In the interest of maintaining what little journalistic integrity I presume to have, I’ve skirted around the more base aspects of the show that have undoubtedly been a common topic of discussion amongst viewers: which female fighters are the hottest?
To make the question slightly more palatable, let’s rephrase it to "who has the most star potential?" Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but for the most part I think we can come to a consensus on what features men and women tend to find attractive. Under those vague criteria, I’d say the obvious front-runners are Jessamyn Duke, Julianna Peña, and Raquel Pennington.
Duke is a former model, so she has experience with being paid to look pretty. Peña is a favourite of Miesha Tate and the show runners (and herself, for that matter). Pennington has said that she’s used to being judged by her looks as opposed to her accomplishments. All three girls bring something different to the table and the UFC would love it if one or all of them could follow the career path of Tate or Ronda Rousey. The show has even given them a head start in terms of exposure.
This is not to discount the other ladies, as we all have our tastes. I, for one, can’t get enough of the ginger giantess Peggy Morgan, though I can’t seem to get any of my friends to bite. The casting director deserves major kudos this year for finding a diverse group of women that are fun to watch both inside and outside of the cage. The men are alright, I guess.
Lastly, as someone who didn’t see what the big deal was about Tate before this show, can I just say that she has become hotter with every episode? Is it just me? I don’t care if I’m coming off as a pig right now. Let me have this.
Okay, shutting off male gaze in 3...2...1...
Team Tate is in disarray, which was to be expected when three of your four fighters are competing for a spot in the finals. Assistant coach Eric Triliegi says that Sarah Moras just held him and cried. That’s not something most TUF coaches have had to deal with. Going into this season, I wondered how the women would do coaching the men; now, I’m more interested in finding out how men will coach the women! We cut to Moras sobbing in the sauna.
Maybe she’s just trying to lose more water weight.
I don’t see why these teams don’t employ a sports psychologist. MMA has to be one of the most intense, demanding and lonely sports in the world. It’s absurd to expect these athletes to deal with their day-to-day struggles in calm, level-headed fashion. I’m not saying that a good psychologist could have helped Cody Bollinger or Moras in this situation, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. We’ve had a lot of crying this season, though it still ranks behind TUF: Brazil 1 and, of course, Andy Wang.
The situation is almost too much for Tate to handle. She says that Peña is paranoid ("Peñanoid"?) and decides it would be best for both her and Moras if she removed herself from training altogether. I’m not sure that I agree with this strategy because in a way she’s acknowledging that Moras’s outburst is an effective way to get to her. Isn’t this one of the first rules of parenting? Let the child cry! Compromise is nice, but the nice thing isn’t always the right thing to do.
I haven’t seen jealous eyes like this since Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth.
Around the campfire, Moras regales the others with stories of how she dominated Peña in their first encounter. Everyone is a little too happy about how Moras apparently snapped Peña’s arm. Josh Hill reiterates that nobody likes Peña and Anthony Gutierrez sums up just how bad the situation has become:
Gutierrez: ...it’s really sad because Shayna even said that Roxanne was talking crap on Julianna and if Roxanne is saying something bad about you then you know you are failing at life.
Peña doesn’t realize that what people don’t like about her is that she all she thinks about is how people don’t like her. She says that maybe the guys are worried they’ll make their girlfriends jealous by talking to her and 7as9n7vhf@*..,zgdiu2z[c,[pzbnqUV3ZXMc,2jvx/[[q
Whoa, sorry, my eyes rolled all the way to the back of my head there and it took me a second to adjust. I’m okay now.
Peña goes on to say that the other people are only nasty to her because they’re nasty people. In other words, she’s a perfect person who does nothing wrong. Self awareness doesn’t appear to be one of her strong points. It’s funny, because she has the exact opposite problem in training. Bryan Caraway points out that she is overly critical of her performances. That may be true, but you can tell that it’s that mindset that has caused her skills to improve by leaps and bounds. If she can balance that out with positivity (maybe spend some time with Diego Sanchez), she’s a legitimate force at 135.
On the Moras side of things, we get a nice Kelowna B.C. shout-out and a terrible scene where she drops a hard elbow on Roxanne Modafferi’s face. Even after that flub, Modafferi is a good sport. What does it take to make this woman angry?
This week’s time filler is an upgrade over last week’s Harley Davidson camp, though that isn’t saying much. Rousey shows off her artsy side by taking a bunch of perfectly good shirts and poking holes in them...sexy holes.
She rips through shirts like she rips through the competition!
As stupid as I find this whole thing, I’m going to put this segment in the plus-column for her. It’s cute. And hey, maybe one of these things will pop up on-line and it will make a good Christmas gift for a loved one.
Moras: I got a Ronda shirt. I’m gonna sell it on e-bay and not have to work when I get home.
Not everyone is as enthused. Peñanoid doesn’t get a shirt "Ronda-fied" as she can’t decide what shirt to use and whether Rousey would even do it for her. Have I mentioned she has a tendency to over-think things?
Ugh, Peña is even ruining this awesome robe.
It gets worse later when we have what should have been an amusing segment with Pennington airing out a list of grievances in regards to Peña’s poor roommate etiquette. As only Peña can, she refuses to accept any blame for her actions and compares herself to both Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. She even goes as far as to drop a "nobody puts Baby in the corner". You do not quote Dirty Dancing, Julianna! YOU DO NOT!
Pennington: You play the victim a lot.
The only thing I find more disturbing than Peña’s martyrdom is the fact that someone let a pet into the house. First hairdressers, now this. This show has truly gone to the...you know.
I’m nearly certain this is against the rules.
Louis Fisette was making fun of Peña’s stand-up before and it does look bad at times. There is enough power in those punches to make Moras back off though. The activity prevents Moras from setting up any kind of offence, including the takedown she desperately needs. They clinch and Peña just sort of falls on top of Moras. Peña’s corner wants her to stand as she struggles in Moras’s guard. She is able to pass and throws a few elbows. The first round is hers.
Just over a minute into the second, Peña scores with a nice trip that leads to side control. Peña is just so heavy on top and you can see Moras getting tired. Not to mention this is only a few days after her match with Morgan. A big elbow has Moras’s nose gushing blood and Peña pours on the pressure. She goes all out for a flawless guillotine choke that ends the fight.
Peña and Moras are both in tears after the fight, for different reasons obviously. After all the drama and all the talk, Peña delivers when it matters most and she looks like she will be the betting favourite no matter who she meets in the finals.
At least somebody still likes her.
Next week: Could another Team Rousey fighter miss weight? I like David Grant, so let’s hope these are some misleading promos. Either way, I’m excited that they’ve dug up "The Wall" from American Gladiators for this year’s coaches’ challenge.
As for Moras, you haven’t seen the last of her, I guarantee it. And you definitely haven’t seen the last of that hair.
She should change her nickname to "Majestic".