UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is right in the middle of her first stint as Ultimate Fighter coach for season 18 of the reality show opposite longtime rival Miesha Tate.
The show debuts on September 4 and will be the first time in history that both men and women will be featured on The Ultimate Fighter. Bantamweight fighters from both divisions will square off, with Rousey and Tate as coaches, leading into a finale tentatively scheduled for December.
Just a few weeks ago, UFC president Dana White commented how the show has been quite taxing with Rousey and Tate going at each other every day in the gym to the point where he was reminded of another famous Ultimate Fighter coaching feud (via Jeff Cain of MMAWeekly):
It's going exactly the way you'd expect it to be going—bad. Miesha and Ronda hate each other. It's like literally crazy drama every day. It's Ken (Shamrock) and Tito (Ortiz) type stuff. I don't even know if some of that stuff will make TV. It's bad. Those two do not like each other and their camps do not like each other. It is pure f—king mayhem every day.
For her part, Rousey didn't quite unleash that much vitriol for Tate and her time on TUF so far, but it's been a painstaking process that has taken its toll on her.
"So far it's tiring. It's every day, and it's been a very exciting season, but it's also been very taxing on everybody," Rousey said during a Metro PCS chat on Wednesday night. "I think we're all going to be very happy to get home. I'm sure all the fans will be happy with the result."
Her coaching battle with Tate will certainly be one of the most interesting pieces of this season. The two fighters have been connected with each other for the better part of the last couple of years while competing in Strikeforce before moving over to the UFC in 2013.
Rousey rarely holds her tongue when it comes to Tate, but on Wednesday sarcasm seemed to be her best friend when talking about her fellow Ultimate Fighter coach.
"We're fantastic," Rousey said about her working relationship with Tate. "We cooked cupcakes together last night, had a sleeping party and braided each other's hair."
It also appears there is no love lost when it comes to Rousey and her dealings with Tate's team of coaches, most notably her boyfriend and fellow UFC bantamweight Bryan Caraway. Rousey has never been much of a fan of Caraway, and she still harbors more than a little ill will towards him, probably only magnified after being forced to deal with him daily on the reality show.
Rousey pulled no punches when asked whom would she face if she could do one crossover superfight, because there is only one name on her list.
"People ask me this question all the time and it's the same answer all the time—I would love to beat the s—t out of Bryan Caraway, but apparently it's not legal," Rousey said. "And he seems like the kind of b—tch that would sue me. Big time."
If those comments are the tip of the iceberg, TUF 18 certainly appears to be a powder keg just waiting to explode. The producers will probably be working overtime to bleep out what will likely be a lot of four-letter words peppered throughout the broadcast.
Stepping away from her rivalry with Tate, Rousey did answer a question everyone has been curious about since the show was announced—how is the dynamic with men and women living in the TUF house together for the first time?
"Surprisingly it's much more professional than I would have thought," Rousey revealed. "I wouldn't say it's an overly sexual season, but I think it's a much more emotional one."
The filming on the show will continue for the next few weeks until it wraps and finally airs on the new Fox Sports 1 network starting on Wednesday night, September 4 at 10 p.m. EDT.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!