If people really want to understand Ronda Rousey, they need to watch the " Breaking Ground" special that debuted in September. She's very hard and very much exactly the way you see her on TV, but people are not seeing her soft side, as well. Once you get to know her a little as a friend or teammate, she's actually very cool. You saw a little bit of it with her bringing Father's Day gifts to the guys.
Part of Ronda's childhood was losing her father very early on in her life, so I think she felt a sort of connection to the guys on Father's Day, and it was cool of her to think of them. I thought it was a nice gesture, and I know it meant a lot to them.
All of us parents were missing our kids, of course. I talked to Chris Beal, and he was really missing his son. He made a conscious decision not to bring pictures because he didn't want to be emotional while he was there, but he was so happy when he got those pictures. All of the guys were. It just made them so happy.
With the prank situation, I honestly thought it was very stupid. It was actually just like Ronda said: If you're going to say something, just say it in somebody's face, not going behind their back and smile in their face. When Ronda's angry, it makes her look bad. It makes her look like she's being sour for nothing, but she has a reason why she's acting the way she is because she's acting a certain way behind her back. Just say it in her face.
That said, I didn't think the photos were meant to be racist. I think they're just pointing out that Edmond Tarverdyan had a unibrow. Big deal. But Edmond and Ronda are both very on-edge type of people (though both very loving when you get to know them), and Miesha Tate's team knows they're going to snap, so they're trying to get a reaction and make them look a little crazy. We didn't know that Dana White had stepped in and prevented this prank from happening until Anthony Gutierrez stepped in and saw the picture in the sauna. But we didn't know there were originally more everywhere else.
I did see the Count Dracula they left in the locker room earlier in the season, and I said we should just throw it out. Anthony ended up telling Edmond then, too. Anthony's like a little kid, and he wanted to see everybody fighting. He was always over in the other team's locker room, as well. He's just a little kid that doesn't understand the repercussions of what he did, and that it can boil over. We didn't want Edmond losing it and getting kicked off. We needed him. We were worried something was going to happen and he'd be gone and we'd have no striking coach.
The drills that they showed Ronda putting us through were just a small sample of all the stuff she did. I hope they show more just because I want to remember it all and put it in my routine. There were so many little techniques that she had that were amazing.
Ronda really was a fantastic coach, especially for me being so new to MMA. All the little thing she was doing really helped me. I felt like I was starting from scratch, and she was fantastic. I know all the girls felt the same way, and I'm sure the guys did, too.
The fight between Michael Wootten and Josh Hill was fantastic. I forgot that it went three rounds. It's so different watching on TV from seeing on live. You see so many more little things. I really did thing Michael was in trouble in the first round, but he's so strong, and he has heart. He wasn't going to lose.
Afterward, Miesha tried to come over and congratulate Ronda, who told her to go f--k herself. But remember, that's right after everything that happened with the pictures and stuff, and I'm sure Dana told her what had happened. That's the type of stuff where it's like, "Say it in our face or don't keep doing it." To come over and shake her hand? Why would you even bother shaking her hand when you're trying to make fun of her and clown faces pictures her? It doesn't make sense.
I really see it now. At the time, I kind of thought Ronda was being a little short, too, but now you see all the stuff Miesha was doing behind her back. No wonder Ronda was pissed off. I don't blame her.
We felt good about the last two matchups. Peggy Morgan is huge. I have no idea how she makes 135 pounds. Sarah Moras is very good on the ground, so it's a good matchup, but it's the one we wanted. And with Anthony, we knew Cody Bollinger was missing his family a lot, so he was probably going to have a hard time managing his emotions. We felt like both matchups probably favored us moving forward.
"The Ultimate Fighter 18" cast member Jessica Rakoczy blogs each Thursday exclusively for MMAjunkie.com. The women's bantamweight prospect takes readers behind the scenes of the FOX Sports 1-broadcast series, which airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.