EXCLUSIVE | Tara LaRosa talks upcoming TUF 18, says this season is “Shocking” | Late Night Cageside Radio
This week Late Night Cageside powered by bjpenn.com was pleased to talk to one of the pioneers of WMMA Tara LaRosa. Kinch and Chase had plenty to talk about and the focus of course was about her upcoming stint on The Ultimate Fighter 18 Rousey vs. Tate. With the first episode not airing until Sept. 4 on Fox Sports 1 there was only so much she could say, but what she did say makes this season seem very intriguing.
The first thing we asked Tara was how excited is she to be featured on TUF 18?
“It’s pretty awesome right? I mean the first time that women are going to get showcased on The Ultimate Fighter you know, and it’s still relatively new to viewers, we just started having fights in the UFC and it’s an exciting time for women in the sport. I’m just proud to be a part of it…. Still (laughs).”
The next thing asked of Tara LaRosa was how gratifying it was that she was now going to get the notoriety that many feel she should have been getting for a while now?
“Umm, it’s amazing, I mean… I’m surprised people still know me (laughs) you know, I been around a long ass time, I’m like a dinosaur (laughs)”
LaRosa has fought the who’s who of WMMA and beaten some of the women that are currently in the UFC. So then she was asked why she decided to do TUF 18 and if anybody in her circle thought it was a bad idea?
“I don’t know, everybody was actually very encouraging and actually kind’ve convinced me to do it because I had absolutely no desire to go back to 135 (lbs) what so ever. Then this Ultimate Fighter thing was announced and then two weeks later I was at tryouts. It was like a really snap decision, I was like oh sh*t, oh sh*t…. do I want to do this (laughs)? I talked to Greg Jackson my coach, I talked to Julie Kedzie my teammate, Monte Cox my manager, my best friend and they were all for it, they were all like sure go ahead, go on it’s going to be a good time.”
She then addressed the fact that her last two fights were at 125lbs and she missed weight for both those fights and how it also affected her decision to do TUF.
“I feel constantly guilty, like I have to keep addressing this, it’s like this thing hanging over my head. I missed weight twice in a row at 125 and people have been giving me sh*t or whatever, you know just general bullsh*t and you know what I am walking around a little heavier than usual so I was like well I might as well give it (TUF) a shot what do I got to lose? So I did, and we’ll see. Do I want to stay at 135, uhh I have no idea.”
Then LaRosa was asked how she ended up on the show, if she applied or did they search her out to be on the show?
“I applied, just like everybody else, you know I uh, I saw it but I don’t even know where I saw it, I think it was on twitter, I saw the announcement and was like oh sh*t. I’m living down in Albuquerque, New Mexico now so it was only like a 6 hour drive so that was easy. It was just like a whirlwind it just kind’ve happened. I started training for it as soon as I found out about it. You don’t have to make weight for the weigh-in like everybody comes in like whatever. After they contact you and you get through the selections everybody gets serious.”
Then Kinch asked Tara to tell us a little bit about how the dynamic was different this season with it being co-ed?
“You’ll have to see (laughs). I mean… women train with men all the time, and train with women, that’s not a new thing. It may be new to viewers but that’s not a new thing to any of us.”
The question was asked to Tara what she thought viewers would find most surprising about this coming season of TUF?
“(laughs) It should be an action packed season (laughing)”
The question was then asked if all the talk of Rousey and Tate being the biggest rivalry of all the coaches ever on TUF was true?
“I really don’t have a whole lot to compare it to because I stopped watching the show after season 5, so I didn’t see some of the epic coach rivalries but I’m guessing this might take the cake. I can’t imagine it being any worse than this.”
When asked what the competition is looking like as far as the other competitors on this season LaRosa had this to say… “They were good”
The guys then asked what should the fans expect this season overall?
“Shock…. Just shock… I mean the first episode alone is going to surprise everybody. You guys are in for a hell of a ride and a pretty big surprise.”
LaRosa was then asked why her fans and all viewers should tune into TUF 18?
“If you have supported me and my career through all these years then you’ve supported women’s MMA. This is my dream, for people to have regular conversations about who would beat who, or what chick has better grappling, or who’s armbar is the best, or who has better striking, just regular conversations about WMMA and women in the sport just like men, that was my dream since the beginning, since 2001 when I started, it’s come true. I mean, were in the UFC, were on TV were being featured in commercials, that’s it. If you ever supported me then you supported the sport and I hope that you continue to do so. I hope that you don’t support it just for me but for the sport.”
When asked about what she thought of having either Ronda Rousey or Miesha Tate as one of her coaches she said…. “Just watch my face when the coaches walk out”.
Tara LaRosa will be coming on Late Night Cageside throughout the season to talk about the episodes of TUF 18 after they air on Fox Sports 1.