TUF 23 || Live Results from Episode 1

Written by @NickRiznerMMA

Season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter premiers tonight on Fox Sports 1 at 10 pm ET. This season will feature both strawweights and light heavyweights, with head coaches Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha set to compete for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship on July 8th.

Check out the full cast of TUF 23, and follow along with our live blog each week, and get round-by-round scoring and official results from every fight, as it occurs.

Episode 1

And we’re off! A new season of TUF and a new season of Nick Rizner acting like the Perez Hilton of MMA. Strong start with a classic Dana White “What’s up ladies??” Now I’m ready for some strawweights! First up, Mellony Geugjes vs. Amanda Cooper:

Round 1:

Mellony is the much stronger striker on cage, but things are quickly taken to the ground, with Geugies on top. Cooper immediately starts working for an armbar and locks it in with ease. First fight. First winner. Amanda Cooper is in the house!

Official Result: Amanda Cooper def. Mellony Geugies via armbar.

Now we move onto the light heavyweights. First, we’ve got the CES alum from my neck of the woods, Mr. Eric Spicely. He’ll be taking on Kenneth Bergh.

Round 1:

Brilliantly quick work from Spicely, who gets the takedown, takes the back, and sinks in the rear-naked choke. That was a really slick performance from the hometown guy.

Official Result: Eric Spicely def. Kenneth Bergh via rear-naked choke.

Boy is this moving fast. I like the pacing. Ashley Cummins (3-3) and Lanchana Green (2-1) are set to do battle at strawweight.

Round 1: 

Cummins takes Green down and lands in side control. Green looks to buck out from bottom position but is unsuccessful through two minutes. Green attempts to reverse with a single leg but leaves herself open to some hard elbows.

As Green attempts to scramble to her feet, Cummins takes her back and eventually mounts. Green escapes to half guard but has been in trouble for the entirety of the round. Green survives round one but got dominated.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Cummins.

Round 2:

Green enters the second round looking to strike as Cummins sells out for another takedown. Green fights it off and begins landing hard knees from the clinch. Huge second round from Green who gets the standing TKO and gets an amazing win. She’ll be a fan-favorite for sure.

Official Result: Lanchana Green def. Ashley Cummins via standing TKO.

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Well that was a heck of a way to kick of the season. Three fights and three fantastic finishes. Back to the light heavyweights now, as Khalil Rountree (4-0) is set to take on Muhammed Dereese (5-0).

Round 1:

Aggressive start from both men, but it’s Muhammed who gets the early advantage with a judo throw and a rear-naked choke attempt. Rountree manages to fight it off and get back to his feet, with much of this fight taking place in the clinch so far. Muhammed looks to have taken the first, but both fighters look fresh.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Muhammed.

Round 2:

Wow…. Rountree lands some BOMBS to start of the second round. Muhammed goes for a takedown but fails. Then it’s more bombs and some soccer kicks to end the fight. Wow…

Official Result: Khalil Rountree def. Muhammed Dereese via TKO.

Strawweights return with the Canadian Alyssa Krahn vs. Las Vegas’ own Jamie Moyle. We will return with more action after the break!

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Okay we’re back. Krahn vs. Moyle. Here we go.

Round 1:

 Krahn gets things to the ground with the arm drag hip toss, and Moyle immediately starts working for a triangle from her back. She quickly loses it. Good hand control from Moyle as she scoots to the fence, and ultimately back to her feet.

Moyle begins peppering Krahn on the feet and when Krahn goes for the takedown, Moyle defends and takes her back. Working with back control and a minute left in the fight, Moyle begins opening her up and sinks in the rear-naked choke. Good stuff!

Official Result: Jamie Moyle def. Alyssa Krahn via rear-naked choke.

—————— COMMERCIAL BREAK ——————

Next up, light heavyweights Myron Dennis and Jamelle Jones go to war.

Round 1:

 Idaho wrestler Jones scores the body lock takedown and lands some heavy punches as Dennis attempts to stand back up. Another takedown for Jones. And another. He looks to be getting the best of the striking exchanges as well. Not much offense from Dennis at the halfway point.

And just like that, Dennis looks to have rocked him with a shot. And another. And some more. Dennis landed a combination and knocks Jones’ mouthpiece out. The ref looks to have stepped in a little early, but may have saved him from more damage.

Official Result: Myron Dennis def. Jamelle Jones via TKO

Ashley Yoder is up next and she’ll be taking on Jodie Esquiel. Star studded affair! Ashley Yoder trains over at Team Quest with Dan Henderson, and Jodie is engaged to Keith Jardine and old friends with Holly Holm.  Interesting. They fight after the break.

—————— COMMERCIAL BREAK ——————

Yoder vs. Esquiel. Here we go!!

Round 1:

Back and forth for the majority of the first round Yoder is landing but doesn’t seem to have much power behind her shots. A brief scramble leads to a lighting fast back-take by Yoder who works for the rear-naked choke but runs out of time. Very tough round to score. I’d give a slight edge to Jodie.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Jodie Esquiel.

Round 2:

Yoder looks to be gassing as the round goes, and Jodie is taking advantage with big power shots. We didn’t get to see that entire fight, but I’ve got Jodie up 20-18.

MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Jodie Esquiel (20-18 Esquiel).

Official Result: Ashley Yoder def. Jodie Esquiel via split decision.

Norman Paraisy returns to the Octagon after quitting between rounds on a previous season of TUF. He’s set to take on Elias Urbina next.

 So we didn’t get to see this one in full, but based on Dana’s recap Norman wins the first round and Elias wins the second. Norman looks to have nothing left in the tank and Elias wins the third round via 29-28 unanimous decision.

Official Result: Elias Urbina def. Norman Paraisy via unanimous decision.

JJ Aldrich and Kristi Lopez are up next, and they got skipped through this one as well. Lots of praise for JJ, who happens to be a training partner of Rose Namajunas, and she wins via unanimous decision.

Official Result: JJ Aldrich def. Kristi Lopez via unanimous decision.

Next, we’ve got a couple of newlyweds in Abdel Medjedoub and John Paul Elias, set to compete at light heavyweight. And this is yet another one that gets skipped over. As per Dana White, Abdel smothered Elias and won with ease.

Official Result: Abdel Medjedoub def. John Paul Elias via unanimous decision.

Titiana Suarez overcame cancer to be here. Standing in the way of her dream, we’ve got buddy of Bryan Caraway and Miesha Tate, Chelsea Bailey. We’ll see that one after the break.

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Suarez vs. Bailey starts now.

Round 1:

Suarez is the longer fighter but Bailey is charging in and closing the distance effectively. A head lock turns into an ill-advised guillotine attempt by Suarez, but no damage done. Suarez seems to have some sloppy grappling technique. Aggressive and creative but always one move short of locking in a submission. She likely wins the round, but it’s anybody’s fight.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Suarez.

Round 2:

Suarez seems capable of taking Bailey down at will. She transitions to full mount and lands some bombs with seconds left in the round. I have her winning both rounds, and thus the fight.

MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Suarez (20-18 Suarez)

Official Result: Titiana Suarez def. Chelsea Bailey via unanimous decision.

Phillip Hawes is likely the most promising prospect on the roster, so this will be an interesting one, as he takes on the jiu jitsu specialist Andrew Sanchez.

—————— COMMERCIAL BREAK ——————

This one was brushed through with highlights. Some explosive athleticism from Hawes, but Andrew lands some heavy elbows in the first round and neutralizes Hawes in the second, as well. Big upset from Andrew.

Official Result: Andrew Sanchez def. Phillip Hawes via unanimous decision.

Next, we’ve got Irene Rivera and Kate Jackson. We didn’t see much of this, but Irene wins the fight via 2nd round stoppage.

Official Result: Irene Rivera def. Kate Jackson via 2nd round stoppage.

—————— COMMERCIAL BREAK ——————

Cory Hendricks vs. Marcel Fortuna is yet another quick one in the broadcast. Apparently, Fortuna sold out for the takedown, but Cory defended well and landed some heavy leg kicks. Hendricks wins the first round. Fortuna wins the second. In the third, both men show incredible heart, but Cory Hendricks gets his hand raised.

Official Result: Cory Hendricks def. Marcel Fortuna via unanimous decision.

Next up, we’ve got Amy Montenegro and Helen Harper in the final strawweight battle of the evening. Coming down to the wire now.

—————— COMMERCIAL BREAK ——————

Round 1:

Great work from Harper in the clinch early. Good control while constantly working. Montenegro battles back and gets Harper against the cage, but it’s Harper that gets things to the ground again with a slick headlock takedown and a back-take. I’m impressed with Harper’s grappling so far. And just like that, Harper gets the armbar finish. She looked tremendous!! Very sharp technique. She is one to watch for sure.

Official Result: Helen Harper def. Amy Montenegro via armbar.

Great comeback story for the final fight of the episode. Josh Stansbury dominated Chris Fields on TUF 19 but suffered an injury in the fight. Now he has a second chance against Trevor Carlson, a 10-2 prospect out of Nevada. There’s probably a reason they saved this one for last. We shall see shortly.

—————— COMMERCIAL BREAK ——————

Will Josh Stansbury complete his comeback story? There’s only one way to find out.

Round 1:

A head kick by Stansbury sends both men to the mat, but it’s Stansbury on top. He begins pouring it on with punches from the top. Carlson scrambles to survive but is getting dominated through the first minute of this fight. Great ground control from Stansbury who quickly progresses to side control and stars working the americana. Carlson taps as Stansbury’s girlfriend yells “Break it!”

Official Result: Josh Stansbury def. Trevor Carlson via americana.

The teams have been selected and the first matchup is set. Khalil Rountree vs. Cory Hendricks is up first, as per Joanna’s pick. I’ll see you guys next time!!

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