Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens by immediately jumping into weigh-ins for the third quarterfinal matchup, which pits #2 Barb Honchak of Team Alvarez against #10 Rachael Ostovich of Team Gaethje.

At the weigh-in, Honchak and Ostovich come in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. A respectful staredown follows, and the first quarterfinal tournament bout is official.

Fight day arrives. Honchak and Ostovich head to the TUF gym for their fight. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs, including head coached Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje, before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

#2 Barb Honchak (10-2) vs. #10 Rachael Ostovich (3-3)

Round 1 – Honchak is tentative with her strikes early on as Ostovich moves around the octagon. Both fighters exchange, but nothing lands clean. Ostovich connects with a counter-left. Honchak is beginning to land with her punches but Ostovich is avoiding her big shots. Honchak initiates a clinch and presses Ostovich against the fence. She works on a trip takedown but Ostovich fends her off and lands a hard right hand on the break. Honchak shoots for a single leg takedown and manages to put Ostovich on the mat. Ostovich gives up her back, stands up and escapes to freedom. Ostovich lands an uppercut, right hand combination and is beginning to gain confidence. Honchak shoots for another single leg takedown, but Ostovich denies the initial entry and keeps her opponent away until the end of the round.

Round 2 – Ostovich lands a right hand to open the round, but Honchak doesn’t appear to be phased. They exchange and Honchak lands a clean punch. Ostovich connects in the midst of a combination but Honchak charges forward with a takedown attempt. She briefly puts the fight on the ground but Ostovich stands right back up. Honchak keeps the pressure on and takes Ostovich down again. Ostovich gives up her back and Honchak begins to work for a rear-naked choke. She gives up on it and throws strikes, but provides enough space that Ostovich can stand up. Honchak forces the fight back to the mat and takes the back once again. Honchak is riding the position and landing more strikes while working for the finish. Honchak continues to dominate the spot until the end of the round.

Barb Honchak def. Rachael Ostovich via unanimous decision

“That title feels attainable,” Honchak says after her victory. “It feels like I’m getting close to what I’m here for.”

Focus immediately shifts to the fourth and final quarterfinal matchup, which pits #6 Montana Stewart against fellow Team Gaethje fighter, #14 Nicco Montano.

At the weigh-in, Stewart and Montano come in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. A respectful staredown follows, and the first quarterfinal tournament bout is official.

Fight day arrives. Stewart and Montano head to the TUF gym for their fight. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

#6 Montana Stewart (7-4) vs. #14 Nicco Montano (3-2)

Round 1 – Both fighters miss big with early shots but begin to settle into proper striking range. Stewart catches a kick from Montano and attempts to get a takedown, but Montano denies her entry. Stewart pushes her opponent against the fence and is working to put the fight on the canvas. Montano reverses the position before breaking free, and matchup returns to striking range. Montano lands a solid leg kick and Montano fires back a hard right hand. Montano is using good movement while mixing in kicks. Stewart is applying pressure and looking to land heavier shots. Both fighters land during a clinch exchange. Montano sticks Stewart with a hard right hand and is now the one controlling the pace. Montano nearly slips on a takedown and Stewart looks to capitalize. Montano springs back to her feet while Stewart attempts to move the fight to the mat again. Montano shows stellar defense, avoiding takedowns form the clinch and landing hard knees to the body and head of her opponent. A massive cut opens on Stewart’s forehead and that only encourages Montano to pour on more strikes from the clinch until the end of the round.

Round 2 – Montano continues to apply the pressure as the round begins, attacking Stewart with punches and kicks to the body. Montano counters with a solid right hand and starts to pressure with her open attacks. Montano shoots for a takedown but Stewart locks on a tight guillotine that has Montano in danger. Montano stays calm and maneuvers into side control. Montano attacks with short shots and Stewart is gushing blood. Montano postures up and is connecting clean from inside the guard against an exhausted Stewart. Stewart is desperately attempting to roll into a better position but Montano is riding her hard from on top and connecting with heavy shots. Stewart attempts to stand up but eats a crushing elbow in response. Stewart attempts to isolate an arm but Montano won’t give up an inch and is completely dominating the action. Stewart is doing everything she can to stand up and finally goes. She eats a pair of knees to the head for her troubles and her face is completely coated with blood. Montano finally breaks free of the clinch, but she has nothing left in the final seconds before time expires.

Nicco Montano def. Montana Stewart via unanimous decision

“I felt awesome,” Montano says after her victory. “I have one more week left here in the TUF house. If I can keep on keeping on until the end, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

With Montano’s victory, the tournament semifinal matchups are now set and will unfold as follows:

Bracket A

  • #1 Roxanne Modafferi (Team Gaethje) vs. #12 Sijara Eubanks (Team Alvarez)

Bracket B

  • #2 Barb Honchak (Team Alvarez) vs. #14 Nicco Montano (Team Gaethje)

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 3 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with fight preparation for Team Gaethje’s Montana Stewart, who fights Team Alvarez’s Ariel Beck in the third tournament bout later in the episode.

No. 6 Stewart is a former standout amateur wrestler who, at 22, is the youngest of the 16 fighters in the tournament. She is a mother to a six-year-old, and despite her age, already has 10 professional bouts on her record.

UFC President Dana White, along with coach Justin Gaethje, call Stewart a dark horse in the tournament and believe she actually has a good chance of winning not only her upcoming fight, but the entire competition.

Team Alvarez has its next training session at the newly opened UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. The UFC PI is a state-of-the-art facility with brand new technology and equipment. One athlete calls it “fighter heaven.”

No. 11 Beck’s preparation begins for her fight with Stewart, which she calls “a nice matchup for me.” Beck has a tough day of training in which her emotions begin to get the best of her. She goes to the locker room and begins to have a “panic attack” due to the intensity of the competition. Fortunately, the coaching staff and numerous teammates are there to lend support.

Coach Eddie Alvarez, in particular, shares some of his most glorious and horrific career moments with Beck and tells her “any feelings you have are not out of the ordinary for any fighter.” Beck gathers herself and eventually returns to the training room.

Later on, No. 8 Emily Whitmire visits the UFC PI to get an update from doctors. She sustained a rib injury during training on the previous episode. One of the physical therapists helps Whitmire recover from the injury, and after having some doubts about her ability to compete right after, Whitmire is very optimistic about her chances.

During a break in training, the Team Gaethje coaching staff decided to take the fighters out for a night of bowling at GameWorks Las Vegas. Coach Gaethje offers the athletes a cash prize for the best results. Stewart receives first prize of $250 for bowling the best game, while No. 10 Rachael Ostovich takes second and gets $150.

The official weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both fighters come in under the 126-pound women’s flyweight limit. A friendly staredown follows.

Fight day arrives, and the third tournament bout is nearly underway. Stewart and Beck finalize preparation with their coaches, and the athletes walk to the cage for their debut contest of the season.

#6 Montana Stewart (6-4) vs. #11 Ariel Beck (4-4)

Round 1 – Stewart comes out throwing combinations while Beck is looking to counter-strike. Stewart lands a nice right hand and begins to back up Beck. Beck is circling the octagon then moves into the clinch. Beck throws some knees to the body and Stewart fires back with some of her own before breaking free. Stewart is throwing combinations and landing with most of her shots. Beck pounds the inside of the leg with a kick, and Stewart closes distance for a body lock. She trips Beck to the mat and lands in half guard. Stewart begins to work from on top as Beck recovers guard position. Stewart postures up and advances into side control. She applies a D’Arce choke, but it’s not fully locked in. She makes some adjustments as Beck fights to get free. Stewart gets it too tight, though, and Beck is forced to tap out.

Montana Stewart def. Ariel Beck via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1

“I felt amazing, but back to work and I’m not just fine with one win,” Stewart says after her victory. “I’m going to finish all the fights and get that belt.”

Team Gaethje takes a 2-1 lead in the competition with Stewart’s victory. Team Alvarez takes control of fight selection, and with his choice, coach Alvarez selects No. 3 Lauren Murphy to go up against No. 14 Nicco Montano of Team Gaethje next.

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Montana Stewart, the high-school wrestler from Texas

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LAS VEGAS – “The Ultimate Fighter” returned last week for its 26th season, which will culminate with the crowning of the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion.

MMAjunkie recently sat down with all 16 cast members. Watch the video above to get to know Montana Stewart (7-4), who talked about having her father sign her up for jiu-jitsu, being so overcome by nerves in her first MMA fight that she threw up afterward, the hard decision of being away from her daughter for “TUF” and more.

“The Ultimate Fighter 26,” featuring former UFC and Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez and former WSOF champ Justin Gaethje as coaches, airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FS1.

Also see:

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie