In a highly unusual move, mandated by the unique format of The Ultimate Fighter, the complete 10-fight card was not announced until just days before The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. The TUF 18 Finale takes place Saturday, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In a first, the number of women fights outnumber the male fights in the main event. This is entirely appropriate, as the female fights proved to be significantly more popular this season that did the male fights.
In another unusual occurence, the majority of the women fighters have come back resoundingly from losing streaks.
Julianna Pena entered the fighters house on a two fight losing streak, but tapped both Shayna Baszler and Sarah Moras to reach the finals. Her opponent in the finals, Jessica Rakoczy, went 0-3 in MMA before getting her first win, but beat both Roxanne Madafferi and Raquel Pennington to reach the finals. Pennington was 0-2 her last two fights going into the TUF house. Modafferi won to get into the fighter's house, but lost to finalist Rokoczy during the season; she is looking to snap a five-fight losing streak. Modafferi's UFC debut Saturday night is the culmination of a decade long dream to fight in the world's dominany league.
TUF 18 Finale
Saturday, Nov 30
Main Card (FOX Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET)
Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard
Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Rakozczy, for the women’s Ultimate Fighter of the 18th season
Davey Grant vs. Chris Holdsworth, or the men’s Ultimate Fighter of the 18th season
Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Raquel Pennington
Prelim Card (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Maximo Blanco vs. Akira Corassani
Tom Niinimaki vs. Rani Yahya
Walter Harris vs. Jared Rosholt
Drew Dober vs. Sean Spencer
Prelim Card (Live streams on the UG 7:30 p.m. ET)
Ryan Benoit vs. Joshua Sampo