“I get paid to make weight, fighting is the fun part.”

That’s what I always tell people. In fact, that’s the hard part. I would fight for free!

You can’t truly understand the horror that is cutting weight unless you’ve done it. Sure, we’ve all been thirsty, we’ve all been sick, we’ve all been hungry… it’s not the same. It’s everything you’ve thought you’ve felt when you’ve felt crappy, but worse. And by your own choice. You are literally killing yourself. Your body is an amazing machine. It would rather you thirst to death than die from overheating. After depleting yourself nutritionally, then not eating, you overheat. And you sweat. And the thirst… it gets so bad that all you care about is water. The hunger, the heat, none of it matters like the thirst. If anyone has ever played a sport or worked outside in the heat, the headache you get from being dehydrated, the muscle cramps, the nauseous feeling… imagine doing on an even worse scale, and doing that willingly.

I have never wanted to quit a weight cut. But almost every time I have fought, I have had that horrible moment, the realization that the other girl is doing this too. Which is stupid. We both know we are both killing ourselves. What’s the point? We both want to fight each other. And every time, I think this will be the last one. Kill myself in the gym to the point of having to crawl out every day, starve, deprive, then cut weight. But then I climb in the ring… and I remember.

I was actually pretty excited about Cody Bollinger vs. Anthony Gutierrez. I thought Anthony had tons of heart and that he usually fought to the level of his opponent. And Cody was a very skilled opponent. I liked the match-up; it was exciting on paper.

Anthony always went hard in training. And he and Cody both were part of the “Late Night Club.” Anthony and I would sit up late talking pro wrestling until the wee hours. Still to this day, we message each other about the goings on in that world. The team took care of him like a little brother. As much as he may have come off like a douche in the episode where he was being loud and annoying, he was sarcastic almost 100 percent of the time. A goofball kid brother. You see a few of us taking care of him during his cut. Anyone that has cut weight knows how valuable a weight-cutting buddy is. And I am so bold as to say, ask any of my teammates, I make a pretty good weight-cutting buddy. And Anthony made weight that day.

Cody is an all-around good dude. He was never afraid to stand up and say the things everyone else was too scared to say. You saw him be the first one to defend Roxanne Modafferi in the car when Juliana Pena tried coming down on her. And everything we all thought about Juliana, he was the guy that said it out loud first. Everyone loved him in the house except for her. Skill-wise, I think he was one of the most well-rounded dudes in the house (from what I knew of the guys). Good wrestling, good hands… you saw that in his fight to get in. I was actually bummed I didn’t get to train with the guy, as he was on Team Tate.

I think the thing Cody will want to be remembered for the most is that he loves his family more than anything. From day one, he was going on and on in the house about how beautiful his wife was and how he missed his daughter and couldn’t wait to hold her again. He fucked up. He did. It’s our job to make weight, and we all made it at least once to get in the house. We get all the food we ask for, so our diets are on point. He has no excuse for at least trying until the end. And this is what most of you will remember him for. Another guy that missed weight on TUF. But I will remember him being a genuinely good dude that always watched out for Rox, and loved his family.

Dana White has no mercy when someone misses weight. A guy in the house that I spent almost every night with by the fire with the rest of us in the Late Night Club… just gone in an instant. We didn’t get to say goodbye, we didn’t get to see him pack up, nothing. Just erased. It was strange because we still had life as normal. And Peggy Morgan and Sarah Moras still had to fight.

I only got to know Sarah after the show, hanging out in the hotel. I didn’t get to spend much time with her during the season, as we were on different teams, but I had seen a couple of her fights. I watched her beat my close friend, Tara LaRosa, to get into the house. So I knew she was legit. I felt bad for her, in a way. I got the feeling that her story, training and even her fight kind of got lost in the shuffle of Cody missing weight and then having to leave.  She, funny enough, loves cheesecake more than anything. That’s the truth, haha.

If any of you don’t read Peggy’s blog, you should. She is a literature teacher; very intelligent and hilarious with her humor, in that aspect. She also has a kid (whom she refers to as her “man-cub”). All of us in Team Rousey were super tight. Peggy was no different. We were pulling for her.

As an outsider, Peggy and Sarah’s fight went pretty much how you would think. Peggy was working her on her feet until Sarah took her down and got the sub. And for everyone that spent so much energy hating on me that they don’t have anymore left, she was just as ridiculous with her pre-fight banter. I love me some “Cheesecake,” but I couldn’t not point that out.

The match-ups for the semifinals was my favorite part of the show:

Dana: “Who do you wanna fight?”

Juliana: “Jessica”

Sarah: “Jessica”

Raquel Pennington: “Rakoczy”

Rage-koczy: “I don’t give a crap who it is.” – and she meant it.

For all the technique and training a fighter does, it only takes you so far. You still have to have that down-and-dirty street in you. Some people are just fighters. They didn’t have to be taught it, they just have it. A good example of Rage-koczy being who she is. A fighter. Crisp, technical, smart… down and dirty.

So the match-ups were set. Juliana vs. Sarah, Rocky vs. Rage-koczy, Davey Grant vs. Anthony, and Michael Wootten vs. Chris Holdsworth. All exciting for their own reasons. And we are only halfway through the season…

Photo: Shayna Baszler (L) (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.

  • Gary Pennington

    This blog has become one of my favorite additions to the show!! Love your insight!! Keep up the good work!! :-)

  • Rafael

    Sarah Moras was NOWHERE near as arrogant, cocky and egotistical as you, Shayna.

    Sarah NEVER was disrespectful about Peggy’s skills. She made some fun comments about Peggy’s physical appearance (“giraffe”, “ginger”, “pale”).

    You were arrogant and disrespectful. She sounded confident and had some moderately fun trash talk prior to her fight, without being disrespectful to her opponent skills. She never said “this girl doesn’t deserve to breath the same air as me and she should attend to my seminars”.

    You should learn from her. If you can’t see the difference between what she said, and what you said, I feel sorry for you.

    By the way, I am glad you concede that you were “ridiculous”.

    Cheers.

  • Bill

    Blows me away how some people just can’t “let it go”. Correct me if I’m wrong but the whole “she doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air” comment was made by Ronda. Not that it should matter considering it was eight fucking weeks ago. I’m sure if you could you would have done and said things differently but unfortunatley live telivision doesn’t afford you that luxury. Was never a big fan of women’s mma until the show but somehow I end up here every week. Guess you can say I’m coming around. Just couldn’t read another haters comment without responding. Its got to make you feel good that people are actually so jelous of you that they’re still bitching about a show from eight weeks ago. Guess there’s a lot of people with not much happening in there lives over the past couple months. Keep doing what your doing, eventually even rafael might come around.

    • Rafael

      Shayna should let it go.

      She was the one who brought it up again and tried to make Sarah look as bad as she in order to make up for her own huge Ego.

      Sarah even made fun of her own reach. Comparing their speeches was truly ridiculous.

      • wjd

        To be fair, they might not have shown everything Sarah said. She DID say that she feels bad for anyone who fights her, because it’s not going to end well for them. This is arguably worse then anything Shayna said because it is disrespectful to the skill of ALL her past, present, and future opponents, rather then just the one she’s about to fight.

  • Bill

    Hey rafael, my keyboard is bigger than yours

  • The only thing she is known for,how dare you?oh! By the way shyna sucks period! The veteran who lost a rooky! I mean if she fought Ronda would she win? I think not. Not to mention she compares her self to being above others! Even spectators who laughed at her sorry ass fight. On you’re way out soon…

  • Mark72

    One thing that hasn’t really been touched on by anybody. Remember Dana telling Raquel Pennington earlier that she could win the show? The editors chose to show that for a reason (as well as Pena telling the audience that he said the same thing to her.) Well, what happened last night? Both Miesha and Ronda shockingly agreed that the ideal match ups were Julianna/Raquel and Sarah/Jessica. Yet Dana went against both their wishes and did the opposite. It doesn’t take a genius to see why. Julianna and Raquel were his clear faves, and he wanted both in the finals. There was no way he was going to risk losing one of them before that. So he overruled both coaches to get his desired outcome.

    • Mark72

      BTW, that clip of Davey Grant and Ronda crying together was obviously used to mislead the audience. Everybody knows after last night that he was not the one to get kicked off. Anthony probably pulls off the upset next week and that’s why Davey is apologizing for letting her down.

      • wjd

        I’d thought that was Wooten…suddenly I feel racist for not being able to tell British guys apart. Man it’s going to suck if Davey loses, I want him to win the whole thing.

  • kgfighter

    anthony should have fought there was no reason for it.he just didnt want to get his ass beat.i hope he gets knocked the fuck out.

    • Amanda

      Spoken by someone who has no idea what weight cutting does to your body.

      • wjd

        I don’t quite understand why he would have needed to cut weight again. Couldn’t he have just weighed in then? Had he already replenished his fluids? Is it against the rules to weigh in more then a day before a fight? Not trying to insult Anthony or anything, I’d just really like to know.

  • SamuraiJack

    Great blog post. In some ways I feel bad for Cody, he will have to live with this for the rest of his life. But the guy is 22 years old and at that age people make bad decisions. I hope he puts this behind him and moves forward with his life. Just too bad a million people got to see his mistake. I was so hoping for 5 wins to 4 for Miesha. That would have been a much better story. Instead we get Cody walking out the door…

  • Fiser

    Big difference between cocky/fun and disrespect/arrogance. Shayna needs to learn the difference.

  • Lester

    Fuck the haters Shayna. In a Zombie Apocalypse we wouldn’t call them Haters, we’d call them victims. If you’re not cocky going into a fight you aren’t doing it right.

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