The first fight of The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 Finale featured two members of Team Miesha Tate, Roxanne Modafferi and Raquel Pennington, in a women’s bantamweight bout.
It was solid back-and-forth affair which went the distance, as Pennington recovered from a slow start to earn a unanimous decision.
Modafferi (15-11), a New England native who spent much of her MMA career fighting and living in Japan, is one of the “old guard” of women’s MMA. She had lost five straight official bouts prior to TUF 18 but was still considered a front-runner for the show. Now fighting out of Las Vegas, Modafferi began the fight striking well, but faded as time continued and Colorado’s Pennington (4-4) found her range.
Pennington maintained an edge as the bout continued, with punching combinations and solid striking in Modafferi’s guard. Pennington also came close to securing a guillotine choke at the end of the third round.
“Rocky” Pennington was a TUF semifinalist who had previously won a regional MMA title for Destiny MMA in Hawaii. She had lost two bouts in a row prior to the TUF filming.
At TUF 18 Finale, Raquel Pennington defeated Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).