all.

A certain special type of bond starts happening with everyone, similar to people that maybe did time or served in the military. We learn, very quickly, about the deeper parts of one another. All the stories of our lives, all the things that we love and hate. We miss our homes together; we countdown together the days until we are out of the house. We sweat and bleed together. And we fight each other. We all have different and very justifiable reasons as to why we deserve to win the show. We all have sparring partners back home, and teammates, and perhaps we have all been friends with two people standing opposite the cage from each other. But that’s nothing like this. The connection you form with everyone makes this so much more different than anything else, and all of us feel it.

You get to see Davey Grant and Louis Fisette sorting it out in their minds like all of us would have to do at some point or another during the course of all of this.

I didn’t know Davey before the show. I learned some things about this guy. First of all, he was, without a doubt, the most hilarious guy in the house. He loves fighting. We all do, but he loved it in a way that he got excited like a little kid for a t-ball game, sitting in the window and praying that the rain holds off just so you could still play. And he absolutely loves his family more than anything in this world. He constantly talked about his kids. He wore Avengers socks and underwear just because his kids loved them and it reminded him of them. And he is a straight-up good guy. Like the kind of guy your mom hopes you bring home. If his fiance is reading this, take solace, this guy would never have it in him to ever cheat on you or cheat you in any way. Davey’s love for his family is what pushes him to perform. They sacrificed a lot for him, and he knows this. He wants to give back to them by giving them reason to be proud.

In the last episode, you got a little taste of how innocent Roxy’s brain was towards “locker room” humor and flirting and such. Anthony Gutierrez said, “Dang Rox, gimme a handful!” And Rox innocently and seriously asked, “A handful of what?” So it was hard for the guys to not tease her and pick on her (not in a mean way at all) in those aspects.

All of us girls in the room with Rox had been working with her on a single comeback for her to say when they would start making comments so that it wouldn’t catch her off-guard. The thing we told her to say was, “You can’t handle this!” Lol. It should be hilarious to you people since you know how she is. It was to us. I wish you could all have been there to witness the first time she practiced saying it with us in our room.

So when you see the dare happen, and Josh Hill has to use a bad pick-up line on Roxy, she took all of us by surprise when she delivered! We were so proud, our little Roxanne was growing up!!! Haha.

So, “Truth or Dare” started getting too horrible and pretty much morphed into just “Truth,” which is where you start getting to see some of the shots of people sharing their life stories. And that’s a lot of the reason as to how we got so close so fast in that place.

I didn’t really care to get to know Louis until later in the season when he started joining the “Late Night Club” (the few of us that were the last to go to bed every night). Like all of us, he made sacrifices too. He had to quit his job, as they weren’t going to allow him to take all the time off needed to be on the show.

You will recall that Louis lost his fight to get into the house. And hopefully you will all recall my dad. Well, when Louis got back into the house, he told me that the day after the elimination fights, he and my dad rode the shuttle to the airport together. My dad had just spent the night partying with Josh Barnett, and it’s possible he was still in a party state of mind (read: drunk). So, my dad spent the entire bus ride singing the praises of how well I did in my fight and how excited and proud he was to poor Louis, who just lost what he thought at that time to be the biggest opportunity of his life. It was probably the last thing Louis wanted to hear at that time. Hehehe, my dad is awesome.

People should know that even though Louis lost to Chris Holdsworth, that isn’t a shameful loss to have. Holdsworth is legit, and Louis had a really good showing against him, actually really put it to him in the first part of the fight. Even Dana White was bummed when he lost.

Obviously, I wasn’t as emotionally invested in this fight as I was with Rox and Rakoczy, as I didn’t know Louis yet and I was obviously closer to Rox and Jess. So it was an easy thing to feel happy when Davey won. You could tell, Davey works hard all the time, every second at practice. It showed in his fight. He worked Louis over from bell to bell.

The ball was in our court again, and just as I was coming off the emotional exhaustion of Rox and Rakoczy, it started over again. I mentioned earlier, and maybe you’ve followed some of my other interviews and social media: I took Jessamyn Duke as my Sith apprentice in the house. I knew her from before the show, so it was easy for us to become friends. And we did. She is so similar to me and my interests, and being in the house made us even better friends. And Raquel Pennington was part of the “Late Night Club.”

I actually said to Rocky the night after Rox and Rakoczy fought, “If you and Jessamyn end up fighting, my heart can’t take this anymore! I’m done!”

I said that jokingly. And then they got matched up…

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.

  • lizzybet1

    Great blog. Keep it coming.

  • Shayna Baszler RULES

    Great blog Shayna! I love it!

  • Lavonne Eggink

    Love reading everything u have to say about show. Wednesday is my favorite night on TV now!

  • Michelle Laney

    Besides watching the show, I look forward to your blogs. Have a good week.

  • Mwani

    Great blog thanks for your insight into that exchange! haha

  • Joe Shine

    The woman on TUF are terrible no skills little ability and are a joke. Not one broad on TUF is ever going to win a fight in the UFC. Basler and Rozy for over ten years training are terrible skill wise.

  • SamuraiJack

    Really enjoying the blog Shayna… Did not care for you the first week… now hopefully we are seeing/reading a bit more of the “real” Shayna.

    Just curious would you have been so confident if you had been the last fight rather than the first… or would we have see the words and actions? It seems like you might have been more throughtful and probably more respectful in your comments had a few weeks gone by….

  • Baldo Valle

    I admit I was not a fan of the ubberconfident almost bully character of the Queen of Spades… but now that I am getting to learn more about the full Shayna Baszler the ‘Queen of Spades’..man. wow.. I am a fan… I am a big FAN. Well done… by the way I really appreciate your passion for the sport. I really appreciate the respect you show to some of the veterans…

  • MrPotato

    nice blog to read for a tuf fan thank you for it, i cant wait for next week.

  • Mr Sack

    Roxanne Modafferi would make a great wife to any man.

  • darbycrash81

    Enjoyed this blog as It felt sincere and honest and gave insight into the fighters emotions as they go about pursuing their dream. I hope you get another shot to impress the ufc and its fans.

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