Something new was presented to the female strawweights and coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 20 Wednesday night, as the 16 fighters were seeded prior to team selection.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement, which meant after either Anthony Pettis or Gilbert Melendez made a selection, the other team automatically received the other fighter assigned to face the selected one.
Unlike previous seasons where only a handful – or less – of the fighters actually made it to the UFC, all 16 were told they are signed to contracts. Two “Performance of the Season” and one “Fight of the Season” were put out there, with $25,000 being awarded for each. Also, along with winning the strawweight title, the tournament champion would get a new Harley-Davidson.
Here’s a look at what the bracket shapes up to be:
No. 1 Carla Esparza (Team Pettis) vs. No. 16 Angela Hill (Team Melendez)
No. 8 Bec Rawlings (Team Melendez) vs. No. 9 Justine Kish (Team Pettis)
No. 5 Aisling Daly (Team Pettis) vs. No. 12 Angela Magana (Team Melendez)
No. 4 Jessica Penne (Team Pettis) vs. No. 13 Lisa Ellis (Team Melendez)
No. 2 Joanne Calderwood (Team Pettis) vs. No. 15 Emily Kagan (Team Melendez)
No. 7 Rose Namajunas (Team Melendez) vs. No. 10 Alex Chambers (Team Pettis)
No. 6 Felice Herrig (Team Pettis) vs. No. 11 Heather Clark (Team Melendez)
No. 3 Tecia Torres (Team Melendez) vs. No. 14 Randa Markos (Team Pettis)
The first fight selected was Torres vs. Markos, as Melendez wanted to put his best fighter out there. After two back-and-forth rounds, a third and final sudden victory round was declared. Markos used her wrestling to control the action, claiming the upset via decision.
Next up will be Calderwood vs. Kagan on FOX Sports 1 Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.