Hello Bloody Elbow readers, another week has passed and Victor Rodriguez and I are still stuck here in 2013. For our latest attempt to return to 2023, we paid a visit to my younger self to borrow my Buick, loaded the trunk with dry ice, and then drove really fast in circles around a yellow beach ball while Victor did his best “I’m givin’ her all she’s got captain!” and I made whooshing sounds with my mouth. It didn’t work.
Last week Miesha Tate’s Blue team moved to 2-0 against Ronda Rousey’s Green team when Chris Holdsworth tapped out Chris Beal, leaving Ronda Rousey with another sad. Which means Tate is still the one booking fights and she’s put Bloody Elbow’s own Roxanne Modafferi against Jessica Rakoczy for this week.
DS: I can only speak for myself here, but there’s just no way I can be unbiased with Roxy, even if my broom closet wasn’t just down the hall from her office at BEHQ. She just comes off as a genuinely kind and good-natured person like Mr. Rogers or Dolly Parton, you’d have to go out of your way to find something to hate about her.
VR: If you’re not already aware, I’ll let you know she is shown to be even more amazing in the other season she’s in. It’s hard to top this season’s display of heartwarming humanity, and yet she clears that bar effortlessly. Part of me wishes the UFC actually put more effort behind humanizing the fighters outside of fighting, because the only way they know how to do that is TUF. If they had given her her own web series or small-scale reality show? I just know that it would make a big difference in how the public at large views MMA fighters.
Well someone still thinks they’re a BAMF
DS: We’re barely two minutes in and we already have our first Eddie The Idiot sighting of the episode. Because he’s still under the illusion that he’s a BAMF after getting in Bryan Caraway’s face last week, now he thinks he has the torque to try to intimidate guest coach Dennis Hallman by giving him the stink eye and challenging him to a fight. Dennis declines Idiot’s offer of exchanging phone numbers, if only to prevent Idiot from calling him up later while working for some pyramid scam, and counters by offering to rumble with him right then and there.
It takes all of Ronda Rousey’s team to hold Idiot back from sending Dennis to the ICU for an extended stay (no it doesn’t), and then Ronda herself gets in his face and tries dressing him down for being so unprofessional. Ronda Rousey is completely oblivious to the fact that her pet Idiot is the one that instigated this. Take four shots.
VR: Talking ___ to Caraway as a way of standing up for Ronda Rousey? That was fine. I gave him props for that, even if he took that too far. Doing it with Hallman? That’s a lack of self-preservation instinct that goes to depths I have never seen before or since in this sport on a professional level. Does he know this guy submitted Matt Hughes twice? In about under a minute combined? What even started it? Doesn’t seem to matter. Edmond went from looking like a true friend defending someone to a hostile and insecure bully right here.
DS: Think back to your school days and remember that one kid, the one who was always bragging about how tough they were and how they were a black belt at the age of 11, which meant they could beat up anyone with ease. That was until they FAFOed with another kid twice their size and got tossed across the room like a used gym towel. Idiot is that guy all grown up, he is fronting so hard here and it’s hilarious.
Now he’s switched from fronting to peacocking back and forth in front of Tate while Dana White sits there looking like a parent on a field trip trying to discipline children that aren’t his. Take another shot.
VR: Dana comes in to try to smooth things over, and seems to accomplish it. He framed it well when talking to Ronda Rousey, clearly explaining that it doesn’t help Edmond, or her, or the show for things to continue the way they are. It seems to work, and that’s a good thing. This did not need to escalate any further.
DS: Take note that while Jessica is in the cage working on her striking, Idiot is nowhere to be seen to offer any turds of wisdom. If it’s not because she told him to take a hike then it’s because he never strays very far from Ronda Rousey, as she’s his only friend and meal ticket.
VR: Manny Gamburyan is shown in some glimpses giving some training tips, and it would have been nice to see a bit more of that since he seemed to be receptive to the trainees. We only get to see him giving some small basics here and there.
Jessica shares some of her pain
DS: We’re given some backstory on Jessica, she doesn’t go into much detail but she and her family dealt with a VERY abusive stepfather and lost her mother when she was just 15, and a friend introduced her to the world of boxing as an outlet to channel her anger into.
VR: Shame women’s MMA wasn’t where it is now in terms of visibility and support. It would have been grand if 2013/2014 were at the level of training and infrastructure that it was in 2019. No idea what Jessica’s up to now, but I hope she’s in a good place. Can’t imagine leaving your kid for this long with no communication to pursue this dream. She’s clearly going through a lot of hurt.
It’s time for Arts & Crafts with Roxy
DS: In a moment of levity that is all too rare, Roxy has constructed a cardboard tube skeleton thing and… I’m not quite sure what the point of it is, mainly I’m just glad no one added a giant dong to it. I mean this is the TUF house so that kind of thing would be par for the course. This also makes me think of her as a female Cardboard Tube Samurai from Penny Arcade.
VR: It’s pretty lonely there, king. Might as well construct a new friend while you’re there. One that won’t get drunk and angry. Cardboard Tube Man won’t use your bed as a urinal or ejaculate in your sushi.
DS: Oh gawd no please when did that don’t tell me! I really really hate this sport sometimes.
VR: In the earlier frat-bro seasons someone decided to grace another fighter’s sushi with their seed. I refuse to attempt to remember anything past that. I strongly suggest you do the same.
DS: I think that Roxy not having a shark tooth mouthpiece to go along with her ever present smile is a missed opportunity.
VR: Counterpoint: she’s The Happy Warrior. She should probably have a mouthguard with the rounded teeth from like Steven Universe or something. Willing to bet good money she digs that show, too.
DS: I wonder if she watches Doom Patrol? Anyway it’s fight time! We see Jessica get away with two very blatant fence grabs but only on the third does the ref step in to give her a warning about it.
VR: I’ve said it for years, but I wish that the ref would kick the arm of the person grabbing the fence the way pro-wrestling refs do when they’re sick of the heel going back to the well too many times.
You can’t fix stupid
DS: Between rounds Idiot tells Jessica “She can’t _______ take you down!” after Roxy literally took her down twice and controlled her on the ground for a good portion of the first round. Is he blind or does he have perfect vision and is simply that stupid? I don’t know how anyone could listen to this guy and not have their BS detector going off after about five seconds, this kind of ____ is the reason why I call him “Idiot”.
If you look up the word “idiot” in the dictionary and don’t see a picture of him, it means someone vandalized your dictionary. Then he trots out what will later be the same “advice” he gave Ronda Rousey in her fight with Amanda Nunes, he tells her to simply “Make her miss!” Take two shots.
VR: I wonder if this is a case of him just spinning a wheel in his head and going to the same 5-6 pieces of advice. It’s more hype than practical advice. Given what we know about him now, it’s less surprising.
DS: I think you’re being way too generous by pegging it that high.
Just over 70 seconds into the second round the ref steps in and calls for a timeout. Ronda Rousey and Idiot think it’s because the ref thought Jessica was hitting Roxy in the back of the head, but in reality it’s because she was grabbing the fence yet again to stop another takedown. He tells her this is the third time she’s grabbed the fence (it’s actually the fourth) and he’s already warned her, but if she does it again he’s taking a point and he really really means it this time!
Impotent reffing, it’s a blessing if you’re Jon Jones and a curse if you’re Chad Mendes.
VR: That’s about as dramatic as this season has gotten, it seems.
DS: Ronda Rousey and Idiot are NOT happy about this, not one bit, so he promptly loses it and starts throwing a tantrum, yelling and screaming at the ref for resuming the fight. Take another two shots.
VR: If I were playing your little drinking game, my liver would have shut down and melted to a consistency of Mrs. Butterworth’s by now. Some cornermen and coaches seem to think that if they yell enough they’ll rack up a technical foul and fire up their athletes or something. This is not the inspirational gesture my man thinks it is.
DS: Practice makes perfect Victor. Even though she’s clearly sucking fumes, Roxy still manages to score another takedown, despite Idiot insisting such a thing isn’t possible.
VR: Roxy has that grit and determination in her back pocket. You have to remember this was before she settled at Syndicate in Vegas, so she was still very rough around the edges despite being a few years into her career. But she still had the tricks and understanding of physical mechanics to make those takedowns happen.
DS: The fight ends not long after Roxy gets the back of her head bounced off the canvas which is followed by the ref letting her eat shot after shot after shot. She doesn’t get knocked out but she obviously had nothing left to give after hitting her head like that and the ref should have stopped it a lot sooner. This ref sucks.
VR: Oh, don’t worry. You’re gonna feel worse. I know I did.
Ronda Rousey has a happy
DS: So with Team Ronda Rousey getting their first win, she gets control of the next matchup and this is the first episode that doesn’t end with her making a frowny face. Next week it will be David Grant taking on Louis Fisette and Ronda’s mom will stop by. And unless our next escape plan actually works, we’ll still be here to recap it.
VR: Felt so bad for Roxy. She called for her “fight mom” which is what Jessica was dubbed due to her being so protective and nurturing to the rest of the house. They cry, they hug, and it really hurts. It’s the fight game, sure. But Roxy putting her all into this and coming up short only to have this much love and grace for her opponent is the kind of thing that just doesn’t happen on this show.
Jessica’s best shot landed clean on Roxy’s jaw, then it was all Jessica from there. Now there’s some momentum for Team Ronda Rousey. Looking for Dr. DeMars to show up, because she despised Edmond almost as much as you do, Derek. Almost. Wonder if that’s gonna get any shine here.
DS: I hope we see her make Idiot go stand in the corner and be quiet for the entire runtime, we probably won’t be that lucky but hey, a man can dream.
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