EXCLUSIVE | TUF 18′s Raquel Pennington’s Official Episode 7 Blog For BJPENN.COM
Last week the fight with Jessamyn and I went as I hoped. I got the win and control back for the team Tate. Miesha chose Josh Hill vs. Michael Wooten for this fight.
Leaving the gym Dana White came up and talked to me about my stitches and the potential he seen in me as an athlete. It was a great feeling with “the big man” coming up and talking to you. Definitely boosted my confidence. Was awkward though looking past Dana and watching my whole team just stare me down wondering what we were talking about. I got in the van and was just hounded with questions about our conversation, I just asked if everyone was jealous because I didn’t really feel I needed to discuss things with them and they were too curious.
Back at the house I made dinner and I knew some of the guys were having a rough time with it being father’s days.
Chris and Davey talked about all the memories of their families and kids, Cody on the other hand was very down and out. It was hard to see him so down. Missing his family caused him to not care and he just kept eating everything in the book. Ronda and her coaching staff showed up and brought the daddies Father Day presents, which was just awesome. She definitely earned some brownie points from me just to see that she took the time. It really lifted the guys spirit on their special day.
Jessamyn and I stayed up all night and watched the sunrise. Had some cheat meals that consisted of cinnamon rolls, fruit loops, and we had a drink together while we sat by the fire and talked a lot about the fight. I could tell she was very down, I told her there was no reason for her to be down on herself, she put on a great performance. The rest of the night we just really bonded, had lots of laughs and learned we gained a ton of respect for one another. Living with your opponent is a one of a kind experience. You get to experience them as fighters in the cage but back in the house you learn one another as just people without the fight face it’s pretty cool!
At practice Josh was focused on cutting weight, everyone else was kind of training the way they want. I took an ice bath and was just trying to get the soreness out and try to get my body to heal ASAP. My hand was in a lot of pain, very swollen and bruised.
Our coaches came in and started hanging pictures that had Edmond Rousey on them. I asked what that was about and they said they were watching a movie the night before and the character reminded them of Edmond and Ronda. They went to town and hung pictures all over the gym. Everywhere you would turn you would see at least two of the pictures. I think that if you have friends and you guys can have fun playing pranks on one another then go for it, but if you have a huge rivalry going on with arguments and hatred, don’t nag at one another and keep causing further problems. Leave it be and settle it in the cage when the time is right.
Dana was called down to the gym, where he removed all the pictures but forgot the one in the sauna and what do you know Team Rousey showed up found the picture and it just added more fuel to the fire.
At weigh-ins Michael looked like a totally different person, so skinny! Josh was leaned up and shredded with muscle. Both guys made weight, we all got a laugh because Manny and Andy dropped his towel and everyone was flashed Wooten’s goodies. All he was embarrassed about what that Ronda saw it, ha ha. Everyone went home after the weigh-ins, went through the evening routine of dinner, hot tub, relaxing by the fire and journaling. The guys refueled and everyone got their good nights rest.
Josh had Louie and I go to the gym with him. We played cards and just relaxed until it was time to get ready for the fight.
Josh seemed very relaxed but motivated to do what he needed to do to win. His game plan was to out wrestle Michael and just beat him on the ground. Michael Started the fight slow and Josh did exactly as planned and came out and wrestled him, went for take down after take down. Wooten did well getting back to his feet each time. Toward the end of the round Josh got a rear naked, at that point I thought the fight was over but Michael remained composed and fought him off.
I think going into round 2 Josh was tired from all the takedown attempts. That alone takes a lot out of your muscles. Wooten Came out a lot stronger let his hands go more, used the Thai clinch well. He caught Josh with some mean hits while Josh continued to work to get him to the ground. I knew at this point the fight would go to a third round. As minutes passed I could see the fight slipping from Josh but both guys fought their hearts out and did well.
It was sad to watch Josh lose he was crushed. All he wanted to do was cry but you can tell he was having a hard time letting that happen in front of everyone. No one wants to lose especially not in this opportunity. I think Dana was happy that Michael won. You could tell from the elimination fights he wasn’t too much of a fan of both Josh and Wooten due to the way their fight styles are or the way they performed for the first time in front of him.
Dana clearly likes stand-up and the fact that Josh is a wrestler, I think he was pulling more for Michael. I think everyone who steps in the cage deserves credit. It’s not easy to put in the work but it is easy to judge. Like I said, I didn’t want Josh to lose, it was hard to see his pain and all us fighters have been in those shoes. Even though he lost I don’t feel he lost because he will grow from this and he will learn more as a fighter after tasting defeat, so in some way he still won something.
Now for the next two fights. The females, Sarah vs. Peggy and for the guys Cody vs. Anthony. Very excited for both fights. Both match-ups are the match ups that Team Tate was planning on and already preparing for!
Stay tuned next week for my next blog!