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411’s The Ultimate Fighter 23: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia Report 7.06.16

July 6, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka

The Ultimate Fighter 23: Episode Twelve
Welcome to twelve 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, Amanda Cooper defeated Lanchana Green via RD1 submission to move onto the finals. This week we get the final two fights of the season, 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).

* Finalists Amanda Cooper and Andrew Sanchez get to relax by the pool as they wait to see how they will face off with in the finals.

* We get to see Suarez and Jackson workout; they are glad to see their team succeed, but this is business and they know that once they get into the cage, they will bang and fight for the finals spot.

* Claudia and Joanna still do not get along, Claudia tries to act like she doesn’t exist, but can’t wait until they finally fight again. We go to weigh-ins; Jackson weighs in at 115.5, while Suarez weighs in at 115.

* We get the usual fight day things, both say they feel good, are still re-hydrating and explain why they think that they will win their fight. They both say that they worked hard to get here and how much it will mean to them if they win the UFC contract.

Strawweight Bout – Tatiana Suarez (3-0 MMA, 1-0 TUF) vs. Kate Jackson (7-2-1 MMA, 1-0 TUF): ROUND ONE: Both are Team Claudia fighters. The base stats are really even, Suarez is the favorite in the eyes of many, but Jackson has the experience advantage. Suarez rushes out, takes control of the cage and lands leg kicks and tries to find the range for her jab. She closes distance and takes Jackson down and basically works a side headlock takedown. Suarez keeps top position, as she works for side control. Jackson has a bruise mark on her thigh that is the exact replica of Suarez’s foot, damn that looks nasty. Suarez gets riding time as she works from the half guard, she postures up and looks for a possible guillotine and also delivers knees to the chest of Jackson. Suarez keeps working for the guillotine, and Jackson taps. That was complete domination for Tatiana Suarez.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Tatiana Suarez via RD1 (2:52) submission

* Amanda Cooper (1-1 MMA, 2-0 TUF) vs. Tatiana Suarez (3-0 MMA, 1-0 TUF) is the strawweight final fight.

* Jackson felt she let not only herself, but also let her coaches and teammates down.

* Stansbury and Rountree discuss having to fight each other, it’s crazy but they are still friends and try to have fun together. Rountree is grateful for the second chance, and doesn’t want to make a mistake like he did when he lost his previous fight in the house.

* Joanna is happy for both of her fighters, but at the same time, hates that they have to fight each other. Stansbury feels Rountree’s cardio and grappling are a weakness. Rountree knows that if Stansbury gets him down, that it will be a long night, so he wants to keep it on the feet.

* Time for the weigh-ins; Stansbury is 204.5, while Rountree is 205.5.

* Both guys prepare for the fight, with Rountree feeling the pressure. He already lost once, and feels if he loses again, that he will not get another shot with the UFC.

Light Heavyweight Bout – Josh Stansbury (7-2 MMA, 1-0 TUF) vs. Khalil Rountree (4-0 MMA, 0-1 TUF): ROUND ONE: Both are Team Joanna fighters. Stansbury has the experience edge, but Rountree is younger and has a 2.5-inch reach advantage. Here we go. They come out and both look for distance center cage, Rountree connects well and stays away from the ground. Rountree backs off Stansbury, they work along the cage but Stansbury separates. Body kick and jabs by Rountree, back to the body with the kicks and he is keeping good distance and landing well with the body kicks. Rountree continues to control the distance well, not allowing Stansbury inside and landing solid stuff. Stansbury finally fires back with and connects with a good three punch combo, Rountree rushes him to the cage but Stansbury separates and then lands good knee strikes. Stansbury is starting to land the jabs now, finding his distance and peppering Rountree with the jabs. Rountree then clips Stansbury and drops him, follows up with the ground and pound and the fight is called off!

OFFICIAL RESULT: Khalil Rountree via RD1 (4:15) TKO

* The light heavyweight finals will be Andrew Sanchez (7-2 MMA, 2-0 TUF) vs. Khalil Rountree (4-0 MMA, 1-1 TUF).

* Dana was happy to see them go to war and forget that they were friends as they fought. Rountree makes the most of his second chance and is now a finalist. Dana loved the fight, and is also very happy he brought Rountree back. Rountree was overcome with emotion that he pulled off the win, he was once 300 pounds and had no direction, found MMA and is now poised to change his life.

* Joanna consoles Stansbury, he says wanted to win, but lost to a great competitor. Dana praises him for his effort, saying that it was a great fight.

* Dana puts over the season, and has the finalists face off. Joanna and Claudia have an intense face off, Joanna gets in her face and talks shit. Dana has to separate them to make sure thing do not get out of control. Joanna says Claudia is afraid of her and calls her a little whore. Claudia wants to fight so badly, but knows she has to wait and do it in a professional way.

* The finale is Friday night, and 411 will have live coverage as always.

* LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT FINALS: Andrew Sanchez (7-2 MMA, 2-0 TUF) vs. Khalil Rountree (4-0 MMA, 1-1 TUF)
* STRWAWEIGHT FINALS: Amanda Cooper (1-1 MMA, 2-0 TUF) vs. Tatiana Suarez (3-0 MMA, 2-0 TUF)

Thanks for joining me this season for Ultimate Fighter coverage!