EXCLUSIVE | Raquel Pennington’s Official TUF Episode 11 Blog For BJPENN.COM
Where to even begin with this episode!!
So obviously the tension with team Tate got a little crazy and having two teammates fight one another was just an emotional wreck with the two fighters! They both wanted the coaches attention, which is fair but makes it hard when there is just that one main coach! It got irritating hearing them go back and forth and then Miesha not really noticing that she was putting in so much work with Julianna and not balancing between her and Sarah.
Sarah had a break down in the sauna so enough was enough, on the mats I talked with the coaches because no one else would bring it to their attention and obviously something needed to be fixed so both Julianna could focus less on what coaches they would work with and fighting or feeling neglected of Miesha’s attention. Miesha asked me what she should do and I told her I think it would be best if she stayed out of it and split the coaching staff because then neither can feel left out or worry about game plans being told. I think that both fighters just needed to focus more on what got them there and who cares if they even trained together or one should have gone with team Rousey and trained.
Back at the house of course all the tension was rising. I think the people who already lost in the tourney were by far ready to go home and the others still focusing on fights were under the stress of trying to recover and prepare for battle again and home sick was setting in as well.
Julianna became the talk of the house, people were just getting irritated with the “baby” voice she would talk in a lot of the time, or others felt she did plenty of things for attention, so they just started talking. She separated herself from everyone and from my behalf I felt bad for Julianna. Having to live in a house where everyone couldn’t stand her. I tried to remain mutual with her talk, play pool, try to get to know her as a person and things would be good but at other times she was a head case and lets just say our personalities didn’t click too well so I just kept my space.
I did get frustrated with how she always asked Sarah and myself to go through the bathroom at night because the main door made too much noise, so we respected that but I think it should have been given back. She did little things that I stayed quiet about like blow drying her hair while I would try to nap in between training sessions, or shaking her vitamin bottles in an unnecessary fashion. doing and undoing her Velcro on her shorts, unzipping her backpack a thousand times or storming through the main door of the room. So after doing a behind the scenes cut together I brought it to her attention in a joking way, to kind of tell her it was kind of rude and boy was it wrong to even say anything, she went over and beyond and got so defensive.
At the gym Sarah would train at one end And Julianna at the other and for the second practice they would switch. Sarah worked with Roxy and accidentally hit her with an elbow. Roxy sure ran away with it, went to the house and told everyone on team Rousey and our team that Sarah was being rough and purposely did it so everyone got an attitude with Sarah and started making comments. I think it’s a bunch of crap, you’re a fighter your going to get bumps and bruises suck it up and keep moving forward don’t make an issue of it, you chose to be her partner.
Weigh-ins came and both girls made weight very easily. Good job!
Back at the house the coaches came by to check on the fighters see how they were doing. Miesha finally brought me my homemade cream pie she promised me after my win against Jessamyn. I inhaled that thing in like 2 minutes, given I shared some with a few others. Julianna was in the room doing her own thing, Miesha talked with her for a while. In the mean time the guys and Bryan were out in back jumping over the pool just being goofs. Bryan took his shoes off and they played a prank on him and hid them in the freezer. Then for about an hour we all sat in the kitchen and just talked about everything and anything it was good company.
I don’t really agree with Miesha saying that Julianna and Chris were the hardest working. Everyone was hard-working and as time passed and fights happened people had to adapt their training to their injuries or some did just get lazy and more attention was based on fighters that still had fights. Julianna was the first fight in the house she had a whole month to recover while all the other prelims went on. I know with mine I had 10 days between fights to deal with an injured hand, stitches, soreness, intense bumps and bruises from my war with Jessamyn, and Sarah had an even shorter period of time between fights, it was like 4 or 5 days.
Fight day I could tell that Sarah was mentally off, and Julianna was very mentally focused and determined.
I talked with both girls; it was hard to be a team mate/room mate to two individuals who were about to fight. All I could tell them both was to believe in what got them to this spot and not worry about anything else. Yes they fought before and they have trained together this whole time, and who cares if they knew exactly what one or the other was gonna do they just needed to focus on being the stronger, faster and a more dominant fighter.
When everyone arrived at the gym Sarah was in the hallway crying and Ricky was trying to lift her spirits. From what she said, Edmond was making comments about her warming up and it’s just like, ‘Sarah you have to ignore things and go do your thing.’ At this moment I knew Sarah was just mentally broke with everything that has led up to the fight. I know Julianna felt like no one wanted her to win or would be cheering for her and honestly this was a hard spot.
I believe in being a team and supporting each other, so I cheered for both girls when they walked out but I remained quiet as they battled and just kind of massaged Miesha’s shoulders because I know she was nervous for the fight.
During the fight it showed who truly wanted it. Sarah backed up on stand up and Julianna had control in every position. Sarah wasn’t ready to fight she was done and Julianna did exactly as she trained. Sarah didn’t look like anything she normally does on the ground; she didn’t really react and took some brutal elbows. After the fight Julianna went the other direction so I didn’t really have a chance to congratulate her the way she deserved and Sarah came over crying and apologizing. I think she felt like she let the whole entire house down, not just herself, because everyone wanted her to beat Julianna. But Julianna showed up to fight and performed so she deserved that win.
It’s a 50/50 chance when you step in that cage!!