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TUF 23: Episode 5 thoughts

Lanchana Green talks about her childhood when she was often bullied. Her plan against Helen Harper is to keep her distance on the feet. Claudia Gadelha says she needs to work on her takedown defence.

Former strawweight champion Carla Esparza appears with Team Joanna to coach for the day. Carla has no hard feelings with Joanna (Joanna beat Carla for the title), saying it was an honour to get the call from Jedrzejczyk to come in.

We see Harper training. She says she has the fighting attitude of a rhino. Whatever it takes, she will do to win. It worked so far.

Based on everything , I think Harper is going to win the fight. Why? Her attitude and her takedowns, basically. But, let’s see.

Harper got into fighting because her ex-boyfriend beat her up at 24 -years-old and she took a BJJ class to defend herself. She still has trouble talking about it in the first person. She admits she was in denial and didn’t listen to her friends around her. “It wasn’t a healthy relationship,” she said to her teammates. “It was a bully, a nasty person, trying to ruin my life, day by day.”

Abdel Medjedoub’s wife is trying to reach him. Dana White says the call sounded serious so they made an exception to let the call through. Normally, everyone in the house is cut off from outside contact. She cusses out the TUF producer when she learns the call will be recorded. She then cusses out Abdel and it’s explained she’s going to leave him if he doesn’t come back home to Montreal. Abdel doesn’t reveal the reason his wife is mad, simply that he made a mistake and he’s lucky to have her in his life.

Abdel is left with a decision to make.

The locker room is sullen when Claudia enters and she detects it immediately. She tries to figure out what happened with Abdel. Abdel reveals to her the problem is with his wife, but he will talk about it  later.

Harper weighs in at 116, I missed what Green’s weight but the fight’s happening so she must have made weight.

Green has a 5-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage over Harper.



Harper takes the centre. Both aggressive and throwing shots and leg kicks. They clinch and Claudia yells for Green to break. Harper won’t let her. Green stuffs a takedown and they clinch again. Green reverses and then breaks. 2:50 left. Harper is the aggressor and clinches again near the cage. She tries for the takedown and is stuffed. Harper continues to cling to Green. Not doing much damage but controlling Green  here. Green lands some shots on the break, but she needs some big offence to close out the round. Harper lands a flurry,  but falls and Green gets some shots in. Harper gets up and clinches again. Ref warns both ladies to improve their position. They both land on the break. They trade again. Green with a left hook and the horn goes.

Perhaps Green landed a bit more than Helen on the feet, but Harper had the control with the clinches. I give Round One to Harper.


Harper has some marks under both eyes. Joanna tells Helen to “do her job.” Helen takes the centre again. Both trading and landing some strikes and kicks. Helen is looking for the clinch and eats a strike. Green gets caught against the cage and Harper looks for the takedown. Green lands some hammerfists while Harper holds her leg. They break, Green lands some right hands, which backs up Harper. Green misses some strikes, and Harper gets the takedown. Ref warns Harper to work. Green defending well. Harper gets the 3/4 mount. 1:30 left. Ref warns Harper again. Joanna barks elbows. Harper gets full mount. Harper gets some shots and Green tries to buck. 20 seconds left. Green holds Harper’s torso into her face so she can’t punch. Harper gets some shots in as the horn goes.

That was definitely Harper’s round once the fight went to the ground.


Claudia tells Green to hit and get out. Green takes the centre and comes out swinging. But Harper continues to move forward. On the feet, Green is better. but she gets caught once again too close and Harper pulls her to the cage. She breaks free. Green pressuring Harper.  She lands a good shot and Harper tries to return, pushing Green to the cage again. Takedown stuffed twice abut she gets a brief one on the third try. She climbs Gren’s back briefly and ref warns Harper to improve her position. Green finally escapes Harper hanging around her back and they go back to striking. Green seems to get the better of the exchanges on the feet. Green keeps letting Harper get close for the takedown. Close fight. Harper lands and pushes Green to the cage again, trying for the takedown which is successful. 1:00 left.  Harper almost lands an illegal knee and Green gets up. Green flings Harper a bit. Both fighters landing on the feet now. Harper grabs Green again and the round ends with Green giving Harper a noogie.

Close fight to score. I think Green did more damage in the final round.  Have it 2-1 for Harper, but it depends on how they score Round One and Three.  Did I say it was a  close fight?

Lanchana Green wins via sudden victory.  Joanna feels disrespected when Claudia doesn’t shake her hand after the fight.

Harper is devastated after the fight. “I’m not good enough,” she cries. Harper has nothing to be ashamed of. That was a great fight. She needed a takedown and ground-and-pound.

Team Claudia is now 4-0 in matches. Claudia gets to pick the next fight. She picks Erik Spicely to fight against Elias Urbina.

TUF 23
Courtesy FOX Sports ONE/UFC/Zuffa LLC.

Joanna and Claudia jaw again at the end.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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