This blog is a little late because the last TUF episode aired literally the day I started cutting weight for my TUF Finale fight.
Let’s travel back in time to the TUF 26 house in August. Everybody was looking forward to going home and was counting down the days. My fight vs Sijara was on the last day. We’d fight at noon, and then go back to the house, pack, get our phones back, get bussed to the hotel, and then go out to eat with Dana White. Busy busy. There were two matches…me vs Sarj, and Barb vs Nicco.
So my body was really unhappy with me for putting it through so much stress so frequently. It sucked cutting weight 7 days after my last cut. Other TUF contestants who made it as far as I had said so, but I didn’t realize what that really meant. My body always swells up for about two or three days after my cut, probably due to depriving it of sodium for a week, dehydrating myself ten pounds, and then suddenly eating and drinking a ton. I hit 145 the day after my Emily fight, which is ridiculous. I was walking around normally hydrated at 135. After I fought Emily, I only had one cheat day, and then went back on my diet. My period came and went although it wasn’t my time for like two weeks straight, indicating my hormones were confused and effed up. I didn’t have an appetite for a few days after my fight with Emily, which is weird…even when I’m sick, I always have an appetite. I was a little worried about myself. Lol
I just want to share with the public what goes on behind the scenes with female fighters.
I was also nervous about my state of physical conditioning going into the fight with Sarj because I’d been taking it easy a few days before fighting Emily, and then of course I had to rest my body after the fight. But then I’d be in the “take it easy before my fight with Sarj” period, not leaving me any time to recondition for it, since they were only 7 days apart! I figured Sarj was going through even worse with her weight cut and stuff. :/ I think I did burpies every day and tried to train kind of hard for two days that week, which I wouldn’t do on a normal fight week. The Ultimate Fighter is bizarre. I was actually worried about Sarj’s health. I gave some interviews saying that I felt the moral responsibility to beat Sarj to save her from having to cut weight down to 125 for a title shot, hoping the UFC would sign her for 135 lb fights.
Weight in morning, I was in the process of losing my final 4 pounds weigh-in morning in the bath tub, being helped by Maia as usual. I was taking my 8 minute break wrapped up in towels on the floor when I saw Sarj walk by chatting energetically with someone. I thought, “What? Is she done?” I tried to eves-drop and gathered that she cut it all at the PI the night before and was on weight. Well dang, that’s great! I was relieved and happy for her! She’s my friend, after all, until the moment she steps into the cage with me.
I didn’t have any other ideas for funny weigh-ins so I just wore the shark hat that my friend Katie gave me. I was thinking I’d wear it for a stare-down with DeAnna if we fought again because she brought a shark onsie, but that ended up not happening.
It looked super goofy, but whatever, it goes with my personality. Lol
So after weigh-ins, the teams decided to have a group practice. I’m so disappointed that the TUF editors didn’t show this! It was epic! This was the first time teams practiced together in the entire 15 year history of the Ultimate Fighter! Team Gaethje fighters hit mitts and grappled with Alvarez coaches, and vice versa. Then they played dodgeball and rugby and stuff. I wanted to join in so much, but I had just cut weight and would fight tomorrow, so I knew I couldn’t. It was amazing to watch!!
Then, the next day, Sijara and I fought.
It was epic. The only thing more epic than that fight was my title fight a few days ago, but I digress. I feel like I was winning on the feet. I started to feel my arms and legs get a little tired in the middle of the fight, and I knew it was because I didn’t have my normal conditioning with Lorenzo. Man, I really missed hearing John’s voice call out combinations. I kind of winged it….all I could hear was Justin telling me “go forward!” and “She’s getting tired!” Yeah, well, I was going forward…what combos do you want me to throw? And NO, she’s NOT getting tired. Stop saying she’s getting tired. -_-;; I know they were doing their best to coach. I’ll never blame a coach for my loss. It’s totally my responsibility.
I wanted to take her down, but she was so much stronger than me, so I decided to try and keep it standing. She reversed positions and defended takedowns with muscle to aid her technique. It was one of those situations where our technique ability was similar but she had more strength to back it up.
Yes! Judo throw takedown!
She defended my submission attempts. She fought very well. I felt like I lost but I didn’t feel like she beat me up, you know? I like Sijara and she worked so hard for it that I wasn’t mad, but I was of course devastated. I worked hard, too, for years. I’ve been fighting for 14 years, making pennies. I try so hard not to be jealous when some young newcommer gets signed having less than ten fights and is making tens of thousands of dollars. I wanted to win for myself and also for my coaches. The cameras didn’t catch me crying this time because I locked the bathroom door. Hahaha take that!
They made me sit off to the side in the shadows while Barb fought Nicco. I tried to focus but couldn’t.
When Nicco won, I thought hazily, “Maybe I can fight Barb on the finale now! I got to the semi-finals so there’s no way they won’t put me on the undercard!” I felt hope and knew I just had to go back to Syndicate and get stronger.
I gave a really good post-fight speech but they only showed a little bit of it. I talked about how, now when I feel the worst is the most important time to force your mind to focus on the positive aspects, because once you start slipping down the slope of negativity, it’s even harder to crawl out of that hole.
I kept reminding myself of how many of my punches landed on Sijara, which is an accomplishment for me, how we put on an exciting fight and impressed Dana, and how I might get to fight Barb if they let me in the finale.
As expected, they carted us back to the house, had us pack and get ready for dinner…which was REALLY hard when you’re mourning your fight loss, depressed, hurt, exhausted, etc. I binge-ate all the left-over ice cream in the freezer, stuffed my bags with non-perishable food from the pantry, and ate the sushi burritos that the staff from Jaburritos. THANK YOU, guys OMG. They didn’t have to do that! XD
We took a bunch of pictures.
I got the staff to drive me home instead of a hotel, and I got to hug Serena! Then I went to drive to the Italian restaurant on Freemont street at like 7 PM but my car Lee’s battery had corroded from disuse!! So Serena called me an Uber. ^^;; Poor Lee.
Dinner was nice!
Yeah so that was the final day and the story of my fight. The next week I went back to my normal kids teaching schedule at Syndicate, and the week after that, training. Things that happened during my fight with Sijara haunted me for months, as losses tend do. I asked John if I could request the match up with Barb. He said yes, and the very next week, they offered without us having to ask!
…. stay tuned for my next blog about that!
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