Shayna Baszler – The Queen of Spades Ultimate Fighter 18 Weekly Q&A Episode 7
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 7:
1. I liked that this week’s episode showed more of what it was like training with Team Rousey. Which brings me to my question since they didn’t show your take on it, how were your scrunchies and fish-out-of-water moves? And was there any other training moves like that that you liked or found cool?
Shayna Baszler – We practiced twice a day for six weeks, so we learned a lot of great training exercises and techniques over that time span. There was something new everyday, especially for me since I lost that first fight. Since I didn’t think I was going to fight again, unless someone got injured or something, I was totally taking advantage of all the new and different techniques. As far as why you didn’t see me while they were doing the “scrunchies and fish-out-of-water moves”, I had a fever and missed a day or two of training.
2. Do you think that there is anyone on Miesha Tate’s coaching staff that could kick Edmond Tarverdyan’s ass? And do you really think that they were being racist with the pranks they were playing on Edmond?
Shayna Baszler – In what setting? Because if the fight took place outside of the cage or ring, none of them would stand a chance against Edmond because he is a gangster! The thing about whether or not you or I think what they were doing was racist depends on how you look at the situation. If you call my Mexican friend a derogatory term, it may not offend him but it may offend his friends or other people. It is something personal and if they (Ronda and others) thought it was racist, then it to them it was. Personally, I didn’t think it was racist but I also don’t disagree with them. I thought the whole situation was ridiculous, they kept poking at Rhonda and Edmond…. Greg Nelson once told me that you can’t keep poking a monkey with a stick and then get upset when it goes ape shit on you! How can Miesha rip Ronda for getting upset when she keeps pulling shit like that and it wasn’t just that incident, that is how Miesha is all the time.
3. On this week’s episode it showed Dana White giving fighters advice about what they should be doing during their fights. What did you think about that and isn’t that the coaches job?
Shayna Baszler – Dana cares about the fighters and I don’t know if he was necessary giving advice as much as he was giving encouragement. His business is fighting and he talked to all of the fighters throughout the duration of the show. He cares about the fighters and promoting the sport, so I think your reading way more into it than it actually was.
4. Can you please go back one show to when Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington fought. I am dying to know, did someone not make weight? They didn’t put the weights on stats that week and they kind of glanced over the weigh in. I thought it was a bit strange since other week’s such as this one they say the weights at weigh ins, and list them on screen stats.
Shayna Baszler – Once again I think you guys are reading too much into it. Nobody missed weight up through last week’s fight. Both of them made weight and the producers probably just didn’t show it because the fight went three rounds and there were time constraints. Some fans may not know but if someone misses weight, the fight doesn’t happen because everything is run trough the athletic/fight commission. They come in and conduct the weigh-ins, so to think it would just be sweep under the rug for the show, it wouldn’t and didn’t happen like that.
5. I have seen on several websites and forums that Anthony Gutierrez has been referring to Sarah Moras as “Sarah More Ass”, is there any insight that you can give us to her nickname?
Shayna Baszler – Not really, Anthony is just like that with everyone in the house and he called Sarah “More Ass” because she has an ass on her… I don’t think he meant it in a bad way or anything, that is just how he is.
6. What did you think of Michael Wootten’s victory over Josh Hill and was your team excited about the remaining match-ups?
Shayna Baszler – I thought that the way Wooten handled Josh’s style of fighting was awesome. It took him a round or so to figure Josh out but I am not joking, after the first round I turned to the person next to me and said, Wooten figured him out. As much as everyone, including Dana White hates Josh’s style of fighting, it is a style that is hard to deal with when someone is good at holding you somewhere in the cage. It is difficult to fight that way and Wooten did a great job dealing with it, overcoming and winning the fight. As always, after the fight we were all pumped up and since we knew the remaining fights a lot of the pressure was off because everyone left knew who they were fighting and when they were fighting. So we were all relaxed and excited about the upcoming match-ups.
7. They showed Father’s Day and Ronda handing out gifts to the guys who were in the house that had kids. As a woman, did you feel left out since I know you have a father and would imagine most of the fighters had fathers who were unable to share that day together because they were in the house?
Shayna Baszler – I don’t think it is the same thing. I think that having a kid that is being kept away from you while you are on the show is different. That is how I felt about it and that may be different from how other people in the house felt. I know that my dad was totally stoked that I was there at the TUF house and a part of The Ultimate Fighter and he was at my fight to get into the house. So he knew where I was and that there wasn’t going to be any communication while I was there. I think it is completely different than having a young kid miles away at home not understanding why he his father isn’t at home. I think that situation would be much harder for the father of those kids than it was for us that have fathers. It is different being a dad than having a dad.
8. How hard was it to be away from your significant others?
Shayna Baszler – That was a lot harder than you might think. It is not so much that you are missing your significant other but that you are missing the whole routine of things that you would normally be doing. And things like if you get pissed off or excited, the person you would normally call to talk to, you couldn’t. The people you would talk to after a fight didn’t even know you were fighting on the day you fought. It was a weird experience but more so than just missing people, it was missing the routine of your life and those involved in it.
9. Where did your coach Edmond go after he left practice because he saw the poster of him depicted as “Edmond Rousey” hanging in the sauna room at the TUF gym?
Shayna Baszler – I have no idea and still to this day I have no clue. There may be others who were involved with the show that know but I am not one of them. All I know is that he disappeared, we had a great practice and afterwards everyone was like where was Edmond? He just left and I couldn’t agree more with his decision because he knew that he needed to remove himself from the situation. Our team had made a promise not to retaliate against Team Tate for their pranks and we just took the higher road…. or did we?
10. So with the announcement of the last two fights, Peggy Morgan vs Sara Moras and Anthony Gutierrez vs Cody Bollinger, what did you think of the match-ups?
Shayna Baszler – I thought that both of our fighters (Peggy and Anthony) had the tools to win their fights. Anthony has a lot of heart and he generally fights to the skill level of his opponent, he fights up or down depending upon that. As much as Cody was a number one pick, Anthony was in a position to surprise a lot of people but could he? For Peggy, she was trained to beat Sarah’s biggest strength and so I was really looking forward to both of the match-ups.
Keep your horns up and don’t miss this week’s all new episode, Wednesday on FOX Sports 1! It is a recap of the first half of the season, so I will be recapping the same next week but if you have any questions that haven’t been answered yet, send them in! – The Queen of Spades
Send in your questions following this week’s episode. You can submit your questions for Shayna by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.