Tomorrow night is the final installment of season 18 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and with it, the last of the show’s semifinal bouts (women’s), determining who will advance to face team Tate member, Julianna Peña, for the bantamweight finale on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The opponents squaring off in the Octagon tomorrow night are Raquel Pennington (Team Tate) & Jessica Rakoczy (Team Rousey).
Pennington is a well-rounded, scrappy and tough fighter, as she proved in her elimination round bout with Jessamyn Duke; a three round unanimous decision victory and in what was, a very entertaining and gritty fight. Further, Pennington is Team Tate’s final hope for taking a near sweep of the four available finale slots. As Coach Tate has already placed two fighters in the finale, Chris Holdsworth &, Julianna Peña, Pennington would close out the third spot, leaving Coach Rousey with only one fighter in the finale; David Grant.
The book on Pennington is that she’s apt to want to turn this fight into a brawl, push it up against the cage and beat Rakoczy up in the clinch. Further, she’s likely to keep Rakoczy guessing with takedowns, as well.
Rakoczy, for her part, is a very solid technical boxer and will want to keep this fight standing and at range. She is a very scrappy fighter and although she had the easier fight in the elimination round in taking on Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi, she nonetheless finished her fight by way of TKO; advantage, Rakoczy on finishing.
Further, she’s Coach Rousey’s last chance to pull even in the tournament finale and force a 50% split on the Saturday night’s final four slots. As such, she could be well motivated not only by herself, but also her ultra-competitive coach to save the team’s honor, and even the playing field for the 30th.
All in all, this should be a very good fight and quite entertaining; as all the women’s fights have been this season. On this note, fans of the show cannot say that the women didn’t deliver and uphold their end of the bargain, which was to fight. One thing is for sure, none of the women missed weight or got thrown off the show, and that’s a great deal more than the men’s side can say.