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TUF S20:E1 Highlights: ‘For the Belt’



After we were introduced to a handful of the fighters competing on this historic 2oth season of TUF, we were also introduced to a brand new draft format. After winning the longest coin toss ever, Coach Pettis would take former Invicta FC strawweight champion Carla Esparza as his first overall pick in the TUF 20 draft.

The new draft format meant that the fights had already been pre-determined by the UFC. Each fighter was seeded, so when a coach picked a fighter, their opponent would automatically be slotted onto the opposing coaches team. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you’ll understand it a lot better after watching the video below. Here is how the teams look for this season.

Team Pettis

1. Carla Esparza (1st seed)
2. Randa Markos (14th seed)
3. Joanne Calderwood (2nd seed)
4. Alex Chambers (10th seed)
5. Jessica Penne (4th seed)
6. Felice Herrig (6th seed)
7. Justine Kish (9th seed)
8. Aisling Daly (5th seed)

Team Melendez

1. Angela Hill (16th seed)
2. Tecia Torres (3rd seed)
3. Emily Kagan (15th seed)
4. Rose Namajunas (7th seed)
5. Lisa Ellis (13th seed)
6. Heather Jo Clark (11th seed)
7. Bec Rawlings (8th seed)
8. Angela Magana (12th seed)

Since Coach Pettis got to choose the first fighter, that would mean Coach Melendez would have the honor of picking the first fight of the season. With confidence, the former Strikeforce champion and #1 contender for the UFC lightweight title would put his first overall pick, Tecia Torres, opposite #14 seed Randa Markos.

Markos, who trains at the Maximum Training Center up in Windsor, Ontario, scored a major upset over a fighter in Torres that many had going the distance. To put this into perspective, Torres was up next for Esparza’s Invicta FC strawweight championship before these girls were brought over to the UFC. Not only did Markos make a name for herself tonight with her upset of Torres, she basically shook the very foundation of the tournament.

Pettis gains control with Markos’ upset victory. The champ picks #2 seed Joanne ‘Dr. Kneevil’ Calderwood to fight #15 seed Emily Kagan in the second episode of the season. If you’ve yet to witness Calderwood in action yet then you’re in for a treat. And as we saw this past week, you just cannot count anyone out in these tournaments. Tune in next Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

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