This week’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 18” begins with Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway bringing Josh Hill and Mike Wootten some congratulatory hamburgers following the hard-fought bout that closed out last week’s show.
With Wootten’s win, the score is now tied at 3-3. Tonight, Team Rousey’s Anthony Gutierrez and Peggy Morgan will square off with Team Tate’s Cody Bollinger and Sarah Moras. Bollinger is struggling with his weight cut, currently standing at 144.5 pounds.
Gutierrez says he plans on getting taken down early but believes he will possess more gas than his opponent as the fight wears on. “Shark Bait” hops on the scale and checks in at just over 143 pounds during the Team Rousey training session, prompting him to sleep in a sweat suit covered by a mountain of towels.
On the other side of the fence, Bollinger is wearing the “why hast thou forsaken me” face due to his brutal weight cut. Time on the treadmill and sauna has not yielded impressive results, and the fighter is still five pounds overweight. Bollinger has apparently stopped sweating, and he tells his coaches that he is done cutting. Tate and Caraway plead with him to reconsider, and Bollinger breaks down in tears when the former Strikeforce champion shows him a picture of his daughter.
They head back to the house with three hours remaining, but Bollinger won’t budge. He tells them he will not make weight and apologizes. After downing some coconut water, he allows teammates Raquel Pennington and Roxanne Modafferi to talk him back into a hot bath, but he jumps back out after a bit and once again retires.
“There’s no excuse,” an emotional Bollinger says in a confessional. “I quit. That’s all there is to it.”
UFC President Dana White learns of Bollinger’s inability to make weight, and he calls a meeting at the gym with all the fighters and coaches. The boss makes Bollinger explain the situation in front of everyone and then banishes him from the gym.
“You took somebody’s lottery ticket and tore it up,” says White. “This is the one f---ing thing that drives me crazy. Look at [Gutierrez]. The kid has been busting his ass making weight. You see that door over there? That’s the door you go out right now.”
Bollinger breaks down in tears in a confessional and laments that he will have to tell his family what has transpired.
“This was my shot, and I f--ed up,” Bollinger says.
The coaches talk to White, and Tate apologizes for her fighter missing weight. However, she also does not hide her irritation with Bollinger’s lack of accountability, a move that consequently irks Ronda Rousey, who says that a head coach should take responsibility for her fighter instead of pointing the finger.
White offers Gutierrez two choices: cut all that weight again in a few days to fight a replacement opponent or accept a forfeit into the semifinals. The dehydrated fighter not-so-shockingly takes the free trip to the next round instead of the turd sandwich.
The focus now shifts to Moras, who immediately compares Morgan to a giraffe. Despite Morgan’s well-documented size, Tate believes her fighter will have no issue holder her own in the physicality department. Moras hopes to take the fight to the mat and vows to “smash” her larger foe.
A college professor back home, Morgan wants to keep the fight standing to maximize her physical tools. Rousey drills “The Daywalker’s” takedown defense against the cage, and Edmond Tarverdyan works with her on throwing combinations after stuffing the shot.
With both fighters cleared at the scale and now in the cage, Moras runs into a stiff jab while trying to close the distance. She counters with some low kicks but remains on the outside before failing on a double-leg takedown. Moras grinds Morgan into the fence, but Rousey’s fighter separates and pops her with a left. Morgan stuffs another takedown but allows Moras to continue driving, resulting in Tate’s fighter gaining top position. Moras passes to mount and postures up, dropping nasty punches on Morgan’s exposed face. Rousey’s pupil turns and gives up her arm, and Moras snatches the opportunity, locking up a fight-ending armbar.
With tonight’s results now in the books, the quarterfinal round ends with the score tied 4-4. The coaches and White then meet with the fighters in order to select the semifinals. The next round will see Chris Holdsworth collide with Wootten and Julianna Pena battle Moras, while Davey Grant meets Gutierrez and Jessica Rakoczy faces Pennington.