It is almost fair to say that Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey, will not be coaching anymore of ‘The Ultimate Fighter‘ Series in the foreseeable future. Ronda coached against fellow women’s fighter and arch nemesis, Miesha Tate, on season 18 of the TUF series. The season 18 TUF series marks the first time female fighters have ever been present on the series in its entirety since the very first episode in 2005. The season itself didn’t leave such a glamorous look on the UFC women’s champion, as she was characterized throughout the season as the moody heel. The very first episode Rousey stormed off after she found out who her opposing coach would be, when all along she thought she would take on then contender, Cat Zingano. Ronda later revealed that she had thought UFC president, Dana White, was kicking her off the show as coach, which caused the heated reaction. Throughout the season the women’s champ took it upon herself to flip the bird to her opposing counterpart whenever she saw fit. The show concluded with Tate’s team taking home the Finale victories, but Rousey had the last laugh; finishing Tate for the second, and hopefully final, time.
When asked about the TUF Series, ‘Rowdy’ Ronda minced no words on how she felt about the series. The champion accused the shows treatment as somewhat of a side-show, with the producers not accurately portraying the fighters. She even went as far to compare the dramatics as to certain shows like “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” series, saying the staff did not know one bit about fighting, and saying all the drama stemmed from their staff. Rousey’s feelings towards the show didn’t go unnoticed as Dana White stated that there was ‘no secret’ on how his female superstar felt about her time as a coach on the TUF series. Former lightweight champions, Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn, are now coaching opposite of one another on the new TUF season 19; while adversaries Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva continue on in their series of TUF: Brazil 3, which in itself has created some formidable drama between the two middleweight coaches. Penn and Edgar will square off on the TUF 19 finale, July 6th in Las Vegas Nevada; while Sonnen versus Silva will join Ronda Rousey on the UFC 175 card held just a day before on July 5th, in Las Vegas as well. Ronda will defend her belt against Alexis Davis in the co main event; as middleweight champion, Chris Weidman will take on contender and karate specialist, Lyoto Machida.
The TUF series has produced quite the mainstream of avid fans, and has provided wide publicity to the organization, as well as the sport of MMA. From the very first Ultimate Fighter and the clobber knocker that concurred in the season finale with Forrest Griffin taking on Stephan Bonnar; to all the kicked in doors by coaches, and in-house fights with roommates, the series has helped establish a brand that the UFC will not discontinue with the disapproval of one star. Rousey may never tune in for another TUF series ever again and could probably care less in what kind of direction it takes. Through it all though, the Ultimate Fighter series has shown time and time again, it’ll survive the pitfalls and short comings through its entire duration, heading into the future of a vastly growing sport. Rousey’s criticism will not got unnoticed; but in the same sense, the TUF show will still walk away unscathed.
Commentary by Justin Huffman