‘TUF 18’ Recap: Episode 5

By Mike Whitman Oct 2, 2013

Roxanne Modafferi laments her defeat at the hands of Jessica Rakoczy to open this episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18, but Modafferi nevertheless congratulates her roommate, friend and opponent on the victory.

“I just want to tell you that I’m really bummed that I lost, but I’m glad it was you,” Modafferi tells the former boxing champion before the pair hug in one of the realest moments on this reality show in a long time. Later, Modafferi openly weeps in the backyard, sobbing in the fetal position behind a stone barrier before sitting upright and laughing. In a confessional, she vows to live up to her “Happy Warrior” moniker, especially in defeat.

This week, roommates Davey Grant of Team Rousey and Louis Fisette of Team Tate will do battle. Much like Rakoczy and Modafferi, the men have become friends and vow to remain on good terms in spite of their upcoming Octagon conflict.

Raquel Pennington reveals in a confessional that she is a gay athlete, a fact which did not go over well with her family. Pennington says her sexuality first drove a wedge between herself and her mother, but they have since mended their relationship.

Meanwhile, Grant tells his fellow fighters that he hopes to soon marry his fiance, with whom he has fathered two boys. Grant credits his wife-to-be for turning his life around and affording him the opportunity to follow his dream of fighting professionally. During his training session, Grant explains his intention to hold the center of the cage to avoid being pressed against the fence. Coach Edmond Tarverdyan believes Grant has the ability to break everyone else.

Back at the fighter house, several of the competitors engage in a game of “truth or dare.” Sarah Moras dares Josh Hill to use a cheesy pickup line on Modafferi, and he complies.

“Nice shoes,” Hill says. “Wanna f---?”

Modafferi busts up laughing, as does the rest of the crew, transforming what could have been a seriously cringe-worthy moment into a good-natured rib. Anthony Gutierrez is asked who he thinks is the house’s weakest link, and he points to Fisette, who obviously takes exception to the label. Still, Fisette is aware that he did gain entry to the house as an injury replacement after being submitted in the elimination round by Chris Holdsworth.

Later, many of the fighters gorge on Julianna Pena’s homemade enchiladas, including Gutierrez and Bollinger. This excludes Grant and Fisette, who must soon make weight for their showdown.

Ronda Rousey surprises her team by bringing her mother, Ann Maria DeMars, to practice. Demars won the 1984 World Judo Championships at 123 pounds and gives the fighters pointers on their mat work. Rousey and DeMars drop by the house later to say hello, and DeMars gives Grant a pep talk, since the Brit was unable to attend the day’s training session in order to cut weight.

Team Tate’s coaches sneak into Team Rousey’s locker room and leave a small Count Dracula figurine on the coffee table labeled “Edmond,” along with an eyebrow waxing kit. DeMars advises Rousey against notifying Tarverdyan of the prank due to the high likelihood of the Armenian going nuclear and destroying all living things wearing blue.

Grant and Fisette make weight and take care of their final preparations before facing off in the Octagon. The much larger Grant moves forward and rips a hard combination to Fisette’s body, and the men jockey for position against the cage. Rousey’s fighter defends a trip attempt and scores a takedown of his own. The Brit proceeds to drop punches and elbows from the top, easily navigating a kneebar attempt before diving on an armbar. Grant cannot finish the hold and ends up in Fisette’s guard; however, Rousey’s pupil quickly reverses the position and spends the final minute of the round dropping blows on his bloodied opponent, nearly finishing the fight before the horn sounds.

Fisette drives for a takedown to start round two, but Grant shucks him off with ease. The Englishman slams him to the canvas and quickly passes to mount before taking Fisette’s back and eliciting a tap with a rear-naked choke.

The team score is now tied 2-2. Team Rousey retains control of the fight pick, and Rousey selects Jessamyn Duke to square off with Team Tate’s Pennington next week.


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