Two New Fighters and One Beatdown (TUF 18 Finale Review)

tuf18_finaleThe Ultimate Fighter TV series has had an amazing effect on the UFC bringing it from an underground sport to the mainstream. The reality series has produced some great fighters and great memories but as the 18th season proved there is always more to go. The Ultimate Fighter 18 would feature Bantamweight men and for the first time ever Bantamweight women on the show. It was a chance for the UFC to build its most recent addition to the UFC stable as the women’s division is fairly young and has only a handful of promising fighters. The division will grow as more women develop with their fight game on the main stage. The Ultimate Fighter 18 was a way for the UFC to immediately boost their stable of fighters in the women’s division. Despite who won or lost their fights on the show many of the fighters would still see a future in the UFC. The Ultimate Fighter has always been a way to boost the weight divisions that are involved and this time was no different. Not only did the women get a chance to show what they had with a chance to earn a spot in the UFC but the Men’s Bantamweights would also get to show what they had. Throughout the show the women would take a lot of the focus but the men would have their own great appearances. In the end it was two ground fighters that would make their way to the finals as Davey Grant and Chris Holdsworth squared off to get their chance at a 6-figure contract in the UFC. The fight would see two men who went through the reality show with some great submissions. There was a hiccup though for Davey Grant as he would only need to win two fights to get to the finale. In his semi-final matchup his opponent Anthon Gutteriez would not make weight leaving Grant with a DQ and an easy path to the finale. Holdsworth on the other hand would fight all three of his fights and would earn three submissions. As a top pick for Team Tate many believed that he would be the guy to beat for the men’s division. Grant was quite the opposite as he had a good run on the show but was not considered a sure bet to win. When both fighters faced off both fighters had great skill on the ground but Holdsworth holds the advantage on the mat while Davey Grant would likely get the advantage in the standup. Both fighters were looking for their chance to be a UFC fighter and were willing to do everything to get there. In the end the fight would see Chris Holdsworth getting the better of Davey Grant and showing his ground game. Holdsworth would work in the clinch for the majority of the fight and when he got the fight on the ground in the second round he would prove that he was the better wrestler. Holdsworth would earn the submission in the second round with a rear naked choke that would earn him the UFC contract and continue his string of submission finishes. The first contract handed out would not be the last though as the women would get their chance to fight for the title and the chance to be a UFC fighter. Julianna Pena and Jessica Rakoczy would square off for a lot more than just the contract and the title but also to become the first ever women’s champion in TUF. The fight would see a powerhouse versus an underdog as the well-rounded Julianna Pena would be the favorite in the fight while the championship boxer Jessica Rakoczy would be the underdog. Both would face off with plenty on the line but in the end it was the favorite that would prove that she was the better fighter. Pena would give Rakoczy a taste of her own medicine with a great stand up game that would drop the former boxer quick. Pena would go after it and get on top continuing to unleash great punches and looking to finish the fight. Pena would get into the mount and would finish as Rakoczy was left with nothing more to do. Pena would take the win and the title making two Team Tate members winners of season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter. It was another successful season for the UFC’s reality series and the show will continue going while Julianna Pena and Chris Holdsworth begin their UFC careers.

Two new fighters would enter the UFC and they would give way to two veteran fighters that know how to put on a show. Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard know where the fighters from TUF 18 were going through as both would fight on The Ultimate Fighter 5. While on the show both would face off against each other with Diaz getting the win. Diaz would go on to win the season of The Ultimate Fighter and would begin a great career. Diaz would move up the lightweight division and would eventually earn a lightweight title shot. He would lose the fight to Benson Henderson but still remains among the top fighters in the division. Gray Maynard would not have a bad career either as he would not win the show but would rise up the division rapidly. Before Diaz could get his title shot Maynard would fight twice against Frankie Edgar to try to win the lightweight title. Both fighters would take their time on the reality show and use it to boost their careers as both have become great fighters. They have made a habit of putting on great fights with bonuses almost guaranteed every time they step into the ring. Both fighters would face off after the show in a fight that would see Gray Maynard take the win and get revenge for his loss on the show. Now they would get a chance to prove who the better fighter is in their third fight against each other as the main event for the TUF 18 Finale. The fight would go far in determining the trilogy between these two as one fighter would easily come out on top. Nate Diaz would unleash his style on Gray Maynard and would overwhelm the former top contender. Diaz would be relentless in his pressure continuing to throw heavy punches stunning Maynard. The fight would be over quickly as Diaz would force the referee to end the fight and would take the win. Diaz would completely dominate the fight in a beatdown that is not often seen in the octagon. Two new fighters would enter the UFC and one fighter would dominate as The Ultimate Finale would provide plenty for fans to love especially with a look into the future of the sport.

 

Fight Bonuses

Submission of the Night
Chris Holdsworth would have the night of his life when he won a 6-figure UFC contract to officially become a UFC fighter but the night would get better when he earned $50,000 for Submission of the Night

Knockout of the Night
There was no question that Nate Diaz would win the extra $50,000 for his KO win over Gray Maynard as he would dominate from the start and would end the fight quickly with some devastating stand-up

Fight of the Night
Ryan Benoit and Josh Sambo would win the Fight of the Night bonus as they opened up the night but it would be Benoit who would get all of the money earning $100,000 even after losing with Sambo missing weight before the fight

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Nate Diaz def. Gray “The Bully” Maynard
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena def. Jessica “Ragin” Rakoczy [TUF Women’s Bantamweight Title]
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Chris “Holds it Down” Holdsworth def. “Dangerous” Davey Grant [TUF Men’s Bantamweight Title]
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke def. Peggy “Daywalker” Morgan
(Unanimous Decision)

Raquel “Rocky” Pennington def. Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi
(Unanimous Decision)

Undercard:
Akira Corrissani def. Maximo “Maxi” Blanco
(DQ; illegal Knee)

Tom “Stoneface” Niinimaki def. Rani Yahya
(Split Decision)

Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt def. Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris
(Unanimous Decision)

Sean Spencer def. Drew Dober
(Unanimous Decision) 

Josh “The Gremlin” Sampo def. Ryan “Baby Face” Benoit
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

 

Upcoming Events 

UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs. Silva (Friday December 6; 9:00 pm ET)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Brisbane Entertainment Centre)
Main Event: Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
Notable: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. James Te Huna
Notable: Ryan “Darth” Bader vs. Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh

UFC on FOX 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez II (Saturday December 14th; 8:00 pm ET)
Sacramento, California (Sleep Train Arena)
Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez [Flyweight Title]
Notable: Urijah “The California Kid” Faber vs. Michael “Mayday” McDonald
Notable: Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit vs. Matt “The Immortal” Brown

UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva II (Saturday December 28th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Chris “The All-American” Weidman vs. Anderson “The Spider” Silva [Middleweight Title]
Notable: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha “Cupcake” Tate [Women’s Bantamweight Title]
Notbable: Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett vs. Travis “Hapa” Browne

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