Episode No. 4 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 4 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with focus on No. 3 Lauren Murphy, who is fighting No. 14 Nicco Montano in the fourth opening-round tournament bout later in the episode.

Team Alvarez’s Murphy admits she’s had to stop and catch herself from looking too far ahead in the tournament when the most important fight is right ahead of her with Team Gaethje’s Montano. Murphy tells teammate Barb Honchak that she was already thinking about a fight between them prior to the start of the tournament, which creates some awkwardness.

During preparation, coach Eddie Alvarez calls Murphy a “coach’s dream.” He believes her four fights of UFC experience, which is more than all the rest of the tournament field combined, is a great advantage. Murphy says her well-rounded game is going to be too much for Montano to handle.

At the “TUF” house, Murphy, a former Invicta FC champion, opens up with some of her teammates about her troubled past. She discusses how her father passed away in a plane crash when she was young. That led her to a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse which resulted in an overdose. Murphy eventually got past her addiction and turned to a career in MMA.

Team Gaethje has its next training session, and Montano continues preparation for her upcoming fight. Despite only five pro bouts, Montano won a championship in the King of the Cage organization. UFC President Dana White calls Montano a “dark horse” in the tournament. Coach Justin Gaethje says the goal for Montano to turn it into a “dog fight.”

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

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

#3 Lauren Murphy (9-3) vs. #14 Nicco Montano (3-2)

Round 1 – Murphy presses the action to begin the fight and is throwing combinations. Montano attacks with leg kicks and counter strikes. Montano is landing the better shots early, but Murphy is starting to settle in. Murphy works the jab, but Montano is coming at her with body and leg kicks. Murphy gets the clinch, but Montano pressures her against the fence. Montano misses with an elbow on the break, and Murphy takes the center of the cage. Montano lands a hard body kick followed by a grazing kick to the head. Murphy is struggling to find her range and is consistently being tagged with kicks. Murphy catches one of the kicks and turns it into a clinch situation. She attempts to drag Montano to the mat, but her takedowns are well defended. Montano is keeping busy with short punches and knees to the body before turning Murphy in the clinch. She works for a body-lock takedown of her own but has no success. They continue to battle in the clinch before separating. Murphy is starting to land some better shots before the end of the round.

Round 2 – Murphy is throwing with bad intentions to begin the round. Montano is keeping a solid range, but eventually they fight into the clinch. Murphy drops for a takedown. Her initial entry is stuffed, but she partially gets Montano down. Montano hammers Murphy with elbows before fighting her way back up to the feet. They are still in the clinch, and Montano is landing some good knees. Murphy refuses to disengage and is still fighting for takedowns. Montano refuses to go down and cuts Murphy open with a knee to the head. Montano lands more solid blows before turning Montano around. They finally separate from the clinch, and Montano lands a left kick to the body followed by a right hand. Murphy shoots for another takedown, but Montano has it easily scouted. Murphy is pressuring from the clinch, but she can’t get Montano down before the round ends.

Nicco Montano def. Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)

“I did what I had to do to get the win,” Montano says after her stunning upset victory. “‘Whatever it takes’ is our team motto, and I think I demonstrated that pretty well tonight.”

Murphy, who is the first higher seed to fall so far in the tournament, becomes emotional back in the locker room.

“I’m tired of losing,” Murphy says. “I’m so (expletive) tired of losing. I was already coming off a loss coming into this showm and I thought maybe dropping to 125 was going to be the answer to all my problems, and clearly it’s not. I’m away from my family and I just miss them so much. It’s hard to go through a loss like this and be the upset in the show and not have them here to comfort me.”

Team Gaethje takes a 3-1 lead in the competition with Montano’s victory. Team Gaethje takes control of fight selection, and with his choice, coach Gaethje selects No. 5 Maia Stevenson to go up against No. 12 Sijara Eubanks of Team Alvarez 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.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

'EA All Day:' Watch ex-champ Eddie Alvarez's debut vlog, with a 'TUF 26' media tour

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is joining the video blog business. If his debut episode is any indication, there’s some solid content to come.

Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who is current serving as a coach opposite Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, has opted to launch a new YouTube series titled “EA All Day.”

The first episode follows Alvarez behind the scenes during a recent media tour in his hometown of Philadelphia to promote “TUF 26,” which airs every Wednesday on FS1 and features Alvarez and Gaethje coaching a cast of hopefuls who are attempting to become the first UFC women’s flyweight champion.

MMA has several solid video blog series’ going, from Alistair Overeem’s “The Reem” to Tyron Woodley’s “Champ Camp.” Now Alvarez’s “EA All Day” can be added to the list.

Watch the complete episode above.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 2 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with the Team Gaethje coaching staff arriving in the TUF house to celebrate Roxanne Modafferi’s victory in the opening tournament bout.

Coach Justin Gaethje begins to discuss the next fight with No. 13 seed Karine Gevorgyan, who is the only fighter in the house unable to speak English. They attempt to communicate through Google text, as well as a translator, but Gevorgyan explains she has difficulty understanding the messages.

At the next Team Alvarez training session, the fighters are already beginning to think about what could happen in future rounds of the tournament in terms of facing off against their teammates. Some of the athletes are reluctant to showcase some aspects of their skills in training, but coach Eddie Alvarez does his best to relieve any tension.

The Team Alvarez coaching staff begins to work more closely with No. 4 seed DeAnna Bennett, who faces Team Gaethje’s Gevorgyan later in the episode. Bennett says her priority is to win as quickly as possible in order to preserve herself for future rounds of the tournament.

At the next Team Gaethje training session, Gevorgyan begins to focus on her fight preparation. During team practice, No. 8 Emily Whitmire suffers a rib injury while grappling. She’s in a lot of pain and decides to go to the hospital to discover the extent of the damage.

After being diagnosed at the hospital, Whitmire learns there’s no serious damage to her rib or lung area. She does not have to withdraw from the competition immediately, but doctors will continue to monitor her progress.

Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who is a longtime friend of Whitmire, visits the ‘TUF’ house to provide some emotional support and encouragement. Whitmire expresses doubt in her ability to compete under the likely time frame but is attempting to stay optimistic.

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

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

#4 DeAnna Bennett (8-3) vs. #13 Karine Gevorgyan (32)

Round 1 – Bennett opens with an inside leg kick. Gevorgyan is stalking her and fires off a combination. Bennett goes low with another kick to the legs then one of the body. Gevorgyan is pumping the jab but yet to commit to anything significant. They trade punches, and Gevorgyan tags Bennett with a hard right hand. Bennett causes Gevorgyan to retreat with a stiff jab. Bennett continues to kick the legs of her opponent then come high with hard punches. Gevorgyan throws a wild overhand, but Bennett changes levels and scores a takedown. Bennett postures up from inside the guard and has Gevorgyan pinned near the cage. Bennett throws heavy shots from on top as Gevorgyan attempts to get free. Bennett’s position is too dominant, though, and the referee waves off the contest.

DeAnna Bennett def. Karine Gevorgyan via TKO (punches) – Round 1

There’s a large contrast in emotions between the two sides. Bennett is thrilled with her performance, while Gevorgyan is crying and absolutely crushed.

Team Alvarez ties the competition 1-1. Team Gaethje takes control of fight selection, and with his choice, coach Gaethje selects No. 6 Montana Stewart to go up against No. 11 Ariel Beck 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.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Emily Whitmire, who used a fake ID to make her unplanned MMA debut

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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 Emily Whitmire (2-1), who discussed how she got her start in MMA on a random Wednesday night in the Pacific Northwest with the help of a fake ID and a little liquid courage, why she’s technically homeless, how she’s ready to take her day job and shove it, 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

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Christina Marks, a mom whose 1st fight was at a Tijuana strip club

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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 Christina Marks (8-8), who discussed how she started training shortly after giving birth, her first MMA fight in Tijuana, Mexico, what her 9-year-old son thinks of having an MMA fighter for a mom, 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

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Ariel Beck, happy to fight people her own size after a life in rodeo

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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 Ariel Beck (4-4), who discussed growing up on a ranch, figuring no girl could hit harder than the horse who kicked her once, going from cardio kickboxing to pro boxing and sharing UFC dreams with her also-fighter boyfriend.

“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

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Sijara Eubanks, who wasn't about to let 10 pounds deter her

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – “The Ultimate Fighter” returned this past 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 Sijara Eubanks (2-2), who discussed quitting a job she hated before knowing if she’d made it into the house, her love for both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and punching people in the face, living the dream despite the grind, 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

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Maia Stevenson, who got into boxing thanks to sheriff mom

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – “The Ultimate Fighter” returned this 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 Maia Stevenson (6-4), who explained why the show is also about bragging rights with husband and two-season “TUF” alum Joe Stevenson, bouncing back after rough career start, why she believes ref “Big” John McCarthy hates her, 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

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Nicco Montano, the daughter of a boxer trying to make it

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – “The Ultimate Fighter” returned this 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 Nicco Montano (3-2), who discussed not following in her dad’s footsteps as a boxer, making ends meet as a fighter, how she taught herself to play guitar, 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

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Lauren Murphy, UFC veteran who made 'no-brainer' decision

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – “The Ultimate Fighter” returned this 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 Lauren Murphy (9-3, 1-3 UFC), who discussed why she decided to join the ‘TUF’ cast despite already being on the UFC roster, being away from her husband and son, 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.

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

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