Jessamyn Duke Says Team Tate’s Bullying on TUF ‘Turned Her Stomach’
Jessamyn Duke, women’s bantamweight contestant on this season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ spoke out against the opposing team’s bullying of Edmond Tarverdyan. Duke called the attack ‘unwarranted,’ ‘hurtful,’ and ‘a horrible example.’ The incident follows an altercation between Tarverdyan and Team Tate coach, Dennis Hallman, which illustrated the tension between this season’s head coaches (pictured above).
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
On last night’s episode of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 18,’ the UFC’s latest season of its hit reality-television show, the tensions between Team Rousey and Team Tate reached another crescendo when a ‘prank’ on the part of Team Tate left a number of fighters quite upset.
Team Rousey fighter, Jessamyn Duke, recounted the incident to Bleacher Report.
“As you saw on this episode Team Tate pulled off what they referred to as a ‘prank,’ where they left a figurine of ‘The Count’ with a coupon for an eyebrow wax in our locker room and wrote Edmond’s name on it. Honestly, it turned my stomach. That’s not a prank; it’s an unwarranted personal attack on Coach Edmond. Pranks are supposed to be mindless and funny. That wasn’t funny or tasteful. It was hurtful and mean and what I expect from high school bullies. What a horrible example to be setting; that making fun of someone’s appearance is funny and okay.
“We heard that it was Dennis Hallman who did that, but if you see the episode, Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway were involved. It was just stupid and I would hope that anyone watching the show sees the difference from pranking and bullying. Obviously we didn’t show Edmond, because it would have enraged him. Team Tate was just trying to get him kicked off the show and get him off focus. He was really important to our team because even though Ronda was the head coach, Edmond really ran the practices and was our main strategist. Plus, Ronda had already told Dana White that we would knock off the bullshit, so we didn’t respond. Team Tate really took advantage of the fact that we were going to stand by our word to Dana, and as a result, really tried to bully us.”
Edmond Tarverdyan and Dennis Hallman, a coach on Team Rousey, were involved in a heated altercation earlier on the show. As Duke describes, most of the fighters thought it was Hallman until last night’s episode aired. Following that altercation, UFC President Dana White had warned Rousey and her team to stay professional.
All these antics branch out from the central conflict of this show, that being the intense rivalry between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey. Those two will, of course, have their opportunity to settle their dispute in the Octagon on December 28 at the co-main event fight of UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2.