After last week’s upset, with Julianna Pena of Team Tate defeating season favourite Shayna Baszler, Team Tate has retained control and paired up grappler Chris Holdsworth against Rousey’s first male pick Chris Beal, who is nursing a hand injury. Ronda Rousey didn’t take too kindly to Tate being happy that she won, and vowed to destroy Miesha.
Miesha Tate brings Julianna a certain milkshake that she apparently wouldn’t shut up about it, and Pena responds like an extra from the Rugrats movie. More on her annoying voice later. Tate also extends the hand of confectionery friendship to Shayna, and brings her a slice of chocolate cake. Tate was another fighter who looked up to Baszler, and found it very hard to corner against her. This fight has really set the tone for the season, and I get the feeling Shayna will still be a featured character going forward. Julianna decides she’s going to speak in a terrible English accent for a long goddamn time, and everyone wants to kill her. Anthony Gutierrez tries to rally the troops to get her to stop, but group apathy puts paid to that. Later on while the group are sitting outside, Julianna still hasn’t stopped. Yet apparently everyone else is being immature, and she somehow tries to take the moral high road.
The next day, Ronda gives her team a pep talk on how to grow after the loss about being emotionless. I wonder if she’ll cry again this week? Apparently picking Chris with his injury shows that their team is afraid, rather than just picking off the weak fighter. Beal’s hand is still really bothering him, and no matter what he says it is clear that it will be a factor in the fight. During Team Tate’s training session, the guys are annoyed that Team Rousey and Jessamyn Duke apparently knows what fights they have planned, and Cody Bollinger thinks that Julianna is to blame. In the car on the way back from training they confront her, and she reacts angrily. Pena also tries to throw Roxanne under the bus and accuse her, and the team reacts angrily to her picking on the loveliest fighter ever.
The flirting begins in essence this week, with Roxanne Modafferi giving Chris Holdsworth a massage and offers to give him “more” later on. Ooh er. The tone shifts quite dramatically though, as Holdsworth talks about his dead brother getting his black belt at his funeral. Interestingly, Tate says that they will be looking to use Holdsworth’s striking to neutralise Beal’s. Holdsworth also does a little bit of flirting with Julianna while the two are sunbathing. Apparently they are both fans of friends with benefits…Julianna apologises to Roxanne too, so she is redeeming herself somewhat. Jessamyn later admits that she didn’t actually know anything, and she was just messing with Raquel – but apparently even once she admitted that Team Tate still wanted to use the accusations to mess with Julianna. So much drama! It’s Chris Beal’s turn for the sob story – the usual absent father, rough upbringing spiel. That and the cancer.
The teams get some time off to go and watch the UFC Brazil card at a casino suite. I feel sorry for both Chris’, since they can’t really eat any of the catering. Miesha gets very upset at Ronda being near Bryan Caraway, and things start to kick off. The insults are childish, and the coaches get involved. Edmund gets into it with Caraway and Tate, mostly about Caraway threatening Rousey on Twitter. I’d like to see that fight personally, if the UFC ever do an inter gender fight it surely has to involve Bryan Caraway getting his ass kicked. The atmosphere stays tense, and the two sets of coaches snipe at each other for the rest of the night.
Back at the house, Holdsworth shares with the rest of the guys a soppy letter that Julianna wrote to him in a very ungentlemanly display of bitching. They all take turns making fun of her, and there goes the idea of Holdsworth as the nice guy. Meanwhile, Chris Beal is lying on the floor and talking to himself. It’s fight time.
The fight is an interesting one, with Chris Holdsworth putting in a dominant performance to win by submission just before the end of the first round. Holdsworth is able to apply the gameplan well, using his superior range and a mean straight right to win the fight standing despite being primarly a ground fighter. It’s Beal who takes the fight to the ground first, sensing that he’s losing the stand-up game, but Holdsworth is never in any danger. Using his long limbs Holdsworth locks in a tight guillotine, and “that’s what you get for eating biscuits at breakfast”, according to Team Tate’s nutritionist. Beal is distraught and admits that his hand was a severe handicap, but really it didn’t make the difference. Holdsworth dominated and looked very impressive.
Next week: Jessica Rakoczy vs. Roxanne Modafferi in another intriguing style match up as Team Rousey look to get on the board, and Louis Fisette starts making a misogynistic nuisance of himself.