Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Ultimate Fighter 18 cast announced

Now that Fox Sports has announced the cast for The Ultimate Fighter 18, I can pick it apart like I do with everything else. I knew who was in it already but now it's official. The show will premiere with a two hour episode Sept. 4 at 10PM on Fox Sports 1 in the US and Sportsnet 360 in Canada. So there are 16 women and 16 men. In general terms, I would not cast anyone over 30 years of age in The Ultimate Fighter because the show is supposed to generate prospects for the UFC. Of course TUF isn't as effective at doing that as it once was. Being on TUF is no guarantee of a UFC roster spot. When I look at the men's roster, there are two fighters at age 30 and rest are younger. But half of the 16 women are 30 years of age and older. Older fighters can be more suspect than prospect. I could be wrong about this but I doubt it. So you have some well known veterans like Shayna Bazsler, Tara LaRosa, Roxanne Modafferi and Tanya Evinger. Clearly, some fighters are there to provide drama. Tanya is well known for her crazy behaviour and if anyone hates Miesha Tate more than Ronda Rousey, that would be Tara LaRosa. And Roxanne announced that she is moving back to the US from Japan. None of them are prospects but I think Shayna would be good in the UFC. I'm not so sure about the other three. But the oldest fighter on the roster is 36 year old Jessica Rakoczy. Jessica is a boxer turned MMA fighter with a 1-3-1 No Contest. And the No Contest was a fight she won that was nullified due to a positive drug test. Then you have 33 year old Peggy Morgan from New Hampshire. She was in that 145lb CFA tournament and she is six feet tall. I guess we will get to see how she handles weight cutting. Valerie Letourneau is from Montreal and has a fight coming up in Quebec. She has never beaten a ranked fighter but she does train at Georges St Pierre's gym Tristar. Same thing with 31 year old Colleen Schneider. Her record is 4-4 and she has never beaten a ranked fighter. The rest of them are in their 20s. Revelina Berto had three wins and then took a four year break and lost to Peggy Morgan in the CFA tournament in March. Jessamyn Duke had three fights in Invicta. She lost her last fight but the Missouri AC ruled it a No Contest due to an illegal knee. Laura Howarth is from England and has yet to make her pro debut. You probably saw Bethany Marshall lose to Barb Honchak on an Invicta show. Sarah Moras is Canadian. We saw her lose to Raquel Pennington in Invicta. Sarah started out well but faded. Gina Mazany is undefeated but unknown. And she has also fought at 145. Julianna Pena is 24 but has been around for a while. She was supposed to fight Kerry Vera in Strikeforce in 2010. But Kerry suffered a knee injury and the fight was scrapped. Then Juilanna got hurt and has lost two fights since returning in 2012. And finally we have seen Raquel Pennington in Invicta and she lost her last two fights. So it's a mixed bag but there's more to The Ultimate Fighter than the fights. We'll see how it goes.

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