The Ultimate Fight season 18 finale takes place tomorrow night, featuring an important lightweight bout between Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz. Both of these fighters have met with each other in the past, in fact twice, and they will be looking to settle the score once and for all. Let’s now take a look at the rest of the card and make some predictions.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Raquel Pennington: both of these women will look to shine on the biggest stage of MMA, and it should be a good scrap from start to finish. Roxanne is the better jiu-jitsu practitioner, but she has shown to be hittable on the feet. Raquel will keep the fight standing, where she will unload a barrage of punches, forcing Roxanne to the canvas.
Final Prediction: Raquel Pennington wins via TKO in the first round
Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan: Both of these bantamweights are well rounded, but Duke has the superior striking skills. She will outpoint Morgan on the feet each round, proving she has the heart and determination to compete with the best of them.
Final Prediction: Jessamyn Duke wins via unanimous decision
Chris Holdsworth vs. David Grant: up for grabs in this bout is a UFC contract, so both will be looking to make a statement. Grant is a great, well-rounded fighter, but he doesn’t have the jiu-jitsu chops to hang with Holdsworth on the ground. Chris will find the opening, taking Grant down early. From there, he will lock up a submission, becoming TUF 18 season winner.
Final Prediction: Chris Holdsworth wins via submission (rear-naked choke) in the first round
Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Rakoczy: This is also for a UFC contract, and both fighters have looked sensational as of late. Pena comes into this fight as the better grappler, which bodes well for her. She will avoid the heavy shots from Jessica, getting the takedown. From there, she will control the fight and unleash some brutal ground and pound, becoming the first-ever TUF women’s bantamweight winner.
Final Prediction: Julianna Pena wins via TKO in the second round
Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz: This trilogy fight is interesting because both fighters have a win over each other. Nate was able to get the submission in the first bout, and Maynard edged out a split decision in the rematch. Both have grown a lot since the rematch, so it’s really a toss-up. However, considering the stylistic matchup, Maynard should be able to thwart Diaz by using his wrestling.
He will land good punches on the feet, and will get takedowns when the opportunity presents itself. Diaz will look great, but he won’t be able to keep the fight standing nor will he lock up a submission.
Final Prediction: Gray Maynard wins via unanimous decision