Episode four of this season’s TUF has come and gone, and like the two proceeding episodes, it delivered some drama and a great fight.
For those that are watching for the drama, last night’s show had it in the form of a three-sided affair featuring Dennis Hallman, Edmond Traverdyan and Coach Rousey.
Hallman, a former UFC lightweight fighter, had been brought in by Miesha Tate to lend a hand with the coaching duties and quickly became the focus of Traverdyan's attention. As the story goes from team Rousey’s side, as noted by Shayna Baszler blogging about it, Hallman had been brought in by Coach Tate to specifically egg-on Traverdyan.
According to Baszler, from the moment Hallman got there he began “fronting” to Traverdyan and the striking coach didn’t like it. Subsequently, he went in pursuit of Hallman and began to call him out.
To be specific, he went up to Hallman and told him he’d give Hallman his number, and that the fighter should “give (him) a call”. To wit, Hallman replied “Okay, I’ll call you. We can go any day. We can go right now, if you want to go now.”
With that, Traverdyan said “let’s go” and Hallman accepted, and began making his way out of the room and down the hall, to the Octagon.
It’s at this point, that the truly comical moments of the show erupted.
The instant Hallman began to walk to the cage Traverdyan began following behind, and his attitude seemed to have change. Traverdyan immediately went from a guy that had been looking for a fight, to a guy who (now) seemed more interested in avoiding one; remarking to Hallman, “you know that I’m going to get kicked out off the show. That’s why you’re calling me out, right?”
For his part, Hallman didn’t seem to care and seemed more intent on making the fight happen. More importantly, as Hallman didn’t call Traverdyan out, Rousey’s coach now looked weak and cornered into a situation of his own creation; one he no longer seemed interested in pursuing.
As Coach Rousey stepped in and passively prevented Traverdyan from continuing through the door, he commented to Hallman “come on, let’s go; bring it”. Yet, he seemed unwilling to move through the door or break free of Rousey's loose grip.
Coach Rousey then went up to Hallman with two bodyguards in tow (Andy Dermenjian and Manny Gamburyan) and got directly in Hallman's space & face; a situation that would normally bring two men to blows, and began to play the part of a bad ***.
She accused Hallman of trying to work the situation to his professional advantage and stated, “you want to be a ****ing man? Do it at the right time. Do it at the right time. Be a tough guy at the right time.”
On this point, it’s the second time on the show where Rousey has come across as a gutless bully and one who likes to confront male fighters, knowing that they can’t do anything about it and that regardless, should a male fighter do something about it, she has men to step in and save her. All very sad stuff, when we consider that she is both a fighter and a champion.
Beyond that, Gamburyan and Dermenjian also looked bad. As Rousey is the one that went up to Hallman in an aggressive manner and the one that was doing all the smack talking and crowding, they too came across as nothing but bullies. Hallman was just standing there doing nothing and was making no threats or aggressive gestures to Rousey, yet the two fighters found it necessary to interject themselves into the situation and crowd Hallman, as well; childish, unprofessional and tacky, to say the least.
The whole situation made Rousey and her goons come across a weak, schoolyard bullies, who talk a lot of smack, but can’t back it up when they’re called on it, or at least they can’t back it up as individuals.
Moving on to the fight itself, house favorite Roxanne Modafferi took on Jessica Rakoczy, and although she did well in the first, it fell apart in the second. Modafferi easily won round one of the match, taking Rakoczy to the ground and dominating every aspect of the fight on the mat. However, as the second round broke Rakoczy proved to be a much tougher target to get down and in her attempts to do so, Modafferi began to pay for it by getting the worst of the fight.
However, “The Happy Warrior” continued to gamely carry on and finally got hold of Rakoczy. Buried deep into an arm-bar attempt, Rakoczy picked Modafferi up off the canvas and slammed her back down to the mat. With the move Modafferi seemed more out then hurt and as such, proved to be easy pickings for the Canadian boxer. Rakoczy stood over her opponent and hit her with some nasty shots. With Modafferi unable to defend herself, the referee stepped in and ended the fight at the 2:29 mark of the second round.
Although it was a great fight on Rakoczy’s behalf, one does have to wonder about the legality of the move that put Modafferi out. In slamming her head off the canvas, she essentially hit Modafferi in the back of the head, which is illegal, and ended the fight. On this point, it would be an interesting question to put to Dana White or any NSAC commission members, judges or referees; should the move be made illegal?
At any rate, good for Rakoczy. She got her team a much needed win and finally put a smile on the dour face of her coach, and good for Modafferi, too. Roxanne has won a lot of fans and has stood out on the show, with her friendly personality and warrior spirit. I hope we see more of her in the UFC. In a word, she’s lovable.
Up next: David Grant (team Rousey) vs. Louis Fisette (team Tate).