The Gentleman’s Guide to The Ultimate Fighter 18: Episode 13 – Final TUF Thoughts
Well, I can’t believe that the final episode is done and the season is over. It seems like just yesterday I was at the tryouts in Vegas waiting in line for hours with 300+ plus fighters from all over the world, all with the same goal.
Jessica Rakoczy vs Raquel Pennington
I will kick things off right away with the final fight between Raquel and Jessica. I really liked both girls. I became pretty close with Raquel, being part of the “late night” club, and Jessica and I are from the same hometown so I was going to be happy with whoever came out on top. I actually predicted Raquel to win. I thought she would be bigger and stronger, use her wrestling to take the fight down and make it a long night for Jess but I was wrong. Jess used great footwork and her extremely technical striking to keep Raquel away and pick her shots. It seems Raquel just could not get anything off and was a bit frustrated. I do not know if that was from Jessica’s great movement and angles or Raquel was just having an off day, but regardless Jessica looked good and fought very well throughout the whole show.
The TUF 18 Finals
The finals are now set – Jessica vs Julianna. I think the keys to victory for Jessica is a lot of footwork and angles. She has to stay technical and land crisp shots on Julianna and stay composed. For Julianna, I think the opposite. She has to make it ugly, put enormous pressure on Jessica, and look to take it to the mat. I am rooting for Jess, just because she is a Steeltown girl and would be nice to see someone from around my area win it.
Holdsworth and Davey is interesting. I think Chris needs to use his reach well, like he always does and stay away from Davey’s power and if the fight hits the mat, he can’t give any space. Davey, I think, needs to use his strength and not let Chris get a rhythm, he needs to put the pressure on him. Awesome fight though, this fight could go so many ways I cant actually pick a winner, but i think if Chris wins it is by sub and if Davey wins its by KO/TKO. I am excited to see it.
I have had people ask me if I regret going on the show and my answer is ‘absolutely not’. I have had an experience of a lifetime, an experience only a couple hundred people throughout the entire world have got to do. Not many can say that they have been on a big budget reality television show. Obviously I wish that the results went differently with me winning the entire show, but I guess it just was not in the cards this time.
I have made new friends all over the world and so many new connections all over the world – even outside of MMA. Overall, I think it will make me a better fighter as a whole and, even more importantly, a better person. This is another BIG chapter in my life. One that I can look back on when I am old and remember and be proud to be a part of.
As for what is next career wise. I am going to enjoy the rest of this year with family and friends, let the body and mind heal, and begin training camp right at the new year. I will be fighting in the first quarter of 2014 but I am not going to say with whom or against who yet, because it is not offically a done deal, but i will say i am very excited about it.
Thank you everyone that has supported me throughout this whole experience i am very fortunate to have so many good people around me.
“Gentleman” Josh Hill