The first episode of season three begins with the sad news that the great Feather 'The Hammer' Hadden is retiring due to injuries aggravated and sustained against Shay 'The Fox' Mazzato, clearing the way for a new champion. Some will miss Hadden, but others are happy to see her go. Maxine 'The Boss' Frost creates friction when she brings in a fighter from Mexico to challenge for the vacant title. The loudest protest comes from Andreea 'The Storm' Vladoi who feels passed over. Mazzato, who played a huge role in Hadden's retirement, will face off with a new edition to the LFC, Monica 'Flowerbomb' Garcia.
Monica shows up at the training facility with plenty of swagger; a perfect fit for the Black Team. Some fighters are not happy with the fact that she is fighting for the belt her first time out; however, Allie 'Babydoll' Parks and Monica become fast friends. What does she bring to the LFC? Ask Coach Leon Hater. He watches intently, as she attacks a punching bag with kicks so powerful, the viewer will feel them.
As we begin the preliminaries for LFC 23: Guilty Pleasures, in Kansas City, KS, this episode features most of the fighters on the card. What would a LFC event be without drama? It would not feel right if all went off without some tension or dissension. Here, we begin with Jolene 'The Valkyrie' Hexx taking issue with Maxine 'The Boss' Frost about having to fight an inexperienced opponent. Leon Hater argues on behalf of the inexperienced fighter, Danielle 'Cow Belle' St. Pierre. To her credit, Maxine does not waver and sticks with her decision.
Joel Kane trips everyone up with his newest fighter, Mona Jones. It is obvious to all but him that this Mona is not the Mona he drafted. At some point, he even manages to anger Jones over the nickname she will go by. Will Joel learn anything when Holly 'The Lotus' Mei shoves him into a pool? Probably not.
We send Monica 'Flowerbomb' Garcia and Andreea 'The Storm' Vladoi out to promote the event at a Spanish language radio station. Of course, our international star from Romania can speak Spanish. Maxine and her nemesis, Serina 'Honey Punch' Kyle, call into the 'Jay Thomas Show.' Finally, Shay 'The Fox' Mazzato gets her turn on the 'Playmaker Show,' another local program.
In this episode, we are already up to the official weigh-in for LFC 23: Guilty Pleasures. Both teams are contentious and willing to amp things up. There is pushing, shoving, and a heated dislike of each other. Cali Cat, who is usually laid back, is combative with her opponent, Julie 'Squeeze' Ginther. The more experienced, Jolene 'The Valkyrie' Hexx wastes no time in letting Danielle 'Cow Belle' St. Pierre know who is in charge. Mona Jones and Raya 'Sugar Ray' Ryans can easily be mistaken for lifelong enemies with drama going back to their middle school days. Serina 'Honey Punch' Kyle does her best to keep it real, but that is a challenge with an opponent like Maxine 'The Boss' Frost. The fireworks between the fighters in the title match are impressive. Who do you think won the trash talk battle, Monica 'Flowerbomb' Garcia or Shay 'The Fox' Mazzato? Garcia, at one point, challenges the entire Pink Team.
After Leon Hater calls out Joel Kane and criticizes his training ability, and Mona charges at Raya with a chair, a well needed calm arrives at the post weigh-in party. The dancing and positive vibe is infectious. The teams follow that with a meal, where the talk is all about strategy and fighters with knowledge of common opponents share that insight.
With just a few things left to get in order, we arrive at LFC 23: Guilty Pleasures. Joel pressures Serina 'Honey Punch' Kyle, stating that her match with Maxine 'The Boss' Frost is crucial to his survival in the league; Serina needs to win if Joel is to continue as coach of the Pink Team. Luckily, for Joel, Serina is probably the only person at the LFC who not only gets him but appreciates him.
Leon Hater, whose job is not on the line, has a meeting with Monica 'Flowerbomb' Garcia and Andreea 'The Storm' Vladoi. The coach of the Black Team is genuinely concerned about the excessive partying that the two are known for. Garcia's philosophy is, "you work hard, you play harder," and that is what her coach fears. Vladoi, as usual, dismisses Leon and reminds him of her status as the only former Olympian with the company.
After having to share the same dressing room, as did the rest of the fighters, Natasha 'Rattlesnake' Rodriguez and Rochelle 'Rampage' Rodgers get the call to the ring for the first match. The two fighters struggle with wardrobe issues, but more so Rodgers, who is obsessed with keeping everything in order. They have their chances, especially Rodgers, who is very strong and wants to keep Rodriguez from her first win. A rush to the finish line, via dual leg locks, brings the issue to a close.
A.J. Kirsch impresses with his ability to speak Spanish, conducting a funny Q&A with Maxine 'The Boss' Frost. The Prez, who is fighting later on the card, is not humored by the ring announcer's behavior. She needs to win her match against Serina 'Honey Punch' Kyle because it will result in Joel Kane's dismissal.
We get into the fighting with Cali Cat taking on Julie 'Squeeze' Ginther in a battle of Californians. Cali is formidable and has a nervous energy before the fight, but Ginther comes out strong and pushes her around in the first round; a sight we had not seen before. The power of Ginther's leg strength frustrates Cali, taking her by surprise. Between rounds, Cali is seriously trying to figure out what to do to turn things in her favor. Seeking to build on her first round success, Julie charges out to open the round and foolishly gives Cali the opening she needs. The ensuing arm bar is one of the most vicious we have seen in the LFC. How long will Julie struggle against the inevitable?
Our second match is between Jolene 'The Valkyrie' Hexx and Danielle 'Cow Belle' St. Pierre. The contrast in their levels of experience is stark and leaves little doubt about the outcome, but a confident Danielle leads with offense, taking Jolene down with a kick to the ribs. A close first round motivates Jolene to reset between rounds. The ease of the finishing hold, a rear naked choke, secures it for the favorite.
Raya 'Sugar Ray' Ryans is in shock when she sees the massive size that Mona Jones brings into the cage. Raya admitted that she was not training hard for the original, inexperienced opponent who backed out. Reality strikes when she feels the 45 pound weight advantage of the replacement; a tough match-up for anyone on the Black Team for sure. In spite of the obvious, Ryans, regardless of the circumstances, comes to fight. A back and forth struggle that sees a point taken away for a foul, while another harsher foul does not register with the referee. Watch as Mona takes Raya on a tour of the cage sides: three slams along the way for emphasis.
Next up is Andreea 'The Storm' Vladoi vs. Holly 'The Lotus' Mei. Vladoi is usually the lighter one in the ring, but here she outweighs Mei by 12 pounds. Leading up to this fight, the Pink Team has won the first four contests. Does the endless drama between Holly and her coach Joel Kane affect her ability to focus? Is Andreea just too unstoppable?
The bet is simple and leaves little room for confusion. If Maxine 'The Boss' Frost defeats Serina 'Honey Punch' Kyle again, then Joel Kane is gone for good. If Maxine is the one to lose, then she must surrender her post as the Prez of the league. One fighter, Jolene 'The Valkyrie' Hexx, admits that if she were Serina's place, she might not try to win at all, but would throw the fight.
Where Maxine is full of intense energy before the fight, Serina stays true to her playful nature and acts as her carefree self. The first round is messy; both fighters look to take control of the pace. However, it is difficult to separate Maxine the fighter from Maxine as head of the LFC. What is most important to her at this point? Between rounds, Joel tries to inspire Serina, and Leon Hater pleads with Maxine to end Joel's tenure.
Coach Hater, who at one time was with the Pink Team, takes responsibility for the text-book arm bar that Serina delivers early in the second round. Joel rejoices in the win, as Maxine storms off. Will the site of a petulant Maxine waking away be the last we see of her, or is she too valuable to the company to let go?
The time for crowning a new champion has arrived in this, the last episode of the season. Will it be the fighter from Mexico and new Black Team member, Monica 'Flowerbomb' Garcia, or will it be Shay 'The Fox' Mazzato, the woman who steered Feather 'The Hammer' Hadden into retirement? A 43 pound weight advantage for Garcia is not something Shay can take lightly or can ignore for one second in the ring.
Shay's teammates offer their support as she heads to the cage; Monica appears to focus on her goal: winning! A disappointing showing for the Black Team makes this match even more important for Coach Leon Hater; his hunger for a win runs parallel with that of his fighter.
Monica charges out with the clear aim of imposing her superior strength on Shay; however, 'The Fox' possesses enough speed to combat Monica's violent tendencies. There are power slams, punches from different angles, and brave submission attempts. Clumps of hair litter the ground, and somewhere on the mat is a lost contact lens. In the end, watch as the winner leaps into the arms of her coach. A new champion proudly wears her belt.