With Team Melendez on one of the worst slides of The Ultimate Fighter history, the winless team threw their hopes behind Angela Magana, who was picked to face Team Pettis' Aisling Daly. Magana and Daly represent two of the most experienced fighters on this season, with 25 combined wins and resumes that include names like Jessica Eye, Jessica Aguilar and Barb Honchak. Both fighters entered the cage with a chip on their shoulder and a well-honed game.
When the bell sounded, Magana pounced on Daly. In under a minute, she was on her back and deep on a rear-naked choke that nearly forced Daly to tap. While Daly would weather the submission attempt, Magana stayed on her back and ate up minutes on end. The ref would separate them, and Daly would survive the round but would surrender a clear 10-9 to Magana.
From there, however, it was dominance from the Team Pettis member. The show's last pick (more or less) stuffed multiple takedown attempts from Magana and worked her over standing and in the clinch.
The judges unanimously scored the fight 19-19 at that point, the two went on to the sudden-death round. Daly was the significantly fresher fighter and poured on ground-and-pound early. In a Dong-Hyun Kim-like display, she tied Magana's arm across her face and laid down punches until the ref called the match.
The win advances Team Pettis to 6-0 and leaves Team Melendez with just two chances to get on the board in Bec Rawlings, who will be a massive underdog against newly minted Team Pettis member Tecia Torres, and Rose Namajunas, who faces Alex Chambers next week.
|Team Pettis||Team Melendez||Results/Notes|
|#1 Carla Esparza||#16 Angela Hill||Esparza def. Hill|
|#2 Joanne Calderwood||#15 Emily Kagan||Calderwood def. Kagan|
|#4 Jessica Penne||#13 Lisa Ellis||Penne def. Calderwood|
|#5 Aisling Daly||#12 Angela Magana||Daly def. Magana|
|#6 Felice Herrig||#11 Heather Clark||Herrig def. Clark|
|#3 Tecia Torres*||#8 Bec Rawlings||Torres replaces Justine Kish|
|#10 Alex Chambers||#7 Rose Namajunas||Next Week|
|#14 Randa Markos||#3 Tecia Torres||Markos def. Torres|
Notes and Observations
- A great deal of the buildup to the fights was on Magana's rough upbringing. She was born addicted to heroin, witnessed her mother working as a prostitute and saw her get shot.
- Anthony Pettis discussed his concerns over Daly's mindset saying "she is not herself." Daly suffered from depression before the show, which possibly explains Dana White making a surprise appearance to offer support. When talking with her coaches, she says she is simply struggling with the Nevada heat after spending her entire life in Ireland.
- In one of the season's most heart-warming moments thus far, Daly is shown watching UFC Fight Night 46, which took place in Dublin. Daly trains alongside Patrick Holohan, Cathal Pendred, Gunnar Nelson and Conor McGregor, who all earned stoppage victories on the card. Unfortunately, with the exception of McGregor, things haven't gone super-awesome for them since then...
- While Daly put on a surprisingly strong performance, do not scramble to change your bracket quite yet. The trailer which appeared back in Week 1 hinted that some serious malady was going to befall Daly, which makes it unclear if she will be able to face off with Jessica Penne in the next round.
- Last week, when it was announced that Tecia Torres would replace the injured Justine Kish, Carla Esparza expressed frustration at her suddenly stacked bracket. She was right to do so. If Torres defeats Rawlings, four of the top-five seeded fighters will all be on one side of the bracket.