The TUF 26 TUFtermath

The Ultimate Fighter Season 26 hits episode seven tonight. Melinda Fabian of Team Alvarez battles Rachael Ostovich-Berdon of Team Gaethje in the seventh preliminary bout, while issues continue to bubble under the surface with Eddie Alvarez and his team.

The Big Three

#1) Uncle Dana comes to town – Dana White paid a visit to the TUF House in his top of the line BMW. After showing it off to the competitors, the UFC head honcho takes the crew to the backyard to talk up their good behaviour. He also took the opportunity to talk up the benefits of being in the UFC. White also admitted to being continually wrong in his beliefs and expectations for women in the company, and how he has to keep expanding the divisions. The segment ended with the ladies all inspired to continue on.

#2) Speaking Softly, Going Rogue – In the wake of a thigh injury Melinda Fabian came up with her own modified training plan independent of head coach Eddie Alvarez. She finally came to him with this to discuss what she can and can’t do in the lead up to her fight with Rachael Ostovich. Alvarez was not thrilled, but did his best to work with his charge to prepare her for the fight. This seems to plant more seeds of dissent and chaos in Team Alvarez, following up Lauren Murphy’s discontent.

#3) Things You Don’t Hear in the Male Seasons – While helping Rachel Ostovich select a more – ahem – “safe for work” weigh-in ensemble, Maia Stevenson remarked, “You even make my granny panties look naughty!” Yup. That happened. Had to mention it simply because it happened.

The Stock Report

Stock up – Racheal Ostovich-Berdon: Leading up to this fight, there was chatter that Ostovich did not belong in the competition. With her rather dominant victory over Melinda Fabian, I think that talk can stop now. Ostovich may not have knockout power, but she has enough pop in her punches to stop someone from advancing. In addition, her grappling-heavy style will serve her well moving on in the tournament, especially under the guidance of Justin Gaethje and his coaching staff.

Stock down – Melinda Fabian: Between modifying her training menu without her coaches’ knowledge, and looking like Stefan Struve at his worst in the cage, this was not a good showing for the Hungarian fighter. Her distance management was poor, her defense was porous, and she showed herself to be difficult to coach.

The Fight

The bout betwen Rachael Ostovich and Melinda Fabian was, to put it bluntly, a display of the different levels in women’s flyweight. While Fabian has done well in eastern Europe, she really was no match for Ostovich. The Invicta FC repeatedly caught Fabian with hard counters and combinations, eventually taking the Hungarian down and sinking in the fight ending rear-naked choke. Rachael Ostovich will now move on to the quarter-finals on the back of a first round submission victory.

TUF 26 will be taking another week off to allow for Major League Baseball playoffs to be aired, but will return with the final preliminary fight. Emily Whitmire (#8) from Team Gaethje will take on Team Alvarez’ Christina Marks (#9). Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for more MMA news, opinion, and the next TUFtermath!


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