The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale took place on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and Nate Diaz scored his first TKO win since 2010 as he defeated Gray Maynard in the first round.
Maynard was able to take the fight to the ground early, but Diaz was able to work back to his feet and landed a judo throw.
They would get back to their feet and Diaz started to connect with his combinations. Diaz rocked Maynard with several combinations against the fence and referee Yves Lavigne came in to stop the fight at the 2:38 mark of the opening round.
The victory for Diaz (17-9) snaps a two fight losing streak for the former title challenger and this marks his first win since May of last year. For Maynard (11-3-1, 1NC) has now dropped back to back fights and both defeats have come by TKO in the first round.
Pena overwhelms Rakoczy and scores first round stoppage
Julianna Pena become the first female winner of The Ultimate Fighter as she overwhelmed Jessica Rakoczy and won the fight with one second left in the first round by TKO.
Pena was able to get the fight to the ground early but Rakoczy was able to get back to her feet for a moment. Pena was able to get the fight right back to the ground and pass to side control. She would advance to the mount position and worked her ground strikes. After landing multiple punches, referee Mario Yamasaki called the fight with one second left in the round.
The victory snaps a two fight losing streak for Pena (5-2) and this is her first win since 2011. All of her victories have come by stoppage and this is her third career win to come in the first round.
Holdsworth stops Grant in second round by submission to win TUF
Chris Holdsworth remained undefeated in his career on Saturday night as he defeated Davey Grant by submission in the second round to win TUF 18 men’s bantamweight tournament.
The opening round was a striking battle and the most significant strike of the round came from Holdsworth. He landed a right hand that had Grant on his heels. He would be able to recover and the fight went to the ground in the final seconds of the round.
As the second round opened, Holdsworth landed a head kick that stunned Grant. He would be able to capitalize on the kick and take the fight to the ground. Once on the ground, he transitioned to the back of Grant and locked in a rear-naked choke. Grant was unable to escape the submission and tapped out.
Holdsworth (5-0) has won all of his fights by submission and three of those wins have come by rear-naked choke.
Duke dominates Morgan and wins by unanimous decision
In the second of three women’s bantamweight bouts, Jessamyn Duke dominated Peggy Morgan to win by unanimous decision.
Duke went for a guillotine choke in the first round and Morgan was able to survive the submission attempt. Duke was on her back and she continued to look for a submission as she locked in a triangle choke. Morgan was able to survive and make it to the second round.
A majority of the second round would be on the feet with Duke controlling the fight and landing more effective strikes. As the round came to a conclusion, Duke scored a takedown and finished the round in top position. Duke was able to continue her domination of the fight in the third round as she took the fight to the ground and looked for a submission. She made a small mistake and Morgan was able to take advantage by getting on the back of Duke.
Morgan attempted to go for a rear-naked choke but Duke was able to defend the submission attempts. In what was a very questionable stand up, referee Kim Winslow stood thew fighters up and the fight came to an end with them exchanging strikes.
All three judges had the fight 30-27 for Duke (3-0, 1NC) and this is the first time that she has won a fight by decision.
Pennington wins official UFC debut by decision
In the opening bout of The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, Raquel Pennington won her official UFC debut with a decisive victory over Roxanne Modafferi.
Modafferi opened up the fight strong with her striking, but Pennington began to come on strong as the opening round was coming to a conclusion. As the second round opened, they clinched against the fence before Modafferi broke away. Pennington would take the fight to the ground and had top position. Modafferi went for a submission off her back, but Pennington was able to defend the attempt and the fight moved into the final round.
Pennington was able to control the fight in the final round as she got the fight to the ground. She landed several strikes to the body and Modafferi looked for a submission. Pennington escaped the submission attempt of Modafferi and ended up attempting a guillotine choke. Modafferi was able to survive the submission attempt and made it to the final bell.
All three judges scored the fight for Pennington (4-3) and the victory snaps a two fight losing streak for her.
The complete TUF 18 Finale results are below.
Main Card: (Fox Sports 1)
Nate Diaz def. Gray Maynard via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:38
Julianna Pena def. Jessica Rakoczy via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:59
Chris Holdsworth def. Davey Grant via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:10
Jessamyn Duke def. Peggy Morgan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Raquel Pennington def. Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Preliminary Card: (Fox Sports 1)
Akira Corassani def. Maximo Blanco via DQ (illegal strike) – Round 1, :25
Tom Niinimaki def. Rani Yahya via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Jared Rosholt def. Walt Harris via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sean Spencer def. Drew Dober via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Preliminary Card: (UFC.com)
Josh Sampo def. Ryan Benoit via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:31