A Favorite Advances and an Injury Could Eliminate a Contestant: The Ultimate Fighter 26 Recap

September 7, 2017

Another fighter moved one step closer to becoming the inaugural UFC women’s 125-pound champion on the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion. No. 4 seed DeAnna Bennett advanced to the quarterfinals of the 16-fighter tournament by defeating Karine Gevorgyan by technical knockout in the first round, and an injury could eliminate a contestant from the competition.

“They Said They Heard It Pop”

During a live grappling session, No. 8 seed Emily Whitmire suffered a rib injury. She described the pain at an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. She was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

“I feel awful right now. Just getting to this point, it’s just like a big letdown. Getting injured in this situation is obviously not ideal,” said Whitmire. “You put everything you have into this, and to have it potentially taken away just because of an injury, it just sucks.”

Whitmire was cleared of any rib fractures or damage to a lung. She suffered an injury to muscle, or cartilage, or a combination of both. She wasn’t removed from the competition and will be evaluated daily by a physician. While the news of no broken ribs was good news, Whitmire wasn’t optimistic about continuing in the competition.

“I just don’t picture it being like two weeks for me to fight,” she told longtime friend, coach, and former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate.

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The Fight: DeAnna Bennett vs. Karine Gevorgyan

Gevorgyan, an Armenian striker, had success against the former Invicta FC strawweight title challenger during the exchanges, but it was just a matter of time before the Bennett put the No. 13 seed on her back.  Two minutes into the fight, Bennett was in top control and doing damage.  A minute later, the fight was over. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight.

“Karine was doing a pretty good job on her feet, but once DeAnna got the fight to the ground it was all over,” said UFC president Dana White.   “She got side control, started dropping bombs, and the referee had to step in.  It was a very dominant performance by DeAnna.  

“I have a range of emotions fight now, but it feels so great to have gotten in there on my very first one and came out pretty quickly with a win,” said Bennett following the TKO win. 

Next Fight Announcement

After two matches, Team Alvarez and Team Gaethje are even at 1-1.  Coach Justin Gaethje announced that the next match-up would be between No. 6 seed Montana Stewart against Team Alvarez’ overall 11th seed Ariel Beck.  Beck is a former professional boxer and Stewart is a ground specialist.  It’s the classic match-up between conflicting styles. 

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