Recapping Episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 26
After missing a week due to The MLB Playoffs the Ultimate Fighter continued Wednesday night with another first-round matchup in the Women’s Flyweight Title Tournament. The matchup was set as we had #7 seed Melinda Fabian (4-3-1) and #10 Rachael Ostovich (3-3). The episode kicked off with a surprise visit from Dana White to the house. Dana was explaining how different it is guys to girls living in the house and how crazy the house gets at this point in the competition. He then talked about being a part of the UFC, and the difference between the UFC and any other organization. He talked about the popularity of Women’s MMA and how far it has come.
Rachael Ostovich’s training was up next. We went into her backstory from a fighting standpoint. They talked about her win over fellow cast member Ariel Beck and her success since turning pro.
We came back from commercial and we were getting the beginning of training with Melinda Fabian. The Hungarian born Flyweight was presenting a training program to Eddie Alvarez to help train around her injury. Eddie wasn’t exactly happy about Melinda and her training system that she came up with, but he let her decide. We saw some of her background in fighting and her making her pro debut in 2014. In her training, they were talking about game planning around movement and staying out of Rachael’s wrestling range.
We then jumped into Rachael’s pre-fight prep. She was talking about fighting and how much she enjoys the sport of MMA. Justin Gaethje was working on her game plan with her and talking about making sure she can get her grappling off against a kickboxer like Melinda. Rachael talked about making sure she stuck to her fight and keeping the fight where she wants it to go.
Melinda was explaining about coming from Hungary and how it is hard for her teammates to understand. She detailed her home in her home videos. She showed the difference in people in Hungary including areas of wealth and areas of poverty. She talked about her boyfriend who is also her striking coach. Being a female fighter from Hungary she detailed feeling like a pioneer there in women’s MMA.
We got a glimpse into Rachael’s home life back in Hawaii. She talked about her recent marriage and her 4-year-old daughter. Her family has a history of fighting, and that is what got her into the fight world.
We then got into Rachael trying to pick out an outfit for her weigh in. The weigh-ins were on and we had Melinda go first she came in at 123lbs followed by Rachael at 124lbs and the fight was official. We wasted little time with some preparation on fight day, and we were ready to go with the #7 and #10 seeds.
Melinda came out trying to set her jab up and keeping Rachael back. Melinda was controlling the Octagon and keeping her distance. Out of nowhere, Rachael landed a big overhand right that landed clean and Melinda was forced to back up. Melinda shook the cobwebs and started moving forward again. Rachael was not backing away and throwing kicks in response to the forward movement. Melinda was appearing to try and set up the big shot. Eventually, Melinda stepped forward and Rachael went for and secured a takedown. Melinda tried to scramble away but ended up giving up her back. Rachael first looked to be going for a choke then was pounding big hammer fists. Eventually, Rachael did lock in the choke, and it was all she wrote for Melinda. Rachael looked confident on her feet even with a more advanced striker. As soon as the fight went to the ground it was a wrap from there. Her grappling and wrestling could make a big difference as we move on in the tournament. Melinda was immediately looking to try and find out what went wrong in the fight, but Eddie avoided the situation and tried to just let her know that she did well in there.
The final matchup of the first round is next week and we will have #8 Emily Whitmire (2-1) and #9 Christina Marks (8-8). This should be a great fight to finish off the first round.
Rapid Reaction: Yet another good fight with a finish. In a season that has been filled with finishes, it is not a surprise in the least. So far 6 of the 7 fights have been finishes and it makes the fights that much more exciting. This season continues to deliver inside the cage. After the week off for the MLB playoffs there is certainly a little momentum that was lost, but overall another great week. Really looking forward to the end of the first round and seeing the matchups as we move closer to the title.