clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Ultimate Fighter 20: Idiot's Guide and Preview to the FS1 and Fight Pass Prelims

Here are the three things you need to know about the all female Fight Pass/Fox Sports 1 prelims for TUF 20 in Vegas.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Line Up

Women's Strawweight Felice Herrig (9-5) vs. Lisa Ellis (15-8) 
Women's Strawweight Bec Rawlings (5-3) vs. Heather Jo Clark  (6-4)
Women's Strawweight Joanne Calderwood (8-0) vs. Seo Hee Ham (15-5)
Women's Strawweight Tecia Torres (4-0) vs. Angela Magaña (11-6)
Women's Strawweight Aisling Daly (14-5) vs. Alex Chambers (4-1)
Women's Strawweight Emily Kagan (3-1) vs. Angela Hill (1-0)


Herrig -350 / Ellis +260

Rawlings -250 / Clark +165

Calderwood -550 / Ham +400

Torres -550 / Magana +400

Daly -260 / Chambers +200

Kagan +145 / Hill -175

3 Things You Should Know

1. Two fights can win you a Floyd Mayweather In-N-Out cookout's worth of cash if you're feeling lucky. Unfortunately Magana and Ham are exhibits in why they call it gambling.

If you listen closely to the sound of your TUF live results bandwidth, a chorus of men have come to be taken by the soft spoken Scottish competitor. Calderwood didn't live up to the hype on the show. She didn't really flatten Kagan the way many projected, made some technical errors, and then lost to Rose Namajunas. Unlike most TUF competitors, she had a solid record going in, including a decision over ranked Katja Kankaanpaa. However, losing to Namajunas is no reason to give up on her. JoJo is still young, and Namajunas could easily end up being the division champ.

Unfortunately we're not gonna see JoJo get tested too much. Despite the obvious lack of confidence in Hee Ham from fans, oddsmakers, matchmakers, and maybe even family members, Ham isn't the tomato can she's been perceived as. She's on a 6 fight winning streak and hasn't lost since her layoff from MMA in 2011. She's a veteran at 27 years old, and has a kickboxing background that includes a win over TUF competitor Lisa Ellis.

"Sounds like a great bet! What is the world collectively smoking intravenously?!" Nothing. It's just an awful matchup. Ham is really an atomweight. While she's fought stretches of her career at 115, she's an unimposing 5'2, and only has two submissions to her name in 20 contests. Granted, Ham can scramble pretty well. But the reach and power of JoJo who picks her shots wisely, and maintains constant poise will be more than enough to justify those odds.

Where Ham is simply outsized, Magana is simply outclassed (literally and certainly figuratively). Torres may have lost twice on the show, but I thought the scoring in her bout with Carla Esparza was dreadful (think Hendricks over Lawler in round 1). Their fight deserved another round. Either way, Randa Markos and Esparza were two of the best fighters on the show. And Torres gave them both all they could handle. Having made this comparison before, I don't feel bad about repeating myself: Tecia is very very much like Tyson Griffin. Compact but durable and talented fighters whose only crime is having trouble creating real comparative advantages against elite competition.

Magana is definitely not elite competition, although just like Ham, her record should be respected. She has a really big win, the biggest of any TUF competitor in fact, over Jessica Aguilar. However, it was very early in Jessica's career, and Magana has done nothing but stink up television sets with her sub Mean Girls schtick since. Torres is simply a better version, so expect her combinations and takedown defense to make us easily forget what it's like to watch an adult unironically stick their fingers in their ears and say "la la la" to counter an argument.

2. Overall, the "scrapettes" have some winnable matchups. Rawlings, Kagan, and Hill so named for training with the scrap pack despite being fairly limited.

Rawlings should be able to take care of Clark. Rawlings is a better fighter than I anticipated. She had a pretty strong showing against Torres boasting some sturdy takedown defense, and active boxing. Clark is well rounded, and to be fair, should be able to show a little more given her injury on the show. She can strike a little, and can scramble well. However, she's solid defensively, and that can take her far in a division that's light on depth. At those adds, she's a decent bet. Rawlings deserves credit for looking competent against tough competition like Esparza and Inoue, so I'd expect her to take this one even though it should be more nip and tuck than given credit for.

Angela Hill is a complete unknown. She has one professional fight. It was against Stephanie Skinner, who is 4-5. Against Esparza on the show, she was clearly outmatched. But to be fair, it was a terrible stylistic matchup, so for someone so green on a show crowning the champion of the division, she must have shown Zuffa scouts at least a semblance of promise. She does have some kickboxing experience, although clicking on the link won't exactly reveal Hoorts vs. Aerts.

Kagan should be able to get her down. On the show, Kagan got paired up with Calderwood, and her lone loss is against Rose Namajunas in a fight that illustrates how easily one dimensional wrestling can be countered by multi-dimensional submission grappling. Kagan is pretty tough though. She gets in quick, and doesn't waste time.

3. Felice Herrig is better than her awful showing on TUF against Markos, while Daly is just as awkward as she looked on TUF.

Herrig is a decent fighter despite all the bubble gum bluster. Some people felt like she gave up a pretty awful submission. I think it's someone in the middle of being badly defended, and Markos making solid use of kesa gatame position (after all, Herrig had never been submitted prior). Either way, she has a competitive matchup with Lisa Ellis coming up. Herrig is pretty solid everywhere. Not a real imposing kickboxer, but technical and capable of stringing together offense and defense to keep herself in any bout. What makes this fight interesting is that Ellis will want this bout on the ground as soon as possible. Ellis has faced tough competition, and was famous for being the victim in the so called "bloodiest female fight ever" against Jessica Penne. But she's also beaten tough competition, like Aisling Daly.

Ellis is at her best gaining top control and working for opportunities on the ground. Despite looking like a science teacher, she works top control with the type of grittiness befitting of a Joe Spinell character.

She should have the slight edge given her ability to finish, although Herrig is more likely to keep it on the feet. Not a bad underdog bet in my opinion. Last but certainly not least is the somehow 36 year old Alex Chambers, who has gone from being an astrophysicist to a cage fighter. Despite only having a handful of fights to her name, she displays some pretty solid chops. Especially on the feet where she throws very stiff punches, and chambers (yea yea) her punches well moving forward or backward. It'll come in handy against Daly, who is the unorthodox fighter here. It was hard to know what to make of Daly on the show. She switches stances a lot to keep her opponent's offense muddled, but she doesn't have the head movement or defense to make it truly count. However, she's good at scoring punches by virtue of staying active and moving forward. On top of that, she's incredibly durable, only losing once by TKO against Sheila Gaff. I actually like Chambers in this one. Penne is better than either, and could potentially be in the finals, but she fought Daly's fight in their match which made Daly look better than she is. Both are a bit better than given credit for and another example of how rich this card will make someone with just the right punch luck.


Ellis by Decision.

Rawlings by Decision.

Calderwood by TKO, round 2.

Torres by RNC, round 1.

Chambers by Decision.

Kagan by Decision.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow