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411’s The Ultimate Fighter 23: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia Report 6.29.16

June 29, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka

The Ultimate Fighter 23: Episode Eleven
Welcome to episode eleven of the Ultimate Fighter 23. This season, we will see UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and No. 1 contender Claudia Gadelha as the coaches for the season. 16 fighters, 8 strawweight and 8 light heavyweight, will compete this season to earn a UFC contract. Last week, Andrew Sanchez destroyed Eric Spicely in under a minute to advance to the men’s light heavyweight finals; Corey Hendricks pulled out of the competition due to his lingering injuries, Khalil Rountree was named his replacement. Also, Claudia humbled Joanna in the coach’s challenge. Today we get Amanda Cooper (1-1 MMA, 1-0 TUF) vs. Lanchana Green (2-1 MMA, 1-0 TUF).

* Team Claudia works out, and she surprises her team with Miesha Tate as a guest coach for the day. During a trip to Brazil, Claudia had offered that Tate could work out with her and her team while there and they became friends. Tate was of course working wrestling drills, focusing on takedowns and when to not only drive them but also when to abandon them.

* Back at the house, Amanda Cooper is having issues making weight so close together. She had never made 115 before the show, and in between fights she has ballooned to 129 or so on her normal diet. She’s made big cuts before, and tries not to be worried, but she’s not advertising that she’s having issues.

* Claudia and the coaches are not gameplanning with the fighters for the fight, since they are from the same team. They will help when asked, but the fighters are gameplanning on their own and working more with fellow fighters.

* Back at the house, the fighters have a bowling tournament (using UFC water bottles); a good time was had by all. We then head back to the gym, where we focus on Lanchana Green. She was a muay thai fighter, but admitted that it did not pay well. When the UFC brought in the 115-weight class, she made the move to MMA in hopes of making a living as a fighter.

* Team Joanna trains, as they are focused on the Josh Stansbury vs. Khalil Rountree fight, which will ensure them one fighter in the finals. Neither man is thrilled about facing a teammate, but they will be professional and try to have a great fight.

* We get more fun with Amanda Cooper trying to cut weight. She was 128 in the morning, and is down to 120 but was feeling rough. She needs to do four more ponds in the morning, she knows he can do it, but hopes she can do it fast.

* WEIGH-INS: Cooper woke and up and was having difficulty making the weight. Claudia says making weight three times in six-weeks is not easy, and that Cooper underestimated how difficult it was. Dana says this is where you find out about mental dedication. Cooper hit the sauna and continued the weight cut with an hour to go. Andrew Sanchez felt her cutting technique was poor, as she mainly sat in the sauna and didn’t do much activity to help get the weight off. We finally go to weigh in, and Cooper weighed in at 117.5. She gets an hour to drop the 1.5 that she’s over. Green weighs in at 115. We then see team Claudia rally around Cooper, prepping a bath and getting towels ready to help Cooper drop weight. She used the whole hour, and when she weighed in again (stripped down) she hit 116.

* FIGHT DAY: We get our usual warm-ups and both fighters explaining why they think that they can win. On the history of the show, those who have had tough weigh cuts rarely win; maybe Cooper can change that.

Amanda Cooper (1-1 MMA, 1-0 TUF) vs. Lanchana Green (2-1 MMA, 1-0 TUF): ROUND ONE: Green out quickly to center, they circle but she appears as if she wants to push the pace, which I think is smart. Copper connects with some jabs and is closing distance well early as she backs off Green. She grazes Green with a head kick, continues to back her down and is connecting more now. Cooper pushes her to the cage and to the mat they go. Green pulls her into guard, but Cooper then gets side control as she tried to kick her away. Cooper with some good elbows to the body, starts to land some strikes but Green gets her back to guard. Cooper works knees to the thighs and is landing measured strikes, low volume but connecting. Cooper gets to mount but Green rolls and Cooper gets her back. Cooper rolls her and gets a rear naked choke and green has to tap. That was a smart and strong performance by Cooper considering her weigh cut issues.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Amanda Cooper via RD1 (4:25) submission

* Cooper is obviously excited about the victory, while Green is emotional about the loss. Dana was shocked by Green’s lack of groundwork, saying she appeared very nervous. Claudia says it was difficult to watch her fighters like that, but she is proud of both of them.

* Green totally breaks down in the locker room, she’s totally devastated; Cooper shows her respect and they hug.

NEXT WEEK: The final episode of the season sees two fights as Tatiana Suarez (3-0 MMA, 1-0 TUF) faces Kate Jackson > (7-2-1 MMA, 1-0 TUF) and Josh Stansbury (7-2 MMA, 1-0 TUF) faces Khalil Rountree (4-0 MMA, 0-1 TUF).

* LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT FINALS: Andrew Sanchez (7-2 MMA, 1-0 TUF) vs. ???
* STRWAWEIGHT FINALS: Amanda Cooper (1-1 MMA, 2-0 TUF) vs. ???

TEAM CLAUDIA
* Andrew Sanchez LHW (7-2 MMA, 2-0 TUF)
* Amanda Cooper SW (1-1 MMA, 2-0 TUF)
* Kate Jackson SW (7-2-1 MMA, 1-0 TUF)
* Tatiana Suarez SW (3-0 MMA, 1-0 TUF)
* Lanchana Green SW (2-1 MMA, 1-1 TUF)
* Eric Spicely LHW (8-0 MMA, 1-1 TUF)
* Cory Hendricks LHW (3-0 MMA, 1-0 TUF) {Out Due to Medical}
* Abdel Medjedoub LHW (3-0 MMA, 0-1 TUF)

TEAM JOANNA
* Josh Stansbury LHW (7-2 MMA, 1-0 TUF)
* Khalil Rountree LHW (4-0 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
* Ashley Yoder SW (4-1 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
* Jamie Moyle SW (3-1 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
* Elias Urbina LHW (3-0 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
* Helen Harper SW (4-1 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
* Myron Dennis LHW (12-4 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
* JJ Aldrich SW (2-1 MMA, 0-1 TUF)

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