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TUF 23 recap: Joanna & Claudia get physical on episode 2

Clauda vs. Joanna

This season, both the women's strawweight division and the men's light heavyweight division will be competing. At the end of the season if both Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha, they'll be fighting on the TUF 23 Finale LIVE with Joanna Champion defending her strawweight title.

Here's what you missed on the first show.

Here are the teams:

  • Coach Gadelha: Tatiana Suarez, Andrew Sanchez, Kate Jackson, Eric Spicely, Amanda Cooper, Abdel Medjedoub, Lanchana Green, Cory Hendricks
  • Coach Jedrzejczyk: JJ Aldrich, Joshua Stansbury, Jamie Moyle, Khalil Rountree, Ashley Yoder, Myron Dennis, Helen Harper, Elias Urbina IV

Jedrzejczyk picked Khalil Rountree vs. Cory Hendricks for the first fight but that's later to come. First is the TUF fighters being brought to their palatial estate for the filming of the season. Both Rountree and Harper are super stoked. Medjedoub is the last to find a bed but the only room left with a bed has three women. Being that he's married and of the Muslim faith Harper completely understands why he doesn't want to do it. Hendricks offers to stay with the girls to help Medjedoub out.

This leads to Hendricks having both feet checked out at the doctor's office, and they do look pretty swollen. The doctor says he has contusions but no fractures, and that he should avoid striking with kicks for a few days. From there we go to a Team Gadelha meeting, where she splits up the men and the women to train separately with her assistant coaches, with Gadelha there to oversee and give advice to everyone.

Before Jedrzejczyk's team can even hit the gym for their session, Gadelha and Jedrzejczyk get into a shoving match -- that's our teaser before the commercial.

As you'd expect everybody gets between them to break it up before it can get physical. Gadelha says she's not going to let herself be bullied and let Jedrzejczyk get in her head. Dana White: "These two have so much animosity between each other I don't know how they're going to make it through the season."

Jedrzejczyk reveals her philosophy is completely different from Gadelha's - she believes the women should train with the men. Jamie Moyle is completely down with it because she thinks training like the champ trains will take her to a whole new level. Jedrzejczyk: "I will try to help them as much as I can."

Hendricks and Rountree are joking about the fact they are both from Syndicate MMA yet have to fight each other. Moyle is heartbroken (she's from Syndicate too) about it but understands it has to happen. Gadelha and her assistants are trying hard to help Hendricks do alternate training and get the swelling down so he's able to stand and fight.

Rountree talks about all the reasons fighting changed his life - having no father figure, not fitting into his peer group because he liked punk rock and skateboarding, being overweight - and training with his brother and other fighters gave him something to  feel confident about. "I lost the weight of a complete man just to be in this position - just to be on the stage to show the world what I can do."

Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha get into another smack talking session before their fighters can even weigh-in. Jedrzejczyk wears the title belt around her waist just to rub it in Gadelha's face, then puts it over her shoulder and talks smack to her boxing coach, which pisses Gadelha off since she says he can't even speak English. Gadelha claims Jedrzejczyk didn't even beat her the first time (it was a split decision).

Rountree is 204. Hendricks is 204. Fight's on!

Helen Harper was sick this whole episode but everybody looked in on her and took care of her - especially Rountree. Dana White is giving out four bonuses this season - two for best performance at $25,000 each and two fighters get $25,000 each for being in the fight of the season.

* Khalil Rountree (Team Jedrzejczyk) vs. Cory Hendricks (Team Gadelha)

Hendricks gets a takedown at 40 seconds but Rountree gets back up quickly. Rountree stuffs the next attempt and Herb Dean forces Hendricks to stand. Hendricks gets another takedown and gets Rountree's back. He's got a rear naked choke in. Rountree taps at 2:33 and TEAM GADELHA GETS THE FIRST WIN.

Next week: Tatiana Suarez (Gadelha) vs. JJ Aldrich (Jedrzejczyk). See you then!