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The Ultimate Fighter 26, Episode 8 results: Emily Whitmire vs. Christina Marks

Christina Marks (left) takes on Emily Whitmire (right) on The Ultimate Fighter 26
UFC

If Emily Whitmire was having problems with her ribs, it didn’t show when it came time to fight.

The 26-year-old fighter made short work of Christina Marks on this week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 26, needing less than a minute to secure an armbar submission and the final spot in the second round of this season’s tournament to crown the UFC’s inaugural flyweight champion.

Perhaps mindful of an injury to her mid-section that she suffered in training earlier in the season, Whitmire rushed Marks at the opening bell and immediately took her down to the mat. Marks scooted her way over to the cage and was able to kick off of it to create a scramble situation, but this only led to Whitmire attacking her back.

Though Marks was initially able to shake Whitmire off, she left her arm exposed and Whitmire locked it in a submission hold to earn the physical and verbal tap.

Whitmire, 2-1 as a professional, came into the fight as the No. 8 seed and arguably authored the most impressive finish of the tournament’s preliminary round. She was cornered by her friend and former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate.

Coach Eddie Alvarez’s was concerned about the No. 9 seeded Marks’s limited grappling and those fears came to fruition. Marks (8-8) loses for the first time since making the move from bantamweight to flyweight.

In other drama, Alvarez’s feud with Lauren Murphy boiled over when she made the decision to go and train with Justin Gaethje’s blue team instead. When she delivered the news to him, it did not go over well with the former UFC and Bellator titleholder.

“I’ve fought for 14 years, numerous world titles, everybody I bring in here, coaches, fought for numerous world titles. Boxing champions, the best of the best,” Alvarez said on the show. “If you don’t see value in what we’re doing and I’ve been putting my heart and soul into this, then I mean, pardon my words but f**k you.”

Alvarez also referred to Murphy as a “cancer” that had been removed from his team.


Related: Lauren Murphy opens up on rift with her Ultimate Fighter 26 coach Eddie Alvarez | Eddie Alvarez gives his side of TUF 26 beef with ‘head case’ Lauren Murphy


In this season’s coaches’ challenge, Alvarez and Gaethje competed in an 800-meter freestyle swim race. Alvarez’s measured approach style allowed him to easily outlast and defeat Gaethje, who gassed badly in the first quarter of the race, though he would go on to finish despite losing. Winning the challenge earned Alvarez a $10,000 prize and $1500 for each of his fighters (who all got a little extra with the absence of Murphy).

Gaethje can take consolation in edging out Alvarez as a coach in the opening round, with five of his fighters advancing in the tournament to Alvarez’s three.

Here are the complete first-round results:

No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi def. No. 16 Shana Dobson via TKO (ground and pound) in Round 1

No. 4 DeAnna Bennett def. No. 13 Karine Gevorgyan via TKO (ground and pound) in Round 1

No. 6 Montana Stewart def. No. 11 Ariel Beck via submission (D’arce choke) in Round 1

No. 14 Nicco Montano def. No. 3 Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision

No. 12 Sijara Eubanks def. No. 5 Maia Stevenson via submission (kimura) in Round 2

No. 2 Barb Honchak def. No. 15 Gillian Robertson via TKO (ground and pound) in Round 2

No. 10 Rachael Ostovich def. No. 7 Melinda Fabian via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 1

No. 8 Emily Whitmire def. No. 9 Christina Marks via submission (armbar) in Round 1

The second-round matchups are as follows:

No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi vs. No. 8 Emily Whitmire

No. 2 Barb Honchak vs. No. 10 Rachael Ostovich

No. 4 DeAnna Bennett vs. No. 12 Sijara Eubanks

No. 6 Montana Stewart vs. No. 14 Nicco Montano

On next week’s episode, there will be two fights featured: Modafferi vs. Whitmire and Bennett vs. Eubanks.

The season is being coached by former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. The winner of the TUF 26 tournament will be awarded the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title.

Alvarez and Gaethje will fight at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.

Here is the TUF 26 roster divided by team:

Team Alvarez: Dobson, Marks, Eubanks, Bennett, Honchak, Fabian, Beck, Murphy

Team Gaethje: Modafferi, Whitmire, Stevenson, Gevorgyan, Robertson, Ostovich, Stewart, Montano

Advanced to Round 2: Modafferi, Bennett, Stewart, Montano, Eubanks, Honchak, Ostovich, Whitmire

Eliminated: Dobson, Gevorgyan, Beck, Murphy, Stevenson, Robertson, Fabian, Marks

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