So, just to warn you guys, I’m in a real pissy mood this week, and I know I’m going to go off about it in my blog. And I know just where it will happen. So, be ready for that…the mood of this one is gonna be pissy.

The episode opens with the usual recap. Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington’s amazing fight, plus the pick for this week. I really hope people can see, as much as you might hate Ronda Rousey, that she really was there for us. Having her was such a huge help, especially after losses. I said it when I lost: you really get to see who is in your corner. And she always was and has been since.

It’s hilarious to me that when I say stuff like that, people say things like, “Don’t believe her, she’s only in it for her own good. She just doesn’t want to look bad. It’s not cuz she cares, she just hates Miesha,” and blah blah blah. As though you people can watch one hour of mashed up editing a week and get to know Ronda more than us, who lived and trained with her for six weeks. Are people so blind? Look at every blog from a Team Rousey member. You won’t find a single bad word uttered about Ronda, only how grateful we were for her loyalty. (Pissy rant #1)

Dana White is a great guy. A ruthless business man, but a genuinely good guy. And he knows the sport. After my fight, he pulled me into his office and said similar encouraging things to me. “I know who you are. I have been watching you for a long time. I know this show does some crazy shit to people. I know how it is. But I know who you are. Stay healthy and keep training, cuz you never know. You are immediately back in if a spot opens up.” He knows good fighters when he sees them. Even more so, he knows what will make him money. Rocky is an exciting fighter for audiences. She likes to throw down. He truly wants her success. It wasn’t just lip service; Dana isn’t like that. He truly wants success for his fighters.

Here’s where I’m gonna go off a little bit. Father’s Day happened while we were in the house. I don’t have kids, and I’m obviously not a father. But we were all feeling pretty homesick about this time. You people will never understand how hard it was to really be in that house. Not the fights, not the training—that’s all normal for us. Being completely cut off from everyone and everything. And no matter how much we can find to entertain ourselves during the day, there’s always time. Maybe it’s at the end of the day when you are in bed alone. Maybe it’s sitting in the sunroom by yourself. But it hits you. In a house full of people and friends, you are very much alone. And your mind does crazy things to you in there. What are people doing back home? What will they think? Do they ache and miss for me like I do them?

And here’s the shitty part, people. You only know what they show. So you get to see Cody Bollinger this episode, aching and missing for his family.

And we all had that at some point. It doesn’t go away, it only gets worse. You have no idea the things we went through and subjected ourselves to. All our weakness and crap that we mask in life made public. All so you people can form an opinion on everything about our lives and get on a blog or a fan page and try to tell us how to fight. Or how to live. Or how awesome we are or aren’t.

I’m not complaining, because I generally like the attention, good or bad. It is part of my job to draw attention. I loved my experience in the house, and I’m glad that I did it. I’m “homesick” for my friends from the show. But I hope some of you sit back and really think about what we gave up, and what we went through. As much as it was a great opportunity that will change all of our careers, it was seriously all for you guys.

So, go back and really watch Cody and feel what he is feeling. And then, when you think you have felt it, realize that that was just the tip of the iceberg. It was hard being away. Many of us had different reasons as to why, but it all felt like that. We each had moments exactly like the one you saw Cody have.

Many of you know of my love of pro wrestling. So Josh Hill having that in his blood automatically made him cool to me. He, Anthony Gutierrez and myself spent many a night out by the fire talking pro wrestling and the awesomeness involved in it. All I knew about him was that he was a grappler and he was from Canada. So that meant he was super nice all the time. I liked him.

All the people that have talked about Ronda being so dramatic and all that this season, I hope you can see this prank for what it was—a good example of Ronda. Constantly being poked at. And perhaps she brings it on herself, but she is smart enough to know, as in the last episode with the count figure making fun of Edmond Tarverdyan, we should probably not let Edmond know about such things. So we were instructed: don’t tell Edmond. Ever. So, of course, that’s the first thing Anthony does when he sees the picture. He tells Edmond.

Ronda was hot about this. Understandably so. She had given her word to Dana. As far as she was concerned, a truce was made. Here’s the thing about Ronda: I truly believe she would have less dislike for Miesha Tate (and definitely more respect), if Miesha would just say and be to her face the things she truly felt and thought about Ronda. Of course, there’s an argument to be made for sportsmanship and all that, but with Ronda, if she will say it to you behind your back, it’s only because she is willing to say or do the same thing to your face.

But Ronda gave her word, and her word spoke for the team. We were all instructed to not retaliate. She made it clear how serious she was about that at any time when we would talk about doing something back.

I didn’t know how highly touted Michael Wootten was until I got out of the house and had access to the internet. I only knew what I saw in training. A dynamic striker, good grappler, and very coachable, which is something I really believe sets apart the successful from the lucky. And this dude cuts weight like a champ. I have never seen someone look like a completely different person when cutting like he did. He looked like a smaller younger brother of himself or something, but was back up and fresh come fight time. The Brit boys had a perfect science of cutting weight down.

When I watched this fight, I saw just how good Wootten was. There was something I really liked about watching—his wall work, the way he listened. And there is something, dare I say sexy, about his striking! And his accent…Woot, tell your girlfriend to treat you right or I will come for her head! (And then probably you!) Haha!

All joking aside, Woot did a really good job listening to the coaches. He really paid attention during the fight with Josh. And, like I said, I think that had much to do with his success.

All the match-ups were picked, so everyone had known who was left for a couple days at this point. “Pegatron” Peggy Morgan vs. Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras and Cody vs. Anthony. Things get interesting…

Photo: Shayna Baszler (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

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.

  • I am thrilled to watch the women fighters…they are 10 times more exciting than the male fights…this show has really taught me to appreciate all the fighters on both sides and I love the fact that both teams hang out together…because, like you say, you were all in it together…im not fond of Rousey whatsoever…what really bothers me is she is teaching her team to be bad sports…tonight Ronda again flips off Tate and one of the other fighters did as well…that’s a total disgrace in itself but drawing your pupils into that sh-t is inexcusable…I’m quite sure she cares deeply for her team members but flipping off Tate is just sore loser childish behavior…and the same goes for the Tate camp with that hanging pictures crap…a classless act that just hurts her team and adds nothing to the experience…Shayna, you are a badass fighter and it was hard to see you lose but I think you underestimated J. and kinda had the bighead…I know that will never happen again and I pity your next opponent cause the ass whipping is coming…this season is the first time I have watched Ultimate Fighter and I feel so lucky that I got in when the teams were co-ed…good luck to you in your future fights and I will be in yours and all the fighters from this show corners from this point on…

    • Mark72

      According to Julianna Pena, they told Dana that they would stop antagonizing each other. From her recent blog…

      Al-Shatti: Before you saw the episode, did you guys know Dana White came in to pull them all down?

      Pena: Well we knew that they weren’t going to let us keep them up, because right when we put them all up, they came in and said that the producers were making us take ‘em all down. That was due to the fact that the girls already promised Dana that they were going to stop with all the antics. They were continuing with the antics, so Dana just came down there and put the kibosh on that. He wasn’t trying to have anymore drama or a fight ensue downstairs in the gym.

      Which is something that Shayna and other Team Rousey fighters have been saying in their blogs. They were accused of lying about this to make Ronda look good. Funny to see how it is confirmed by Tate’s own little buddy.

    • asis

      Keith, just for the record, you state: “…tonight Ronda again flips off Tate and one of the other fighters did as well…”

      That is not entirely true. The “other fighter” was in fact Marina Shafir, Rousey’s assistant coach and best friend.

    • Amanda

      Just so you know, Ronda is teaching anyone to be a bad sport. That wasn’t another fighting flipping off Meisha, it was one of Ronda’s coaching team who is a friend of hers.

    • wjd

      There’s a strong argument to be made for authenticity. Why should Miesha be praised for going through the formality of a handshake when she was gleefully looking for passive aggressive ways to borderline-harass the opposing team and call it a harmless prank? Why should Ronda take part in the ritual when she’s being treated that way? My faith in humanity is really being shaken by the way people are rallying around Miesha because of this show. She calls Ronda “stupid” for having a different outlook on things and acts like a passive aggressive bitch. She’s the girl who was popular in high school despite being totally nasty behind the smiles.

  • Michelle Laney

    Kieth well said.

  • lizzybet1

    Rubbish Comments Keith and Michelle. Go be brave with your derogatory stuff to the ones you are dissing. This blog was about the show and the great fight. It does not require your Dumbass opinions on Ronda or the opinions on the superiority of the women’s MMA. Focus should be on what is going on in the house. The skills, sacrifices, challenges faced, all for your entrainment. SHAYNA! I love it. Heart felt comments. Objective. Insightful. With. Well written. Love it.

  • lizzybet1

    With should read witty. Silly swipe text.

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  • brandis lafrombois

    Love following your gives a different side of you then what was snipped and edited in the tuf episodes. Definately admire your strength and wisdom.

  • What a great post, Shayna. I’d like to chat you up about getting you into the discussion with Adam Cella (TUF Season 17) and I to chat about some of the aspects that I know I would like to see a LOT more of – rather than the stuff that’s inserted for inserting stuffs sake. I also appreciate your “behind baseball” discussion that you share here. It’s something I KNOW would make a valuable difference in just about every aspect of the program.

  • Matt

    I love women’s MMA. You all are at the point where you’re trying to prove that WMMA is every bit as exciting as the men’s fights and I have yet to see a single one of you fall short. I love that you all go balls out (metaphorically) and compete with heart, grit and determination. Honestly, lately, I prefer the WMMA matches because you all are truly embracing the warrior spirit (and many of you have been doing that for years out of the public eye). The true fans of the sport know you all and appreciate you beyond words.

    Personally, I don’t care what your fight record is. I just love to watch you all compete, body, mind and soul. MMA is truly a thinking person’s sport. Sure, everyone loves a big KO but many of us out here have become sophisticated enough spectators to catch all of the intricacies of what you all are doing. There are idiots aplenty, and most have big, idiot mouths and wouldn’t recognize a kimura if you were breaking their arm with one, but don’t judge us all by them please.

    Big love and appreciation to all of you! I look forward to watching you compete each and every time (and Ronda is indeed a quality coach, a quality person and a brilliant fighter).

  • Pablo Flores

    Ronda a duche bag …….hope Tate smash her ads!!!”!! Julianaaaaaa is awesome……

  • Lew

    Great blog Shayna, I love reading the manifesto every week!

  • juan

    I understand the whole being away from home for a couple of weeks following your dream, which means you want to be there. When I see you guys cry about it I cant help but laugh because when you compare what you are doing to what our troops go through you guys seem like such pussies.

  • asto642

    I have to say that I’m really enjoying the womens mma. I think the most startling thing about it though is the womans flexibility. You get so used to watching the mens ground game and then you watch the womans and its like a completly different sport. Men just can’t bend like that.

  • Ipswichfan

    I never thought I’d be interested in women’s MMA, just as I don’t care to see women boxing. But the fight where Cat Zangaro earned the #1 contender spot was awesome and changed my mind about womens MMA.

    Having said that, I think Ronda’s “The glass is half empty and you @#*&%$#s stole the other half” attitude that we’ve seen isn’t very appealing. Is the idea that Miesha wouldn’t be smiling after her fighter won too difficult to comprehend? Miesha was enjoying Shayna’s pain? Really? I wouldn’t buy that with a stolen credit card.

    Ronda’s quite a fighter and I’m sure she’s a good coach. I’ve heard it said that you’ve got to be a bit of a jerk to be a big achiever. Maybe Ronda’s just proving that.

  • popeye

    When Dana White first talked about creating a women’s division in the UFC, my first thought was: Shayna Baszler

  • Dean Fortis

    I’ve enjoyed every episode so far, its been the best season so far with the female dynamic. I really want them to carry on with this format, half girls half guys.
    Thought both British guys fought brilliantly and can see davey winning the guys, I’ve got a hunch that rocky and julianna are going to be in the final and should be an epic battle.
    Sad to see you pick up a loss but would love to see you fight on the big stage and really throw down. X

  • shut up already. you,re nothing but a looser. wonder why you never made it to the ufc …..looser…..duh

    • Muay Thai Guy

      Wow, what an insightful comment. I was curious though; have you always been retarded, or is it something that just shows itself every so often? Based on your inability to spell even the most basic of words (twice, no less), I have to guess that it’s a constant. First of all, the word is loser. This shocks me a bit, because quite clearly, you wear this hat daily.

      Now, about your “insightful” comment of “wonder why you never made it to the ufc”; this is simply another indicator of your stupidity. The fact is, Shayna is NOT done. Had you used your head just a little, you might have said something as obvious as “yet”. However, you clearly don’t get it.

      As for the “loser” comment, I find it funny how so many people rag on her loss on TUF. It was a loss, yes, but not due to her lack of skills (I don’t want to confuse you any more, so I’ll just assume you’ve followed the post fight interviews, etc). That fight could go on again, anytime, and Shayna would win. Shayna IS the better fighter, but sadly, a mistake was made, I know I’m going over your head now, so I’ll leave it at that.

      It’s a shame these moronic haters have never met her (or other fighters for that matter) in person. Maybe they’d be able to see how some of them really are outside of their “fighter persona”. Shayna is a good person, and very helpful. She’s been kind to me and everyone I’ve seen her interact with in and out of the gym.

      I hope this isn’t too much for you to get you to grasp, though I’m sure it flew right over your head.

      Anyway, I’ve wasted ALL the time I plan to on this asinine comment.

      Shayna, great blog as usual! We’re looking forward to more (The Minions, that is… Who gives a fk what the haters want?) ;)

  • Pegasus

    Shayna (my daughter’s name, btw!), from the outside looking in I would have to believe that enduring the TUF House would be even more mentally and emotionally taxing than prison time in that prison time is predetermined and irrevocable. There is an unthinkable choice in the TUF house which is to say WTF and walk away. That option must nag in the back of your mind as it just dangles there, tempting. Some have succumbed to the anguish of being ripped from their lives outside of TUF in past seasons. Unimaginable to think of the pressure the TUF fighters (and coaches) endure.
    I love most everything about your Rowdy head coach. You are completely valid in reminding us fans that we see a very brief and heavily edited snapshot of what really transpired in TUF, and might check our opinions accordingly. Like Dana, as TUF has progressed I’ve grown weary with the pissing match between the coach’s as the drama has somewhat overshadowed a great field of fighters. Again, strictly based on what we see. Clearly, Miesha has a very active filter and fips the on/off switch at will. Ronda’s filter was left smashed in small pieces at the door of the TUF gym on day 1 and I hope she takes that as a compliment. The only thing that straight ticks me off is any disrespect within the walls of the cage. Anderson got what he deserved for being a bufoon and disrespecting his opponent. Flipping off the opposing coach is also wrong…leave that stuff for later and take the high road. Thanks for the insight, Shayna – love your style

  • Teresa Ward

    Shayna, Love your blog!! I have to say, before this season started I was a DIE HARD Cupcake fan. Tate was always someone I respected and admired…UNTIL I started watching. I have to say, I am becoming a Rousey fan. In just these few episodes so far, I have gained so much more respect for her and what she has accomplished and her “realness” . She truly impresses me and Tate has left me shaking my head at her childish antics.

  • Mr Sack

    Enough of the small talk Shayna, its time for me to put the cock inside of you.

  • Look looser talking doesn’t win a fight veteran of the sport. What sorry bias comments totally out of control loose tongue! The out come was very different from what day dreaming you had going on! You woke up crying! What about you’re 10 plus years of experience?,”do you cry everytime you loose!?!T-T? That was laughable! Funny at its finest! Not hating on you just laughing *,&*!!!.So funny. Maybe Your coach can learn how close she came to loose! Do you remember yourself the fight prior”How dare you” ha ha! Did you show respect? Nothing just talking down! Now you and you’re coach acting like mentally ill people! All those things she’s being saying about cyborg! I love to see her prove cyborg has no skill nothing more than a cheater! Tell her if she saw what happened to that pretty movie star? I heard she left and never came back? She didn’t. Even make it to the post conference”Wondering Why”???…

  • simon

    Hey all in the series. Great blog its good to hear the inside of this TV show. I would like to say that Rhonda is an athlete with a competitive will to win. She is handling a pressure situation and is under a lot of scrutiny. Miesha obviously is playing the situation, using a sort of mind game. This too is part of high level sport. I wish Rhonda the best and hope she keeps her winning run and retains her title. That said Miesha is a tough cookie but obviously thinks that getting in Rhonda’s head will give her an advantage in their fight. I think she is worried about her ground game.

  • Rousey vs Tate again really who do you think is gonna win again? No brainer! Cyborg real challenge.

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