There are several high ranking fighters on the cast, including about 5-6 of the top 10 fighters at 115 pounds. It is a shame that WSOF snagged #1 ranked Jessica Aguilar (18-4, 2-0 WSOF), who won the WSOF 115 pound championship subbing Alida Gray, then following it up with a decision win over Emi Fujino. Aguilar beat season favorite Carla Esparza via split decision at Bellator 46 and has defeated cast mates Angela Magana and Lisa Ellis.
The UFC doesn't seem interested in having foreign speaking fighters on TUF 20. I can't imagine having 2 or 3 translators for 7 hours a day would be very pricey. It would bring an interesting dynamic to the show. Top ten fighter Mizuki Inoue (7-2) has wins over cast mates Bec Rawlings and Alex Chambers. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (5-0), out of Poland, has been getting hype out of the KSW promotion and borderline top 15 fighter in Tina Lahdemaki (5-0) of Finland fights Claudia Gadehla at UFN 45.
UFC signee Claudia Gadehla (11-0) of Nova Uniao is considered a top 5 fighter in the division and was rumored to be on TUF, but dropped out because she didn't believe she could make weight for the duration of the show.
Here are my rankings:
1. Carla Esparza (9-2)- The reigning Invicta FC 115 pounder has college wrestling experience and fast hands. She has used grappling successfully to dominate most fights, where her submission game has been improving and she has solid GNP. Carla defeated cast mates Felice Herrig at XFC 15 and Bec Rawlings in Invicta via unanimous decision.
(Carla Esparza GNP)
2. Joanne Calderwood (8-0)- The Scottish striker holds several Muay Thai titles including the ISKA World Flyweight title, IKF European title, the WKL European title and the WBC UK title. Joanne's best wins have come over highly touted Katja Kankaanpaa (9-1) and Lena Ovchynnikova (9-3).
(Joanne Calderwood throws a knee)
3. Tecia Torres (4-0)- Training out of American Top Team, the Muay Thai specialist has 7 additional amateur wins on her record. Fighting exclusively in Invicta FC, she defeated UFC signee Paige Van Zant and fellow cast mates Felice Herrig and Rose Namajunas via decision.
4. Jessica Penne (11-2)- Most recently competing at 105, making weight won't be difficult for the former Invicta 105 pound champ. Penne has defeated cast mates Lisa Ellis via TKO and Angela Magana via submission. She has also submitted Jewels 105 pound champ Naho Sugiyama.
5. Justine Kish (4-0)- The RFA veteran and former Golden Gloves boxing champ has competed and trained in Muay Thai in Thailand. Training out of Blackhouse, she owns wins over Jin Tang (12-4) and fellow cast mate Randa Markos (4-1).
6. Aisling Daly (14-5)- The current NAAFS 125 pound champ will drop down to 115 for TUF. Fighting out of Ireland, Daly recently submitted Karla Benitez via armbar and has a win over UFC fighter Jessica Eye (10-2).
7. Felice Herrig (9-5)- The spunky striker has a reported kickboxing record of (23-5) with strong leg and body kicks. She has decision wins in Bellator over Patricia Vidonic, cast mate Heather Clark and TUF 18 runner-up Jessica Rakoczy.
8. Bec Rawlings (5-3)- The well rounded Australian fighter has decision losses to season favorite Carla Esparza and highly touted Mizuki Inoue, with an armbar win over Jasminka Cive (5-2) and TKO win over Christina Tatnell (5-1).
9. Rose Namajunas (2-1)- The Grudge Training Center fighter previously trained at Roufus Sport, fighting pro exclusively in Invicta. You probably know her name considering the 12 second flying armbar she pulled off at Invicta 5 over Katrina Catron (4-3) and relationship with former UFC fighter Pat Barry. Rose has a 3rd round sub over cast mate Emily Kagan (3-1), with a decision loss to cast mate Tecia Torres. She went 4-0 as an amateur with 2 KO's.
(Rose Namajunas with Pat Barry)
10. Alex Chambers (4-1)- The 5'3" Australian will be moving up from 105 for TUF. Her last bout was in Invicta where she subbed Jodie Esquibel, then 3-0, in the 1st round. She also has a TKO wins over Mika Nagano (14-9) and Claire Fryer (4-1).
11. Lisa Ellis (15-8)- With over 10 years of MMA experience, Ellis has not competed since a 2012 armbar win over Amy Davis (4-4). Ellis' biggest wins have come over cast mate Aisling Daly and a 2006 submission of Jessica Aguilar, who was making her pro debut.
12. Angela Magana (11-6)- The seven year MMA veteran has been around the block, normally fighting at 125, and possessing split decision wins over highly ranked Jessica Aguilar and Barb Honchack. Magana will enter the tournament on a two fight losing streak, having been subbed by prospect Stephanie Eggink and losing a decision to 135 pounder Jessica Eye. Two of her losses have come to the aforementioned Aguilar.
13. Randa Markos (4-1)- The Canadian grappler has 3 wins via submission on her record, with a loss to cast mate Justine Kish.
14. Emily Kagen (3-1)- A Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter, Kagen narrowly won a split decision over Ashley Cummins in Invicta in her last bout.
15. Angela Hill (1-0)- Hill is a Muay Thai fighter out of Maryland has a reported undefeated 14-0 amateur MMA record and 2-0 kickboxing record.
16. Heather Clark (6-4)- An XFC and Bellator veteran, Clark has 2 TKO's and 3 submissions on her resume.