In the latest edition of her weekly FO blog, TUF 23 competitor Lanchana Green gives a firsthand perspective of her semi-final bout with Amanda Cooper.
So this is the episode I’ve been dreading. First off, I just want to thank everyone for their support so far this season. You’ve been great, I’m gutted I didn’t live up to my own and other people’s expectations of becoming season 23’s TUF winner but this doesn’t mean it’s the end for me. I look forward to fighting again and showing you all how much I have improved and developed since the show.
I was able to watch the episode a couple of days before it aired and man that was rough. It was just like reliving it all over again. I must have had about four hours sleep as I’m now wide awake writing this blog at 4:45am. Mistakes were made and I didn’t perform to my best, however that’s not to take anything away from Amanda, she was the better fighter that day.
It was touch and go for a while as she struggled to make the weight. I didn’t know she was going to miss weight until about an hour before the weigh in. The coaches were great and made sure I had no idea so I could focus on my own weight, which actually wasn’t a cut. I just hit some pads with Rafael to get a sweat on and I made weight fine.
There was a chance she could miss weight completely and I would get a bye to the final. I was really hoping this wasn’t going to happen, even more so now Amanda won, I’d have wrongfully taken her place. It wasn’t the weight difference that won her the fight. She had a better ground game and was a step ahead of me in each transition.
Earlier in the episode Miesha Tate joined us to coach a session. She had a good coaching style and really helped me with one of the techniques I was struggling with. However I felt like the new white belt that turns up to BJJ class and kneels on people’s fingers, stomps people’s toes, accidentally hits them in the groin! Poor Tatiana got the brunt of it but she did her fair share of launching me and dumping me left, right and center so I’d say it was pretty even.
Onto the fight. Amanda and I exchange a few strikes and my movement felt good. I land some straights and avoid some of her hooks but then she clips me with a whopping head kick, which I totally didn’t see coming. Amanda backs me up and gets the takedown. From here she keeps top position throughout, I don’t feel like I took much damage. Not a lot of her strikes were landing clean but I knew she was winning and it was like my mind was racing but also blank at the same time. Dana was right in his post-fight recap. It looked like I froze and didn’t know what to do, that’s exactly what happened.
I do know how to get back to my feet, I’m not a complete beginner in jiu-jitsu. I just couldn’t for the life of me figure it out in the moment, I think it was only Cory’s corner advice that got me through. He’s a very professional and calm cornerman, by the way.
I try to scramble but Amanda is slick and takes my back, her huge biceps are locking in a choke immediately. She gets the body triangle and I can’t find her hands so I start trying to push on the elbow but she gets the finish. I honestly never thought I would tap to a rear naked choke, I always thought I would just go to sleep but I tapped and that upset me.
It’s pretty clear how devastated I was. My coach, Martin Wilby couldn’t watch the end, but he immediately picked out some things I can work on so I can’t wait to get back down the gym with him.
It’s been about four months since we finished filming TUF. In that time I have improved exponentially, partially due to a stint I did in Brazil at Nova União – home to Claudia Gadelha. It was sink or swim. The environment, the weather, the language barrier – the whole situation was harder than six weeks in the TUF house but one that brought me on massively and I have come back to the UK a different fighter.
I can’t change what happened but I can choose what to do from there, I am very excited to fight again and show you all just what I am capable of and what I will achieve.
Again thank you to my fans, family and friends for the support and to my sponsors, Mindsport Consulting, Upgraded Grappler, SL Sports Massage, Steffan Abel chiropractor, Revgear Europe, Functional Self, Led Supply and Fit and My Protein.
UK fans can watch The Ultimate Fighter at 3am (BST) every Thursday morning on BT Sport (repeated at 10pm later that same day). The show is available on Fox Sports in the US (check your local listings).