The Ultimate Fighter 18 Recap: Episode 13 – Semi-Final: Rakoczy vs Pennington
Raquel Pennington is on camera saying she grew up a big tom boy who always played rough with the boys. In high school, she got a bunch of athletic scholarships but she broke her back snowboarding so she could not take any scholarship. She took MMA sparring with her mother and just found it very interesting.
Miesha Tate says they are both heavy-handed but Raquel has the advantage due to her grappling and wrestling credentials. Pennington says she will bully the much smaller Rakoczy. She is not scared to go toe-to-toe with Jessica though.
Training with Louis Fisette, Pennington hurts her hand. The doctor put her dislocated bone back in place, so she is OK but her hand is swollen.
Jessica Rakoczy says she needs good footwork to beat Pennington. She wants to stand, keep her distance, and move in and out. Rakoczy has won eight world titles in boxing. She was embarassed in her first few MMA fights so she honed her jits in the gym and returned. Edmond Traverdyan keeps reminding her that they will be trying to take her down.
They show Rakoczy sparring with Chris and he rocks her with a right and her arm goes numb. They want her to take it easy until the fight now. She says she will not feel it in the fight.
Weigh-ins: Jessica Rakoczy (133.5) vs. Raquel Pennington (135)
Most fighters see Jessica as the underdog and see Raquel trying taking her down.
Jessica talks about her aunt from Canada watching her son Jessie while she is in the TUF house. She also reflects on being the last pick and now she has a chance to be in the Finale.
Jessica Rakoczy vs Raquel Pennington
R1. Jabs by Rakoczy keep Pennington at a distance, but then Pennington scores a leg kick. More strikes by Rakoczy. Leg kick by Rakoczy. Leg kick and left by Rakoczy. Leg kick by Pennington scores but it is returned and Rakoczy gets a few jabs in as well. Leg kick by Pennington. Left hook by Rakoczy and she follows up close and Pennington grabs her and holds her close. Single leg by Pennington the Rakoczy is fighting off. Pennington gets her down with a minute left and is in side control but Rakoczy works back to her feet and lands some elbows. Pennington has her back standing and gets her down but eats a bunch of elbows.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 Rakoczy
In between rounds, Tate tells Pennington that she won that round because of the takedown.
R2. Rakoczy jabs high and then low. A lot of punches coming up short by both fighters in first minute. Jab scores by Rakoczy. Nice left hook by Rakoczy. Right by Pennington scores. Pennington finally steps up and scores a few punches. Leg kick by Pennington. Double jab by Rakoczy and a nice combo too. Leg kick by Pennington. Rakoczy steps up and lands two. Jab by Rakoczy. Straight right scores for Rakoczy. 40 seconds left and Pennington shoots. Rakoczy fights it off.
Top MMA News scores it 10-9 Rakoczy
R3. Double jab by Rakoczy who is out pointing Pennington and keeping to her game plan of keeping her distance and moving in, strike, and get out. Leg kick by Pennington. Jab by Rakoczy. Not much landing again until a combo by Rakoczy scores. She is just faster and a better striker. Penning cut open over her nose and she shoots. Rakoczy fights it off and lands a leg kick. Push kick by Pennington and a left scores. Double jab by Rakoczy. Hard left scores for Rakoczy and that was the hardest strike of the fight so far. Two mins left. Right by Rakoczy scores and she goes in for more but Edmond screams “Don’t over commit” as he wants her to keep her distance. Rakoczy listens. Good coaching! Left hook scores for Rakoczy. Hard right scores, too. Thirty seconds and Pennington shoots and gets her down. She eats strikes from the bottom as the fight ends.
Top MMA News scores the fight 10-9 Rakoczy
Jessica Rakoczy defeats Raquel Pennington by Unanimous Decision (30-27×3)
Dana White said Raquel Pennington “did nothing today” and “just froze.” Shayna Baszler says Jessica “looked awesome” and Pennington “did not show up” Miesha Tate said Pennington “wasn’t listening.”
Ronda Rousey calls Rakoczy the “most improved fighter on the entire show.”
Pennington and Tate go for a walk. Pennington says “that wasn’t me out there. I just didn’t perform. I just had a mental block.”
The finals are set and it they are both Tate vs Rousey:
Julianna Pena (Tate) vs Jessica Rakoczy (Rousey)
Chris Holdsworth (Tate) vs David Grant (Rousey)
At the end, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate square off. Tate gives her socks with the middle finger on them because Rousey has been flipping her off all show. Rousey slaps her with them before squaring off. White says he “couldn’t get them out of the Octagon fast enough.” Tate gets the socks that are on the canvas and throws them at Rousey as she is outside the cage. Rousey tells her to “get used to wiping your ass with the other hand.”