MMAFrenzy continues our live coverage of tonight’s UFC action with our The Ultimate Fighter 18 Live Finale play-by-play. Tonight’s coverage will kick off with the start of tonight’s FOX Sports 1 main card beginning at 10PM ET. The Ultimate Fighter 18 Live Finale is headlined by an unofficial rubber match between Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz and will see the TUF 18 women’s and men’s bantamweight champions crowned tonight in Las Vegas.
Be sure to stay tuned and refresh often for the latest updates from tonight’s card starting at 10PM ET and be sure to check out our full coverage of tonight’s fight card.
TUF 18 Live Finale Play-by-Play:
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Raquel Pennington
Rd. 1- Touch of gloves and we’re off. Legkicks by Roxy early but Rocky is landing more punches early. Legkick by Pennington but Roxy scores with a nice combo. Pace slows as both looks to settle in. Roxy starts to pressure before the half point but Pennington slows her down with a nice right. Spinning backfist by Roxy misses but she lands a nice combo. Roxy with another combo and she pressures forward for the takedown. Roxy with a headlock clinch but it’s only JV level and she lets it go. Nice jabs by Rocky and a good legkick. Body kicks by Roxy and a huge right hand lands from Rocky as the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Moddaferi.
Rd. 2- Touch of gloves. Spinning backfist misses but Roxy lands a decent combo. Rocky is looking to land her power shots but Roxy lands a combo and iniates the clinch again. Roxy tries a takedown but slides off and has to give it up. Rocky with some nice punches on the exit and she lands a solid combo too. Hard strikes from Rocky and Roxy shoots and pulls guard to keep it grounded. Rubber guard by Roxy and while she has a triangle lock, she has it around the upper body. Rocky with hard strikes from the top now with two minutes left. Armbar attempt by Roxy but the elbow isn’t locked in and Rocky fends it off. Roxy tries to push away to stand but Rocky keeps her down briefly before the ref stands them up. Nasty left hand by Pennington lands but Roxy responds and both land strong clinch knees before the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Pennington (19-19)
Rd. 3- Touch of gloves. Roxy is active to start the round but her shots lack the power of Pennington’s return shots. Roxy tries a takedown but is stuffed and eats some strikes on the way out. Rocky is starting to walk her down but Roxy keeps firing to cotrol distance. Nice combo by Pennington and she knees her way out of the clinch by Roxy. Hard counter combo by Rocky lands and Roxy tries a takedown and pulls guard. Elbows by Rocky and Roxy recovers guard. Roxy tries a guillotine but doesn’t have the angle and switches to rubber guard and a double armbar attempt. Hard body shots by Rocky now with over a minute left. Roxy is trying is reverse for a single and ends up caught in a deep guillotine. Roxy tries to punch out and survive and she makes it to the end of the round but likely has lost the fight. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Pennington for a 29-28 victory.
Raquel Pennington def. Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan
Rd. 1- Fighters feeling each other out early with neither finding the advantage early. Nice pair of hooks by Duke connect. Thai clinch by Duke and she lands some knees to the body. Morgan locks up the clinch but Duke reverses her and works an inside trip to a guillotine. Duke has it deep but Morgan fights hands and works out. Elbows from bottom by Duke and she is clearly hunting a triangle finish and Morgan is avoiding posturing up to survive it. Reverse triangle is locked up but she changes it up and locks up a traditional triangle and continues to land hard elbows. Duke has a bit of the Silva-Lutter triangle here as it is too loose to finish right now. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Duke.
Rd. 2-Legkicks by Duke early and Morgan responds with good strikes. Nice elbow combos by Duke landing now. Thai knees to the body by Duke and Morgan works out of the clinch and starts landing her 1-2 again. Nice combination punctuated by a left hook by Duke. Morgan lands a few shots but Duke with more solid counters. Morgan is landing well but not in bunches. Headkick by Duke. Thai clinch by Duke and she is landing hard knees to the body. Morgan works out and Duke connects on yet another 3-2 combo. Hard combination lands from Duke and she lands again. Morgan’s jab is finding its home, but not enough to ward off Duke. Duke with a body lock takedown as the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Duke (20-18).
Rd. 3- Morgan rushes in knowing she is down but she doesn’t create angles and she gets picked apart. More thai knees by Duke and she rocks Morgan but Morgan locks up her own clinch briefly before Duke fights it off and goes back to work. Duke is in total control of this fight as she tries an ill-advised bulldog headlock and Morgan works out easily. Morgan now has Duke’s back and she goes for the choke but Duke recovers half guard and ties up Morgan. Referee Kim Winslow stands them up oddly and Duke goes back to work and unloads on Morgan. Morgan’s face is a mess as the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Duke and that gives her the fight (30-27).
Jessamyn Duke def. Peggy Morgan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
TUF 18 Bantamweight Final: Davey Grant vs. Chris Holdsworth
Rd. 1-Grant opens up the action with outside legkicks and he catches Holdsworth coming in with a nice hook. Grant rocks Holdsworth after he separates but CH is right back in. Grant is defending the takedowns well early and he reverses the clinch against the cage before breakin free. Fighters are both swinging for the fences and Grant is clearly hunting the KO. CH tries for a takedown again against the cage and he fends off CH. Nice combo by Grant but CH with a nice punch as he evades the last strike. CH tries for a takedown again but Grant reveres and tries a poor throw with no leverage and CH reveres easily. Holdsworth finishes the round on top and it likely wins him the round. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Holdsworth.
Rd. 2-Grant catches a headkick after taking the full brunt of it but cannot get CH down. Holdsworth looks for more punches but CH eventually gets him down. Grant’s nose is busted up now as he works back to the cage but CH brilliantly passes to his back and secures the choke before finishing it perfectly.
Chris Holdsworth def. David Grant via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:10 of Round 2
TUF 18 Women’s Bantamweight Final: Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Rakoczy
Rd. 1-JR tags Pena coming in but Pena muscles her to the ground and gets half guard. Pena tries to stand and throw hard punches but JR kicks her off and stands. Pena is right back on her though and she ties up the clinch and secures a back trip to side control. Pena looks to pass but stands and throws wild strikes that look dangerous but do not land. Pena pushes back in and secures mount. More strikes by Pena in mount and Pena is just too big for JR to get off. A lot of punches from Pena but very few are getting through and the ref steps in and calls it with a second or two left.
Juliana Pena def. Jessica Rakoczy via TKO (strikes) at 4:59 of Round 1
Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard
Rd. 1- Yves Lavigne is our referee. Gray is in pursuit of Diaz early as Maynard looks to close with strikes. Maynard snatches a single and secures a fairly easy takedown. Diaz works back up and a judo throw to launch Maynard but Maynard recovers on top. Diaz works out though and we’re back up. Nice teep kicks by Diaz. Diaz catches Maynard with a short left and Maynard wobbles. Diaz is all over Maynard now with brutal punches and Maynard is only standing thanks to the cage. Maynard tries to get away but Diaz is all over him and Lavigne mercifully steps in. Maynard goes down in a heap as he tries to walk to his corner.
Nate Diaz def. Gray Maynard via TKO (punches) at 2:38 of Round 1