Team Rousey's Jessamyn Duke has a weekly blog on B/R in which she discusses the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18.
This week Duke talks about her happy birthday.
Shayna Baszler comes out on the back patio after dinner wearing a top hat and a cape and blindfolds me in a chair. After some monologuing about magic, I hear everyone start beat boxing and they take the blindfold off. Shayna drops the curtain blocking the doorway and suddenly confetti explodes everywhere and two male "strippers" that look a whole lot like Anthony and Josh and are wearing nothing but fedora hats, bow ties, and speedos come bursting out of the kitchen and give me a proper birthday lap dance.
It was one of the most hilarious and entertaining things I've ever seen. Not only that, it was incredibly thoughtful.
On a more serious front, with the males down to just three fighters, Anthony Gutierrez was scheduled to fight David Grant, with the winner fighting Chris Holdsworth in the men's finals. That is years of training perparing for one of the greatest opportunities in MMA, and Gutierrez, who had had dieting issues all week, gave up in his effort to make weight.
As dramatic as that was, a potentially even more compelling scenario was left on the cutting room floor. As revealed by Duke, coach Ronda Rousey determined to teach her team that making weight is ultimately a mental exercise, so she cut 17 pounds in 24 hours, with a coaches challenge in the middle of it.
The editing of the show made it appear as if Rousey was talked out of the cut by UFC president Dana White. but Duke tells you really happened.
Anthony tried to say that it just wasn't possible for him to cut the weight because he had screwed up on his diet. But here's the thing, he could have made it. He left the gym the night before at 144, which is well within a range to make the weight. There is a science to cutting weight and lots of things that we as fighters can do to make it easier on ourselves, but the BIGGEST factor in the weight cut is your mental fortitude...and this is what Ronda wanted to prove.
She jumped on the scale after Anthony missed weight and was 152 pounds. Without any sort of prep (diet, water loading, sodium loading/cutting, etc.) jumped in the sauna and was in there for FIVE hours before it was time to go to the coaches challenge. Yes, Ronda Rousey cut weight in the sauna for five hours, went to a rock climbing challenge, won, and then went BACK to the sauna that night and cut some more.
The next day when it was time for Jessica and Raquel to fight, she was at the gym before anyone else arrived and was back in the sauna cutting weight. When the rest of us arrived she was sitting at 136 pounds in the locker room. I watched her warm up Rakoczy for her fight while on weight and then step on the scale in front of Dana and be 135 pounds. She did this to prove a point.
Cutting weight is mental. You can't use screwing up your diet or your water loading as an excuse. If you miss weight, it's because you mentally broke. The fact that she pulled this off really showed that Ronda is on another level mentally. It was inspiring and motivating to see this happen in front of me. It made me realize that I never have to be afraid of missing weight... you just have to be mentally strong and never give up.
Unfortunately, Anthony gave up.
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While Ronda Rousey has come under fire this season for aspects of her demeanor on the this seasons The Ultimate Fighter, her job is not to be a Miss Congeniality contestant. Ronda Rousey is a professional fighter. When a fighter wouldn't cut a final eight pounds, instead of talking about what that showed, Ronda Rousey cut 17 pounds. Rousey made her point, about more than just weight cutting.