The TUFtermath: TUF 26 Episode 9
It’s episode nine for The Ultimate Fighter’s 26th season, so you know what that means. It’s time for the quarterfinals to start! This episode is a TUF 26 double-stack, with two quarterfinal fights to satiate our violence cravings. Top seed Roxanne Modafferi squares off with Team Gaethje teammate Emily Whitmire, while Team Alvarez members Sijara Eubanks and DeAnna Bennett collide later in the episode. We’ll look at the fights and happenings this week with the TUFtermath.
The Big Three
#1) Unfair Advantage – While it ended up not mattering in the end, it seems more than a little unfair to have allowed Emily Whitmire to have her regular coach and training partner, Miesha Tate, in her corner. I’m not sure if it was to try and level the playing field for a rookie taking on an ever-craftier vet in Roxanne Modafferi, or if Dana White doing a favor for one of his favorites. Whatever the reason, it didn’t pass the smell test for me.
#2) Stay Ready – While Sijara Eubanks’ weight cut went as difficult as was expected, Lauren Muprhy lurked in the background. By her own admission, she was waiting “like a vulture,” staying close to fighting weight just in case. Eubanks ultimately made weight, but hey, all credit to Murphy for being ready to go. She didn’t worry about rubbing anybody the wrong way, which it certainly did, but was ready to take a second chance if the opportunity became available.
The Stock Report
Stock Up – Roxanne Modafferi. She has the patience, she has the grappling, and now she has the killer instinct. Modafferi has earned her top seeding and continues to prove it.
Stock Up – Lauren Murphy. As stated in the big three, all credit to Murphy for staying ready when Sijara Eubanks initially missed weight. While it has earned her some enmity both from castmates and other fighters on Twitter, it’s part of the competition. Can’t hate that.
Stock Hold – Sijara Eubanks. Eubanks has the power to end a fight before her cardio becomes a major issue, but the tough weight cuts are going to catch up to her eventually. A patient, defense-conscious fighter will be able to take advantage of any stamina deficiencies by dragging the fight into deep waters.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Emily Whitmire was a relatively even fight while it was on the feet, but transitioned midway through round one. Modafferi attempted a spinning backfist, only for Whitmire to shoot for a takedown and end pressing “The Happy Warrior” against the cage. Modafferi eventually reversed position, got the takedown, and secured the TKO finish at 4:59 of the first round via elbows from mount. This is her third consecutive TKO victory due to elbows on the ground.
Sijara Eubanks vs. DeAnna Bennett actually saw Bennett getting a slight edge on the feet. Eubanks was plodding, visibly sapped from her second rough weight cut of the season. Bennett was slipping punches and landing combinations, on her way to winning the round. That is, until it all came crashing down from a Hail Mary headkick from Sijara that sent DeAnna to the mat, Nestea plunge-style.
Next week, we finish off the quarterfinals with Barb Honchak taking on Rachael Ostovich, while teammates under Justin Gaethje, Nicco Montano and Montana Stewart, square off in the last fight of the stage. Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for more news, opinion, and the latest edition of the TUFtermath!