UFC TUF 18 Finale Results Recap: Diaz Wipes Out Maynard!
Ultimate Fighting Championship's TUF 18 Finale card took place last night (Nov. 30, 2013) and in the main event, Nate Diaz sent Gray Maynard to a definitive TKO loss after a barrage of punches in round one. In the co-headlining bout, Julianna Pena won via TKO over Jessica Rakoczy while on the men's side, Chris Holdsworth submitted Davey Grant.
You have to feel for Maynard, who has been in two title matches and several headlining spots and still has less than 15 fights in his career. Now 34 years old and 1-3-1 in his last five outings, Maynard is at a crossroads in his career. Even a drop to 145 lbs will not keep him relevant after two first round TKO losses. Here is a case of the UFC thrusting a TUF alumni into the upper echelon of a division rather than bring him along, but Maynard's age made him a long shot. Likely, Diaz laid him to rest this past weekend.
The three women's matches showed that the sport can do a show featuring women and still be exciting and thrilling. Most of the women that fought on the card will fit nicely ito the UFC's 135 lb weight class. The UFC is talking about a 115 lb class, but that would be wrong to skip the 125 lb class, as many of the women currenty competing at 135 could easily be factors at 125.
Roxanne Modaferri continues to be a crowd pleaser, though she took another loss and is at the tale end of her career. Raquel Pennington, the girl that beat her, needed a win bad after a two fight skid, and she came through against the veteran.
Jessamyn Duke beat Peggy Moragan in the other undercard match, and a Duke versus Pennington rematch from TUF 18 could be a logical next step for both girls.
The TUF season winner is Julianna Pena, who was able to get the stoppage over Jessica Rakoczy with only a second left in the round. Pena is now 5-2 on her official record, but she wins the series and will likely get a step up match for her next bout.
On the men's side, Bantamweight Holdsworth enters a crowded, top-heavy division with a lot of work to do to get mentioned along with Renan Barao, Dominic Cruz and Urijah Faber, among others.
Overall, the women will be heard from more than the men after this season of TUF, as the oerall formula of the show on the men's side has resulted in a ton of pretty anonymous talent who are never heard from in the UFC again. Hopefully these ladies take advantage of being first, because it has not happened for the women's divisions yet, but it will.