TUF 18 Episode 3 Recap: Holdsworth Wins Fight and Pena’s Heart, But Maybe Not Fans

If you missed last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18, then you missed a great show.

Whether you’re watching the show for the fights or the drama it really doesn’t matter, because it’s all there in spades. One thing is most definitely true of this season so far, it’ populated by good guys and bad guys.

For one, Miesha Tate continues to come across as a sweet, loveable, professional and considerate coach. To the point, as the show kicked off Tate arrived at the fighter’s house bearing chocolate cake for last week’s bout loser, Shayna Baszler (team Rousey). With a quick quip to Baszler of “I know it’s not your fault you had to be on team Rousey”, she handed Baszler the cake and then began to explain how she (Tate) has always looked up to Baszler, and how it was difficult to corner against someone that she’s idolized for years. For her part, Shayna said it was all okay and that it was just “business” they’re in; nothing personal.

The real drama of the week stemmed from a nasty rumor regarding Julianna Pena and whether or not she had given away team Tate’s fight picks, for the upcoming weeks. Pena denied the allegations and it was later confirmed by Jessamyn Duke (team Rousey) that it was all a rouse, and that she (Duke) was the one who started it. As Duke stated, “I didn’t know anything. I was just trying to give Raquel (Pennington / team Tate) a hard time…there was no conspiracy.”

However, Cody Bollinger (team Tate) and for some unknown reason, chose to take the allegation to coach Tate and the other team members, and attempted to stir the pot against Pena. Of course, the odd thing about it is, that Duke had told Bollinger that Pena had nothing to do with the rumor and that it was all a joke, however, Bollinger said “I don’t even care. I’m going to use it as an excuse to go off on Julianna.” In acting in the manner that he did and particularly given that he knew he didn’t have the story right, Cody Bollinger came across as a teammate you wouldn’t want to have on your side; certainly not if you’re Julianna Pena.

Sadly, however, that was not the only slight offered Pena this week.

Beyond the allegations of team disloyalty, Pena suffered the humiliation of having her personal feelings mocked, by her fellow teammates, as egged on by Pena’s house crush, Chris Holdsworth.

As it turns out, Pena seems to have developed a fondness for Holdsworth (a feeling that is apparently reciprocal) and in doing so, wrote him a “comforting letter” of encouragement for his fight. For some reason, Holdsworth opted to share the letter with his teammates, at which point the letter was passed to one of them and it was read aloud, and in a mocking tone. After the letter was read, Holdsworth commented that he wanted to stay on Pena’s “good side” and that he was hoping to “give her the best two minutes of her life.”

Regrettably for Holdsworth, the incident and his conduct in it, sullied what should have been a shining moment for him on the show. Instead of last night being a great victory and one that should have garnered him fans, and made people want to root for him, Holdsworth, instead, came across as a self-serving, egotistical dirt-bag, and did himself only disservice.

However, dirt-bags are not the sole proprietorship of team Tate, as team Rousey has thier own one man band on the subject, in the person of head coach Edmond Traverdyan. In last night’s episode Traverdyan came across as a bully with a chip on his shoulder and a guy that needs to get his *** kicked.

On this subject and regarding the incident, Bryan Caraway deserves a great deal of credit for putting up with Traverdyan and for putting up with Rousey egging him on.

For her part, Rousey once again came across as a spoiled child. As we all saw, she went to the bar where Tate and Caraway were sitting and got right between the two. She and Tate began to have words and the moment she didn’t like what she was hearing, she called over Traverdyan, saying, “She says I don’t know how to hit pads”. With that he came over and began acting in a manner that, to a lot of guys, would have been cause to start a fight; very unprofessional, very aggressive and very immature.

Of course, the sad and ironic part about all of this is that Rousey had just given her team a speech about being emotionless and not bringing emotion into a fight. Yet, there she and her coach stood, yelling threats across a room at Tate and Caraway. On this fight stratagem, Rousey may need a refresher course.

To the episode’s bout, Holdsworth / Beal, it was all Holdsworth. The taller and longer Holdsworth used his reach advantage well, and worked Beal over. Beal, with a damaged right hand curtailing his performance, did his best to hold his own, but Holdsworth simply lit him up with repeated straight rights, finally knocking Beal to the ground with one, Holdsworth then caught him in a guillotine choke and the fight was over. With victory his at the 4:19 mark of round 1, Holdsworth advanced to the semi-finals and took home five grand for his efforts.

In all, it was a great episode and the teaser for next week suggests that the drama and Rousey’s unhinging, are set to continue; up next, another women’s bout featuring Jessica Rakoczy vs. Roxanne Modafferi. If Modafferi can win and force team Rousey down three losses to none, then we as fans, might get to see the champ simply lose it; can’t wait for next week.


  1. Profile photo of enjoylife321


    September 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    My favourite female fighter in the house has to be the english teacher from Japan..

    I don't think anyone wants to see two 135 pounders fuk like rabbits for two minutes under the sheets ?I'm not ready to see some hairy *** all over my tv screen

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      September 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      I actually meant to mention Roxanne Modafferi, but the article was running too long.

      I love her, man. I think she's awesome. She's such a cool girl. I will be cheering for her large, next week.

      Team Modafferi all the way.

      I also think Pena is coming across amazingly on the show and Tate is simply blowing Rousey out of the water. I can see why Ronda is so ticked at how she's coming across. However, the problem for Rousey is that the camera doesn't like and you can't edit words into peoples mouths, nor their attitudes or situations that they put themselves in.

      It's amazing how emotional she is and I sure as heck don't think she's doing her acting career any good. She's losing fans, not gaining them and that's part of the game.

      Rousey 2 wins and 2 episodes to 0.

      Can't wait for next week. This is the best TUF ever.

  2. Profile photo of HATEOCRACY


    September 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Rousey should of cocked her leg up and pissed on that pathetic look'n dude, i mean just took his man card from him & wiped her azz with it. Show or no show Tate was suppose to bust a bottle over her head or something, b*tch cant snap arms & pull broken glass out her scalp @ the same time.

    • Profile photo of falcon4917


      September 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

      To be honest I was hoping Carraway would forget she was a spoiled girl and slap her into space.

      • Profile photo of Brian Cox

        Brian Cox

        September 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        Well, she is a fighter. I tell ya, I laughed my *** off when she called her coach over; it was pathetic.

        And the big deal they make about Caraway's Tweet from last year, Rousey needs to just let that go.

        First and again, she's a fighter. So, a male fighter said he'd like to knock her teeth out, big deal. It's the fight business, fighters make cracks like that, particularly when they're heated.

        Further, Rousey has used that Tweet as an excuse to say some really lousy things about (both) Caraway and Tate. She has spoken about wanting to do violence to Caraway. So again, why can one fighter make cracks and the other can't? If it's just because Caraway is a guy and Rousey a woman, that's pretty lousy. It means the female fighter say anything she wants with impunity and the male fighter can't say anything.

        Beyond that, Caraway's remarks were reactive, not proactive. Caraway replied to one of Rousey's fans Tweets. He didn't just go out and shoot his mouth off. Was it foolish? Sure, but it was a response and I for one don't care and the more I see of Rousey and her coach, the more I feel for both Caraway and Tate on the issue.

        I can honestly say, I've never watched this show with so much interest, nor have I ever disliked a coach as much as I dislike Rousey and that twit she calls a striking coach.

        She is hands down worse than Hughes or Koscheck ever were and she dwarfs Bisping and Sonnen, in terms of their appearances on the show.

        She has become TUF's all time greatest villain. Sadly, I'm loving it and I think it's making great TV.

        …best season ever and I can't wait to see what happens in that stare-down next week, when Rousey sticks her face in…whoever's face that was…that she stuck her face in. I pray it's Caraway's.

        And as far as Caraway goes, I think he's coming off very well in the show. No drama. He's just there to support Tate and he seems to be doing a great job. Good for him.

  3. Profile photo of israeldentist


    September 20, 2013 at 2:19 am

    I have followed Rousey since her early Judo days. I can tell everyone here that she is emotional, and she does bring her emotions in with her, but in a very targeted and heated manner. She stays strategic, technique mannered, and strong; her emotions give her the added edge of aggressiveness to her opponents. I saw it in the olympics, and I see it every fight. If Miesha had that amount of emotion, and could channel it like Rousey does, then she would be a better fighter. I do think Rousey has become a bit of a brat since she discovered the extent of her stardom, but I promise you that any negativity or bad image she gets through the show will be erased the moment she beats Miesha in under 2 minutes in the near future. She backs up everything she says. She's not like Rampage that folds under pressure, and after an emotional storm. She is her own beast.. you will see..

  4. Profile photo of highkick12


    September 20, 2013 at 4:50 am

    This show makes me enjoy watching Ronda lose.

  5. Profile photo of Vic


    September 20, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I envy the sparring sessions with Tate. How i would love to role with her on the floor…

  6. Profile photo of thexperience1


    September 20, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I was crackin' up when Tate told Caraway to grab Ronda's a-s-s and give it a good squeeze! Lmao…. another great episode! I hope Ronda keeps losing!

  7. Profile photo of Vic


    September 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Caraway should've man up and stand behind his woman at the bar scene. Instead he chose to let Tate act like his mom.

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