Many of you may have been following me on Twitter (@QoSBaszler) and I recently spent a day listing lessons that I had learned after the episode of TUF in which I fought. Well, as this is a recap week [for the show], I figured now would be a good time to do a similar thing with my blog. So, below are lessons I have learned while watching the first half of season 18 of TUF. (Some will be repeats from the aforementioned list, but all apply).

Lesson 1

The world is full of fight experts. This has been said before and people will get the general idea of sarcasm from that statement. But I had guys actually send me messages like, “…blah blah why you lost, blah. And seriously, I’m a 10-0 up-and-comer, so I know.” I wish you knew how much I’m NOT exaggerating.

Lesson 2

I lost a fight because I didn’t show up. It’s my job to show up; I didn’t. Juliana Pena won because she did. She showed up, stepped up to the challenge, and pulled off an upset because she made sure she was on and fought like hell. However, people out there believe that my losing was somehow tied to the playing card incident at weigh-ins. I have an unfortunate knack for showmanship. And that fact overshadows the fact that Juliana did a great job and fought a good fight at a time when it very much counted.

Lesson 3

Most people are only loyal when it’s convenient for them. I lost. And most of you turned on me. Ronda Rousey and my team didn’t. Period.

Lesson 4

Most heels aren’t villains. They’re usually just misunderstood.

Lesson 5

MMA fans are fickle. However, metal fans, Warhammer 40k geeks and gamers are diehards. And I’m glad to say I have many of them in the Queen’s Army.

Lesson 6

Loyalty. It is hands down the most important thing in any relationship of any kind. Coach, friend, family…loyalty is No. 1 in the Queen’s Army.

Lesson 7

People will read and hear from me whatever they want to. Fans will still be fans, haters will still be haters, so I am free to write whatever the hell I want.

Lesson 8

Aries is my favorite character to play in Injustice. This has nothing to do with TUF per se, but it was a lesson I learned while the first half of the show aired, so I thought you should know.

Lesson 9

After being deprived of music for six weeks straight, my metal collection has grown substantially. But you can never have too much metal on your playlist.

Lesson 10

People that cut weight will understand. Water is tastier, food is more delicious…there are things you appreciate that average humans can’t because deprivation forces appreciation. In the same way, music is more glorious, books are more compelling, loyal friends are more important, family is more valuable…all because of deprivation.

Bonus Lesson from the Recap Episode

I know I have a big geek in me when I feel as though Ronda calling me a Sith was the best compliment I could get.

Overall Lesson

My army and I will march on. We will continue to conquer mercilessly. Some will jump on and off the ship to hell and back. To all those who stay, I will reign in blood and you shall be greatly rewarded. To those who bail………we will NOT save you.

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.

  • johnny scalplock

    stay fluid and always stay strong and proud. there will always be alot of negative feedback ,hype, and shit. overcome and endure. with respect *blackfoot warrior*

  • Danny

    Here’s the thing. I was never a “loyal fan” of yours. I’d never heard of you until I saw you on the show. Except for the MMA die hards, I’ve got to believe most people who watched the show are like me in that regard. This was your introduction to most viewers. It was up to you on how to act. Other people lost & didn’t come off as blaming everyone but themselves. Whatever people think of you, you did it on your own.

  • T

    Yep, haters are always going to have something relatively stupid to say, but who cares? They either get it, or they don’t. You can easily tell that there are multitudes who have no clue what the heel persona is. You can also tell when they’re clueless, and or simply enjoy running their mouth from the security, & distance of the internet… But, like you said, “The world is full of fight experts.” … That aside, everyone in my house is a fan, win or lose. We love watching you do your thing, and are proud to train & learn not only at the same gym, but also from you whenever possible. Anyone good at what they do will always have haters. For some, it doesn’t mean a damn thing. For others, it’s fuel. The reality of it is, at least they know you’re out there, and for many of us, we’re not only glad you are, we’re marching on with you, whether anyone likes it or not! \m/

  • Debi Lawrence

    Shayna……thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I look forward to watching you fight in the future.

  • Jason Cargill

    1. Aries is way to powerful. He hit like a truck and his combos are next to impossible to break. 2. Stay awesome Shayna.

  • T-T .Yikes! What an ass beating you got! I ain’t no expert but it looks like you are full of horse droppings! No one hates you either none of us spectators knows you! And in the near future you will be forgotten.The sport only keeps you if you are potentially useful.10plus years and got beat by a rooky! Do you see the big picture? Veteran! Of the sport?. You’re a perfect example of what Ronda is gonna be if she ever really wanted to get in the cage with cyborg! Just loudspeakers no action! How dare you remember killer! Ha ha ha. Both of you need to proof more. you’re coach is acting all macho with her head all puffed up ready for her fake tittle defend against a nobody. Waiting to see real challenge for Rousey! As for you well wee all saw you’re downfall. Or maybe you’re. Coach has an opening for you in fast 7 to be there to really support you right! Not pretending on camara for the show.

  • Got to admit it wasn’t until some of Gina Carano’s latest fights that I started to notice the true talent of some of the women of MMA. Your name was one of the first I was turned onto as you have a great history of some amazing fights. You have great showmanship without the lack of respect for others that it usually comes with, and you being a metal head is a plus!
    I was sad at the results to your TUF debut, but I know that fighters/athletes have the challenge of having to show up when told, not when ready, and that’s not always easy. I hope you grow from this and I look forward to seeing the Queen of Spades in the UFC

  • 1.Ronda’s choice for advantage,backed fire! The lack of respect towards others who had the same time frame to show when asked,yeah that’s what the show has being for all!. The fact that her and her coach don’t have respect for others’ was very clear,worse she lost to a rooky having the same circumstances,but makes excuses! You either got it or you don’t! That she stays in ufc who really cares? What she did elsewhere is there no one can take it from her. In the show she showed arrogance,then after she was trying to clown spectators,”the fight experts” but she ain’t all that and lost, all these spectators know who really brings it,popularly is an issue after fighters fights are over.cyborg1-defeat, 11-plus wins! Gina 6plus wins,rousey,7 straight wins, maybe they can get away with the trash talk,you ain’t nobody! Why even fight if you can’t be a champ!…

  • Rafael

    Aren’t you hating on Julianna any time you can?

    Haters truly are always gonna hate.

  • wjd

    I hated the recap episode, they had way more commentary from Miesha then from Ronda, and it let Miesha control the narrative and deny the existence of other viewpoints. I found it very telling when she was laughing and talking about how she felt the whole count figurine things was “nice.” How would she react if someone wrote “Miesha” on the back of a pinocchio and taped a coupon for a free rhinoplasty to it? It’s a horridly bitchy thing to do. Miesha is either unaware of this or pretending not to be so she can get good press. I can’t decide which is worse.

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