The TUF 18 Finale goes down in Las Vegas tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz
Both fighters here are coming off disappointing defeats in their last Octagon outings, so it’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back.
Maynard wields the greater power and strength here, but he’s a little ponderous on the feet and if Diaz can really get his punches in bunches rattling off then he can cause him problems and take him out of his rhythm.
It should be a close fight, but I think Maynard’s ability to mix in some takedowns over the course of 15 minutes, while not sticking around in Diaz’s guard for long spells, is going to help sway the judges in his favor.
Gray Maynard to win by decision.
Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Rakoczy
Rakoczy looks to be the more technical of the two and performed well on the show, but Pena really seems to have the drive and determination to win and I’m tipping her to do just that by decision.
Julianna Pena to win by decision.
Chris Holdsworth vs. David Grant
Holdsworth was the real stand-out as far the guys went on TUF 18, perhaps unsurprising since he hails from the always dependable Team Alpha male fight camp. I see him continuing his submission streak by forcing Grant to tap out in the second round.
Chris Holdsworth to win by submission in Rd2.
Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan
The two beanpoles of the female bracket get paired up here and I don’t think that bodes well for Morgan who relies on her physicality to get the better of her opponents. With that nullified, Duke is the better overall fighter here and I think she can finish this one inside the distance on the mat.
Jessamyn Duke to win by submission in Rd3.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Raquel Pennington
Modafferi’s had a good run in the sport over the years, but her lack of natural athleticism is really starting to shine through as a new generation of fighters comes through. If she can get this fight to the ground then her technique and smarts will give her a real chance, but I’m tipping Pennington to keep this one standing and give her a tough time of it leading to the stoppage.
Raquel Pennington to win by TKO in Rd2.
Akira Corassini vs. Maximo Blanco
Rani Yahya vs. Tom Niinimaki
Jared Rosholt vs. Walt Harris
Sean Spencer vs. Drew Dober
Ryan Benoit vs. Joshua Sampo