Despite a plucky performance from the veteran Roxanne Modafferi, it was the harder hitting Raquel Pennington who emerged victorious tonight at the TUF 18 Finale.
A couple of kicks from Modafferi in the opening minutes of the fight as she tries to push the stand-up action. Pennington taking her time, but when she does unleash, she catches her opponent with a couple of solid strikes.
Modafferi drills off a combination and Pennington returns fire. Higher volume of strikes coming from Modafferi, but the occasional counter strikes from Pennington are landing with authority.
Pennington fires off first for a change and lands well. Modafferi answers with another combination though and soon after looks to press her up against the cage.
Modafferi is hunting for a takedown, but isn’t able to pull it off and Pennington reverses her against the cage before they separate, landing a strike on the way out.
Modafferi lands a good body kick in the closing stages, but she then gets clobbered by a punch that staggers her backwards just before the bell sounds.
Modafferi coming out aggressively again the second round. she then presses Pennington up against the cage again and is trying hard to get this fight to the mat. She almost gets it, but not quite and they continue to clinch.
They seperate. Nice straight punches down the pipe start to land well for Pennington. Modafferi tries for a takedown, but it’s stuffed and Pennington ends up on top in her guard.
High guard from Modafferi and adds in a few elbows to the mix. Pennington postures up to get away from that and starts to land a few hard shots down.
Modafferi looking for the high guard again and then tries for an armbar, but it doesn’t work out and Pennington breaks free and gets up to her feet.
Both upright again now and Pennington scoring with the straight punches again and mixes it up with a kick too.
Body kick lands for Modafferi and she tries to land a knee from the clinch too. Both ladies looking to exchange, but the bell sounds just as things are heating up.
Modafferi unleashes some punches and knees in close to start the round. Pennington lands a punch to the chin and Modafferi tries for the takedown without success.
Not a whole lot of power behind Modafferi’s shots, there’s clearly more weight behind Pennington’s work.
Modafferi tries to work from the clinch again, but they quickly seperate.
Pennington catches a kick from Modafferi and makes her pay with a few punches down the pipe.
Takedown stuffed again and Pennington ends up on top. Pennington lands a good couple of blows to the body and Modafferi goes back to attempting the high guard.
Submission attempt, but it’s not happening and Modafferi sustains more body shots.
Modafferi really trying hard to find an opening for a submission without success. Modafferi works to her feet and Pennington goes in deep with a guillotine attempt.
Pennington is really cranking hard on this choke, but Modafferi’s hanging tough. They drop to the mat as Pennington continues with the submission attempt. Into the final 10 seconds and still she tries for the finish, but Modafferi’s not for tapping and this one’s going to the judges.
Pennington’s power and a strong finish to the final round help her to a clear unanimous decision victory on the scorecards (30-27 x2, 29-28).