Shayna Baszler – The Queen of Spades Ultimate Fighter 18 Weekly Q&A Episode 3

Shayna Baszler – The Queen of Spades Ultimate Fighter 18 Weekly Q&A Episode 3

By Dave Carpinello




One of women’s mixed martial arts true pioneers with an extensive fan following, “The Queen of Spades” Shayna Baszler is a member of Team Rousey on The Ultimate Fighter 18 Team Rousey vs. Team Tate. Baszler has been fighting professionally since 2003 and has amassed a record of 15-8-0 with notable wins over Julie Kedzie, Sarah D’Alelio, Alexis Davis, Roxanne Modafferi and Keiko Tamai. The victory over Tamai was groundbreaking for the sport as Baszler became the first fighter to win a fight with the daunted “Twister” submission.  Training under “The Warmaster” and catch-submission specialist, Josh Barnett, Baszler was definitely one of the favorites on this season. In her fight to get into the TUF house, Baszler faced Colleen Schneider and won via an armbar submission in the first round. On Episode 2, she faced Julianna Pena and in a shocking upset was submitted in the second round. Shayna will be giving her answers to your questions weekly every Monday throughout the season!



Here are some of your questions and Shayna’s answers from TUF 18 Episode 3:



1. I am a big fan of Ronda Rousey and I know how reality TV works, 95% of everything gets edited out and you only get snippets, but the way the show made it appear, Ronda was very supportive of you after your fight, and was almost cold toward Chris Beal after his fight. Basically my question is, is that an accurate portrayal of how things went or was she more supportive then we saw?


Shayna Baszler – Ronda was just as supportive towards Chris as she was towards me after my fight. I have heard the comments that Ronda clearly cared more about the girls more than the guys and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The part were you saw us all in the room and Ronda was like ‘Alright girls get ready’, that was after she had already talked to Chris and one of the girls was fighting in two days and we didn’t know who because obviously we didn’t control. There was no favorites… at this point anyway.



2. Up through last week’s episode how much interaction did you have with Dana White?


Shayna Baszler – There was some on fight days, when we were waiting for the fights to start he would come over and talk to us about how things were going in the house and with our training. So far he hadn’t been over to the house nor had he really been attending of the practices. Up to this point in the show, I would say our interactions amounted to nothing more than small talk.



3. So what was the deal with Julianna Pena’s fake English accent that she was sporting around the TUF house?


Shayna Baszler – We had two of the funniest dudes from England (David Grant and Michael Wootten) in the house and the first few days we were giving them a hard time about not being able to understand them. So Julianna took it upon herself to talk in this horrible accent all of the time and especially when they were around. They mentioned that it was annoying, and when someone points it out like that, it makes it even more obvious and it started annoying everyone when she was acting like that. So finally we had to tell her that no liked it, no one thought it was funny, and to stop talking like that. Nobody was mean about it, it was more like hey that is annoying, can you stop it and she took it real personal like everyone was hating on her. Julianna had a knack for getting on people’s nerves like when she……



4. Following Chris Beal’s loss to Chris Holdsworth, your team was down 0-2, what was the team morale like in the locker room after his loss?


Shayna Baszler – Right at that moment we were all kind of bummed out but we got fired up really fast. We had lost two fights that I still feel like we should have won and it sucked, not to mention that Ronda and the rest of us are super competitive. She doesn’t like losing anything to Miesha Tate, so she felt bad for us and she was upset about losing. Overall though, at that point everyone was fired up and wanted to be in the next fight, to be that fighter that would turn it around and give us back control of the fights. There was no gloom and doom at this point. Our team was already very close, so everyone wanted to win and reward the coaches with a great performance.



5. What really happened at the bar between your coaches and the Team Tate coaches? and does anyone on your team (including the coaches) not talk mad shit?


Shayna Baszler – What you saw happen between the coaches can be summed up in one word – HATE. I think both Ronda and Miesha were doing things to rile the other up and even though Miesha does a better job in her interviews of looking innocent she does just as much to Ronda as she gets from Ronda. You should know by now that Ronda says whatever she wants regardless if it crosses someone and the biggest thing you should have learned from that altercation was that if you mess with one of the Armenians, you better be ready to mess with all of them. As far as the people on my team always talking shit, I think it comes down to the fact that we didn’t care when the cameras were rolling, we were not doing anything different than Team Tate but we weren’t concerned about putting on a show when we knew the cameras were on. What you see is what you get as far as that is concerned.



8. Were there any early in-house relationships forming between any of the guys and the girls?


Shayna Baszler – You saw on the episode the dealings between Julianna and Chris and it was even more, if you can believe that, than what was shown on the last episode. Chris is kind of an awkward guy so it was definitely awkward watching him try to flirt. Julianna seemed to like and be good at flirting and so those two really went at it when we first got into the house. Other than that it was pretty normal so far, no real tension, no real weirdness but…..



9. Conspiracy theories have already shown up, was that something that was more prevalent in the beginning than the episodes have eluded to?


Shayna Baszler – There was a fight every other day so anyone could be less than 24 hours away from a weigh-in. So everybody was cutting weight and obsessively hitting the scales, so when Jessamyn Duke went up to Roxanne Modafferi and made the comment about “I know what’s going on here”, they blew it out proportion. Team Tate thought someone was telling Jessamyn all of their team’s picks and inner discussions and so that is were you see the scene where Cody Bollinger was telling the coaches. What you didn’t see was that then they called back in the fighters from Team Tate and basically tried to bait Julianna to see if she was telling our team anything. So the coaches say “Alright Roxanne is going to be the next fight” and right after that Julianna left to use the bathroom (legitimately) but they all took it as she was acting very suspicious which led to the scene in the van where her teammates were heckling her. So in the end, she wasn’t doing anything and her team just blew up over nothing. It was actually pretty funny and entertaining.



10. When this week’s fight between Roxanne Modafferi and Jessica Rakoczy was announced, what did you think of the match-up?


Shayna Baszler – I thought it was a match-up that made sense for both teams. The only other two girls left on our team were like eight foot tall giants and Roxanne and Jessica are the two smallest fighters in the house, so it was fight Jessica or Roxanne would have to fight one of the giants. Our coaches never really discussed what match-ups they wanted before they were announced but they did tell us that this was one on their list. Roxanne is a really old friend of mine and Jessica is someone that I was quickly becoming friends with in the house, so I was excited to see this fight.



Keep your horns up and for those inquiring about autographed pictures, I am working on getting something set up and I’ll have the details soon. Don’t miss this week’s all new episode, Wednesday on FOX Sports 1! – The Queen of Spades



Send in your questions following this week’s episode.  You can submit your questions for Shayna by sending them to or you can post them below and she will answer them each week following the next show on FOX Sports 1! You can also follow Shayna on her Twitter page and Facebook Fan page.



  1. This week on MMAFighting’s TUF 18 blog with Julianna Pena, she stated that the losses of all the veterans had the younger girls in the house saying, “…Out with the old, in the with the new.” How does this make you feel as a pioneer in the sport, and as one of the vets she was speaking of?