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TUF 20: Felice Herrig Defeats Heather Clark, Again



This was the fight that many fans were waiting to see this season and they made us wait and wait. Until it was almost anti-climatic when Felice Herrig took the UD over Heather Clark. It was a very good fight but without the fireworks that many were expecting. People wanted to see someone get KO’d after all of the talk. If they were fans of Herrig they wanted to see her shut Clark up and the Clark fans/Herrig haters wanted to see her knock Herrig out. What we got was a solid fight and Herrig jacked up Clark’s eye a little but no devastating KO.

Hopefully now Clark can move on. I say Clark because Herrig seemed to move on long ago and it is easier to move on when you have the win in your pocket already. It was very telling that Clark talked about preparing for the rematch since the first fight. I really hope not. It would be sad to have put all that time and effort into this fight and to come up short again. There is something about Herrig that incites some women to attack her.

Asses and Glass Houses

Let’s back up a little to examine how this all started. Clark addressed this early in the episode and pointed out that she did not like the way Herrig conducts the business of being Felice Herrig. She used the word trashy several times and pointed out that she felt like Herrig was a bad role model for children.

Now look at the weigh-in picture from their first fight and tell me who is trashy  in this photo. I have no problem with a fighter having an opinion but if you are going to call someone out for being trashy for showing their ass then you probably should subsequently show more of your own ass than they do.

After the fight Clark did apologize and said she had no right to judge Herrig and hopefully it is true for her own sanity as well. It is clear she has been way too obsessed with Herrig for far too long. It will be best for both of them if Clark does move on.

Herrig is the Rob Lowe of MMA 

Much like a young Rob Lowe, Herrig gets a lot of attention for her looks to the detriment of her fighting skills. Lowe suffered from this kind of jealousy early on to the point that people would put down his acting unfairly. This is what happens when it is your poster that Sam from Lost Boys has hanging in his room – people are going to be jealous.

It is much the same for Herrig who has been very effective at marketing herself. To the point that she is better known than many of the higher ranked fighters and this bothers some people. It would better serve the fighters to learn from Herrig instead of being jealous.

That does mean go out and try to emulate her but instead put in the work in that area. Herrig works hard at it but instead of looking at what she is doing, look at how she is doing it. They focus on one element of what she brings and that is her physical assets. If they took the time to look a little closer they would see that she markets herself very effectively in a way that she is comfortable doing.

It is more than Herrig showing some ass and posting a few things online. She creates and designs her outfits for her fights with a theme involved. Her posts are effective and keep her name out there when she is not fighting. It also helped her be one of the best sponsored fighters out there but Alienware is not paying her to show some skin. Instead it is the work she puts into being a great spokesperson for them. She is consistently mentioning them and getting their name out there.

If you take the time to look beyond the skin you she a very savvy and smart individual who is in control of her image. A fighter who works hard at her craft and has become one of the top fighters in the world in her weight class for several years now. That sounds exactly like a good role model to me.

Or is she the Rodney Dangerfield of fighters

Seriously, she deserves some respect for her fighting skills but too often it is the other side that gets all of the attention. It goes beyond that to the point that people attack her for getting too much attention. Herrig has been in the sport since 2009 and is one of the top strawweights in the world. As the sixth seeded fighter on the show Herrig is in the second-tier of favorites right behind the top four seeds.

There are many people who think she only got that ranking due to her activities outside of the cage and it is not merited. I would point that Herrig has spent much of the early part of her career at flyweight and three of her five losses come to flyweights. Including one to Barb Honchak, the Invicta FC champion. The other two were in her first two fights.

At strawweight the only fighters she has lost to are Carla Esparza and Tecia Torres, the number one and three seed respectively. The sixth seed was not a gift and it was not given to her because of how she looks. The win helps solidify the seeding and puts her through to the next round.

Team Pettis just got weird

It also sets up the first two teammates as opponents situation on the show as Herrig will face Randa Markos in the next round. It is very different than in the past on the show when the fighters knew they might have to fight their teammates in the abstract at some point. They would not know that until a week or less before the fight. It would also be easy to separate them off to get them ready for their fight. Now, they know well in advance and will have to deal with training as teammates while being opponents.

Then there is the Justine Kish injury and Torres getting thrown back into the mix. The Kish injury was tragic and it sucks to see someone go off the show that way but it is a part of fighting. While the injury was horrible for Kish it gave Torres another shot as Dana decided to put her back in for Kish. Not only did he put her back in but he also sent her over to Team Pettis as her opponent is Bec Rawlings from Team Melendez.

This just made everything awkward for Team Pettis and it bothered Melendez a lot. Torres is on a team that did not really want her and most were not happy that she was back in the tournament. There was and has been a lot of the unfair word thrown out there regarding Torres being given this spot. Guess what not only is life unfair but there was no fair way to resolve this situation.

If you give Rawlings the win that is unfair to everyone else because now she is a much fresher fighter than any other fighter in the second round. If you are going to give the spot to Torres than it cannot go to any other fighter that lost because Torres deserved the spot more than them. Not only was she the highest ranked fighter but she was the only fighter to take the fight into the third round. Everyone else either was finished or lost in two rounds. The only other option is to bring in another fighter and they would have an advantage of not going through four weeks of the house and its isolation.

The situation sucked and they did what they could to salvage it. While it does hurt Rawlings in one way that she was preparing for Kish but she also gains the advantage of fighting someone who went through a three round battle. Rawlings is also now much more familiar with Torres as she is with Rawlings. It is an intriguing matchup and right now I like Rawlings as the favorite going into that fight.

It is known

We now know that Herrig will face Markos in the second round. This will be interesting to watch how this plays out the rest of the season and in the octagon. It is a classic grappler versus striker matchup but both continue to become more well-rounded as fighters.

Markos has some of the strongest wrestling on the show and could give Herrig some problems on the ground, but there is the Esparza factor. Since Herrig’s loss to Esparza she has worked on her wrestling – some of it with Espraza herself. It would not be surprising to see Esparza helping Herrig get ready for Markos. While Markos is a strong wrestler so far Esparza has shown herself to be in another class with her wrestling.

We saw some of the wrestling work pay off in the Clark fight as it was Herrig’s takedowns that helped her get the win. The takedowns will not come as easy against Markos as these three did against Clark.

Herrig #1

Herrig #3 but 2

Herrig #2

Markos is a much better wrestler and it will be Herrig’s takedown defense that will be tested. If she does get taken down she will need to work on getting up. Markos has shown a strong submission defense and Herrig cannot waist time in a two round fight going for a submission unless it is there. Herrig will have an advantage in the standup and her clinch work could be a key. Before she got the above trip takedown on Clark she also got in a couple of nice knees.

Herrig 5

This could be another area for Herrig to some damage because Markos will look to get in close. At a distance Herrig will have a huge edge and Markos needs to get in close and get the fight to the ground. Look for Herrig to try to offset that her clinch game.

It will bear watching to see how the dynamic of Team Pettis is with the addition of Torres and the Herrig and Markos matchup. They have been one happy family up until now but everything is different now and a lot of tension just got added to the team. Either way they are 5-0 and in control. Up next is Angela Magana and Aisling Daly. Do not be surprised if they end up in a fight of the season as both of them are warriors.

For those who wanted to see Clark get punched in the face I give you this:

Herrig #4


An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny