...OH, ONE MORE THING - PLEASE BOOKMARK US & VISIT DAILY!
By: Yael Grauer, MMATorch Guest Contributor
The episode starts with Ronda noticeably upset that Team Tate picked Jessica Rakoczy to face Roxanne Modafferi for the next fight. Apparently Rakoczy separated the AC joint in her shoulder, a pretty common injury in contact sports, and Rousey thought that's why she was picked. It's hard to tell whether that was necessarily the reason (it could've also been because Rakoczy may have seemed the most vulnerable to Roxy's ground game), but it's definitely still a possibility.
Next we had guest coach Dennis Hallman come in (you know, the guy with the Speedo), who immediately tried to pick a fight with Edmond Tarverdyan. Ronda got in the guy's face telling him to be a tough guy at the right time, since she saw it as a set-up to try to get her head coach kicked off the show. Still, the whole thing looks kind of ridiculous on both sides. Dana White says Rousey's still mad about Caraway's comment on Twitter however long ago that was. The whole Twitter thing was kind of dumb because Ronda was the first one to really instigate things by saying she could beat up Tate and her boyfriend, and then Caraway said he'd knock her teeth in, and then she went crying about it, so it's kind of hard to take her seriously when she starts playing victim.
Okay, next we had Rocky Pennington getting frustrated in training, especially at Modafferi who likes a bit more detail before she goes balls to the wall. So Team Tate decides to let the girls train with the guys. Um, yeah, that's what you do at most gyms, and I was sort of surprised they hadn't been doing that already, though I guess they had their reasons for segregating fighters.
Next we had the lead-up to the fight. Jessica apparently was the house mom who cooked and cleaned and took care of everyone, and she spoke about her abusive stepfather and her mom getting killed, which was pretty heart-wrenching. The piece on Roxy was much lighter and happier, focusing on her personality and positive attitude and love of Power Rangers and Dragon Ball Z… and this dude Plato that she made out of paper plates (get it) and toilet paper rolls.
I don't think people really understand Roxy's history and what she brings to the cage coming into this fight; a lot of her best fights when she was at the top of the weight class are probably not even videotaped. She really has beaten some of the best in the world and her grappling is slick, but even going into the fight I worried that maybe she was past her prime. The new fighters coming up know how to cut more weight and their athleticism is on a whole different level, and Jessica has an extensive boxing background as well, so it's not exactly fair to think of her as a n00b.
Oh! Pena wrote Roxy a really nice pep note, which made me feel bad for making fun of her love letter last episode so much when I was on the 2 Guys Talking MMA podcast. Oh well.
Okay, so the fight. In the first round, Rakoczy came out hard with some crazy combinations, but Roxy quickly got a takedown. They fought for position and Roxy worked for side control, though Jessica kept sneaking back into half-guard while Roxy tried to escape her leg. Jessica gratuitously grabbed the cage. Modafferi transitioned to a beautiful crucifix, but Jess escaped and eventually wound up on top inside Roxy's guard. The Happy Warrior attempted a kimura and a couple of armbars, but Jessica used more power than technique to escape, and also threw some bombs. Roxy landed another takedown at the end, but never did manage to do much damage, as she was pretty tied up even when in dominant positions. Still, that round was 10-9 Modafferi.
In the second round, Jessica threw a hard left which dropped Roxy and it was all downhill from there. Although Modafferi worked for an armbar and then for takedowns after Rakoczy let her stand, Jessica's heavy hands had taken their toll. Rakoczy landed some knees as well, and although Roxy got a trip takedown and advanced to mount, Jessica ended up on top. Roxy had yet another armbar attempt, but Rakoczy landed a powerslam. Memories of Sarah Kaufman. The fight should've been stopped there, but the ref let Modafferi take some more damage, and Rakoczy won by KO.
Somewhere in the fight the ref warned Jessica for grabbing the cage (which she did frequently) but never did take away a point, which was kind of annoying, but I think the outcome would likely have been the same.
Watching Roxanne Modafferi lose was just as depressing as watching Shayna Baszler lose for long-time fans of the sport. Now Team Rousey has control, so we'll see if that helps Rousey calm down a little bit (though it's hard to tell what's just editing). Looks like her mom comes on the show next episode, which should be interesting. Also the next fight was picked: Louise vs. Davey. Stay tuned, folks!
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
Interested in joining MMATorch's writing team? Send idea for a theme to your column (for Specialist section) or area of interest (i.e. TV Reporter) along with a sample of writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.