Hello and welcome Bloody Elbow readers, Victor Rodriguez and I have been trapped in 2013 for months now and we’re barely any closer to returning to 2023. That stone I found last week was actually a time stone sent by Zari Tomaz. Problem was it only jumped us forward by two weeks, which is why there was no RTR for episode 8. That is 100% what happened to us and not because 8 was just a pointless clip show.
Last week Josh Hill unofficially lost his 0 to Ronda Rousey’s Michael Wootten, which moved the score to 3-3 and set the final two eliminator fights with Sarah Moras and Peggy Morgan and Anthony Gutierrez vs. Cody Bollinger.
DS: Things kick off with Miesha Tate showing up to the TUF house to deliver sacks of cheeseburgers and fries to both Hill and Wootten, if I had to guess one is a consolation prize and the other is possible sabotage considering how hard of a time Wootten had making weight. And Cody is being needled by everyone because he’s 10lbs heavy and he’s not having an easy go of it.
VR: I hate seeing these guys struggling with weight, especially in this environment. And Cody already looks emaciated.
DS: After his drunken behavior a few weeks ago, I can’t find a single reason to care about Anthony’s interview segment. I will say that when he’s on the floor wrapped up in towels I wish a few people had held him down so someone could fart in his face. Maybe Victor can find nicer things to say about him, but I can’t.
VR: I’ll be nice. He’s less of a problem than some other people we’ve seen. His drunken behavior is bad, yes.
Worry about the ounces and the pounds will follow
DS: As Cody continues to struggle, interview segments show that he’s missing his wife and daughter and how he’s going through this to provide for them. After Bryan Caraway talks about how horrible weight cutting is, Cody goes right from running on a treadmill to the sauna and he still has 5lbs+ to go.
VR: A small but good thing that happened was Cody shaving that weird mustache and goatee combo between these, because that plus the weight cut were making him look even more gaunt. Dude struggled in TUF and went on to get back to back wins in WSOF only to have a bizarre dispute and being shoved into the woodchipper against Marlon Moraes. Hope he earned enough to not have to do this stuff since his last bout in 2017.
DS: Props to you for catching that continuity goof Vic, I totally missed it. And just like that, Tate’s #1 pick is calling it off. He’s not losing any more weight and is no longer sweating either, which I believe is a sign of heat stroke if I’m not mistaken.
So that ain’t good. Miesha tries doing her best to encourage him to not give up just yet as he still has several hours left, she even shows him a picture of his daughter which moves him to tears. I believe she’s doing what she thinks is best, but at the same time if he says he’s done, he’s done.
VR: Making a guy cry while he’s cutting weight could be low-key genius. “See, you got some water in there we can dump!” But yeah, this was just strange and bad. Man’s body wasn’t doing great and he did what he felt was right. I’m perfectly fine with this.
DS: Back at the TUF house they’ve made up an ice bath for him but he’s not getting in, reiterating that he’s done. Roxy and Raquel both sit with him on the floor to offer their own words of encouragement, which apparently are enough for him to agree to at least trying the ice bath. But it’s all for naught.
VR: I really have to wonder if he’d bail sooner if this had happened 3-4 years ago instead of a decade ago. Having more options like Bellator or PFL, or RIZIN, or Oktagon, or RCC… something resembling having a small amount of freedom to ply his trade elsewhere and not have to deal with this nonsense.
DS: This really isn’t the best look for Miesha here. She’s upset saying he didn’t even try, except he did try and if he kept trying he very well might have put himself in the hospital. To his credit, Cody takes full responsibility for not watching his diet up to this point and botching his weight cut.
VR: That’s… something. I’ll give him credit for admitting he dropped the ball, yes. He probably just hated the experience of being away from home and still having to do all this. He’s tired, bored, and misses his wife and kid. A lot of us can relate.
Dana White, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey all have a mad
DS: When Dana White gets the news about this, he ain’t happy nor is Ronda Rousey, but I think that in his bald head he’s secretly happy. Why? Because it means he gets to single Cody out and just crap all over him. This is Dana going on a power trip, he gets to bully someone who could easily hand him his ___ and make them feel like a naughty child.
Like he didn’t feel bad enough, he had to be dressed down by a former boxercise instructor. Cody kept fighting for a few more years after this, having a couple fights in WSOF and Titan FC with his final bout taking place in Bellator in 2017. He retired with a 19-7 record.
VR: Making him look like a villain for this isn’t quite the flex Dana thinks it is. At least Cody’s stepped in to do the ____ thing. When has Dana ever cut weight? I don’t like to poke fun at him for being a Boxercise instructor, but I mean… that’s probably the most he’s ever done outside training in BJJ for however long he did. But he wants to dress this dude down on TV in front of the world.
Man, look… this ain’t for everyone. Zane told me something on a Vivisection ages ago that’s stuck with me since and continues to be true: winning on TUF isn’t about being the best fighter, but rather the best fighter suited for this environment and format. And maybe if Bollinger had been childless and single, things could have been different. Maybe. But this is just absurd.
You’re who now?
DS: Moving on from this debacle, the episode shifts its focus to Peggy Morgan and Sarah Moras. If they didn’t have their names on screen, I couldn’t tell you who was who, because this is the first bit of real screen time either of them has gotten till now. I’m not knocking them, I’m knocking TUF. Because instead of using that extra hour to properly introduce us to them, they spent it rehashing how much Ronda Rousey hates Miesha. It was the TUF version of TNG Shades Of Grey.
VR: Sarah got a bit of screen time if I remember correctly. Not much, but something. Peggy’s had zilch. It’s basically the way Zuffa promotes fighters in the UFC proper in the present. It’s not even foreshadowing, they just didn’t think to do anything worthwhile to give the audience the smallest of reasons to care despite having a whole-___ episode (Episode 8) that was literally just clips and a recap.
That’s part of what makes this show such a chore to this day. There’s a bunch of fluff and filler in most of the show that they could do away with and give just five more minutes of exposition instead. The main thrust of the show was to show fighters as people, and by this point they stopped doing even that for some fighters. Maybe they wanted to emphasize more on fighters they felt were more marketable. But sure. Great. Another fight. Yay.
I traine UFC brah
DS: Sarah says to Julie “If you tell people you’re an MMA fighter, no one knows what that is. If you tell them you’re a UFC fighter, people know that ____”. I’d say that holds true today, when I tell someone I work for an MMA website there’s a 50/50 chance of me seeing the question mark appear above their head.
VR: Not wrong. Remember when Rampage left for Bellator? That was one of his gripes. People didn’t know what Bellator was. So he’d get pulled on the street by fans asking if he was even still fighting. When he’d tell them he was fighting for Bellator, they didn’t know what it was. Anecdotal, sure. But it makes sense. The UFC is synonymous with MMA for a lot of people to the point where a lot of people still don’t know what MMA is. It’s UFC for a lot of folks, and it still is.
DS: We see Peggy training with Idiot, and naturally he’s about as helpful as a fortune cookie. He says “Boom boom! And when she comes in you stop it!”. Idiot should be made to wear only t-shirts with a warning printed across it like a pack of cigarettes. He’s hazardous to your health.
Ronda Rousey says her biggest worry about Peggy is her poor takedown defense, which explains why she’s working on her striking with Idiot instead of someone on the team who knows wrestling. Idiot thinks the best way to stuff a takedown is with a punch. Take three shots. One for seeing Idiot, one for Idiot saying idiot things, and one for Ronda Rousey being such an idiot to listen to this guy.
VR: This is another instance of very odd choices being made. I’ll bring up Rampage again for an example here. He’d have his fighter on bottom of side control and just yell “GET UP!” or “Don’t let him do that!” Notice something? It’s not quite helpful, now is it? Coaching and instruction require detail sometimes. And Moras wasn’t exactly an NCAA takedown artist, either. Just a really good submission grappler that was tougher than she initially led on.
DS: Peggy says “If she thinks this is going to be an easy submission, she’s wrong”. Once again, if you’re an MMA fighter, never make statements like this. The MMA gods are always listening and will smite you for it.
VR: Death, taxes, staph infections.
That’s a big lady, that’s for sure
DS: During the showdown it’s hard to believe these women both weigh 135lbs. Sarah is 5’7 but Peggy is 6’1 meaning she’s even taller than Duke (5’11) and the tallest person in the entire house period. You can’t teach size, but it’s also hard to learn anything with Idiot and Ronda Rousey guiding you.
VR: Morgan had the problem of getting drawn into brawls where she stopped using her height and reach advantages. One could say she had Stefan Struve syndrome.
DS: To Peggy’s credit, she does a better job of using her reach than Duke did, but she keeps leaving her lead leg right out in the open so Sarah has no problem chopping away at it, she also checks kicks about as well as a Diaz brother. Less than a minute into the first round her thigh is resembling raw hamburger.
VR: Yeah… that’s another problem Morgan had. You’d think a competent striking coach would do something about that. Right? Right? God, just let Gamburyan be head coach instead. He’s literally right there.
DS: Sarah gets warned for a fence grab, a few seconds later Peggy gets the same after her own grab. I like this ref.
VR: Moras has a weird herky-jerky movement going on and darts right into Morgan’s lead hand jabbing at her to open the fight. It’s not pretty, neither one is particularly polished with their striking although Morgan has an advantage.
Moras goes for a double-leg that doesn’t quite go anywhere with a setup that looks rushed. Then she goes for a second one that actually looks kinda nice with a leg trap to push through, but she gets trapped under Morgan’s tall and lanky frame and pays the price for it for a second before muscling both of them to the edge of the cage and doing the Khabib leg trap. That gets stymied by Morgan slapping on a front headlock and we got a loooooooooooooong two minutes to go in round 1.
But Moras pops out, secures mount and starts landing elbows and punches while Morgan frantically tries to push her feet on the cage to buck her off. After some venomous inside elbows to the face, Morgan tries to post off one hand and frame away with her top arm, which Moras snatches up for a sensational armbar. Lovely finish to a fight that was looking rough.
DS: That armbar was nasty, looked like it got hyper-extended to me. After she’s officially declared the winner Sarah rushes over to Ronda Rousey and offers a handshake and it’s actually accepted, I don’t know if she’s just being a good sport or if it was simply a sign of respect because of the armbar submission.
VR: That did look very extended and painful, that had to sting for a long time after that fight. And the handshake was nice, because I felt it was more of a “game recognize game” thing. After all, Ronda’s got no stress with her, just her coach. Also, Moras running to Miesha and wrapping her legs around like a baby was adorable. Miesha had some real Mama Bear vibes here. She genuinely cares, and it shows.
DS: Help me out here Vic, is Dana asking Ronda Rousey and Miesha who they want to fight normal? Because it’s not like there’s a huge number of possible combinations here.
VR: Yeah, I think the aborted Chuck vs Tito season they did something like this. I can’t remember which ones, but we’ve seen stuff like this before.
Dana White is creepy
DS: Ewwww! As Miesha and Ronda Rousey are walking out of the room, Dana has this creepy smirk on his face that can only be described as “lecherous”. He’s like that uncle you only allow into your house on Thanksgiving, you just keep the cattle prod near if he start getting handsy.
VR: Nah, it didn’t seem that way to me. He just looked goofy, his default expression. I didn’t get creeper vibes here.
DS: I’ve never seen Dana look like he was Vigo The Carpathian. He then announces the final four matchups: Holdsworth/Wootten, Peña/Moras, Grant/ Gutierrez, and Pennington/Rakoczy. The first will be Holdsworth vs. Wootten next week and we’ll see you then.
Bloody Elbow merch available
Bloody Elbow is pleased to announce our partnership with Revgear. They have been a pioneer in the MMA gear industry and have grown into a formidable brand and true leader in the market. Revgear now have Bloody Elbow t-shirts, hoodies and hats so you can show your support for independent MMA journalism.
Join the new Bloody Elbow
Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.
About the author