The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale takes place this evening from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and features a grudge match between lightweights Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard in the main event. Also, TUF 18 contestants Julianna Pena and Jessica Rakoczy meet in the women’s bantamweight finals, and Chris Holdsworth and David Grant meet in the men’s finals.
The TUF 18 Finale will broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m. ET with the prelims and 10 p.m. ET for the main card. Facebook prelims begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.
ProMMAnow.com will provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary on all of tonight’s action. Join in for the discussion.
NOTE: College football has gone into overtime on Fox Sports 1, delaying the broadcast of the TUF 18 Finale.
TUF 18 Finale quick results:
Main card (Fox Sports 1)
- Lightweight: Nate Diaz def. Gray Maynard by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (2:38)
- Women’s Bantamweight: Julianna Pena def. Jessica Rakoczy by TKO (strikes) Rd 1 (4:59)
- Bantamweight: Chris Holdsworth def. David Grant by submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Rd 2 (2:10)
- Women’s Bantamweight: Jessamyn Duke def. Peggy Morgan by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Women’s bantamweight: Raquel Pennington def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Preliminary card (Fox Sports 1)
- Featherweight: Akira Corassani def. Maximo Blanco by DQ (illegal knee from Blanco) Rd 1 (:25)
- Featherweight: Tom Niinimaki def. Rani Yahya by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Heavyweight: Jared Rosholt def. Walt Harris by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- Welterweight: Sean Spencer def. Drew Dober by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Preliminary card (Facebook)
- Catchweight (127.5 lbs): Joshua Sampo def. Ryan Benoit via submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 2 (4:31)
TUF 18 Finale play-by-play:
Jared Rosholt vs. Walt Harris
Round 1 – A new duo of heavyweights here. “The Big Ticket” vs. “Big Show”. Lots of eyes on Rosholt leading into this. Touch gloves. Leg kick from Rosholt. Left to the chin from Harris. Leg kick Rosholt. Nice exchange in the pocket. Body kick exchange blocked by both guys. Right from Harris. Barrage of punches followed by a body kick from Harris. Harris drops Rosholt with big punches. Somehow Rosholt gets back to his feet. Harris looking fast and powerful. Body kick Harris. Leg kick Rosholt. He ducks a punch attempt from Harris. Nice body kick from Rosholt. Right hand from Rosholt. Harris almost takes his head off with a right but falls short on the punch. Front kick from Harris. PMN sees it 10-9 Harris.
Round 2 – Body kick Rosholt. Left hook. Nice body kick. Front kick from Harris. Body kick Rosholt. Big right from Harris follows. Rosholt pressing forward. Nice knee, body shot. Right from Rosholt. Big body kick from Harris. Harris slowing down a bit. Big inside leg kick from Rosholt. Right to the body from Harris. Body kick from Rosholt. Rosholt gets tagged with a left during an exchange, stunned but fires back. PMN scores it 10-9 Rosholt.
Round 3 – Body kick exchange. Rosholt goes for a single and gets Harris on his back after lifting him up for a hard slam. Rosholt landing some ground and pound from half guard. Rosholt dropping elbows. Rosholt keeps Harris on his back the rest of the round. PMN scores the round 10-9 and the fight 29-28 for Rosholt.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jared Rosholt def. Walt Harris by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Rani Yahya vs. Tom Niinimäki
Round 1 – It’s Brazil vs. Finland in this Featherweight match-up. Leg kick Yahya. Niinimaki with a overhand right. Yahya with a single leg takedown, Niinimaki locks up Yahya’s neck with a guillotine attempt. Yahya escapes but gets put on his back. Yahya goes for a leg. Niinimaki trying to land some shots as Yahya goes for the foot, they roll. Yahya ends up on top but Niinimaki reverses, now locked in a scramble on the ground. Yahya ends up taking his back, one hooks in, goes for the neck but Niinimaki gets to his feet and puts Yahya on his back, gets side mount, looking for the crucifix position. Niinimaki now in half guard, tries to pass. Yahya scrambles but ends up on his back eating hammerfists. PMN scores it 10-9 Niinimaki.
Round 2 – Right from Yahya, clinch, dirty boxing, he presses Niinimaki to the cage. Tries to drag Niinimaki down. Niinimaki defends, gets a takedown on Yahya. Yahya goes for a guillotine, Niinimaki reverses and takes top control in side mount. Niinimaki dropping elbows. Yahya gets half guard. Referee Kim Winslow stands them up. Nice front kick knocks Yahya against the cage. Niinimaki shoots but gets caught in a guillotine. Yahya cranking it. Niinimaki pops his head out and drops some shots. Stands over Yahya, sits down in half guard, postures back up with a punch before the bell… the punch missed. PMN scores the round 10-9 Niinimaki.
Round 3 – Niinimaki with a quick takedown, lands in side mount. Tries to work some ground and pound, Yahya gains half guard. Knees to the body from Niinimaki. Ref stands them up. Leg kick Niinimaki, Yahya counters with a leg kick. Niinimaki shoots, gets caught in Yahya’s guillotine. Niinimaki lands some body shots and escapes. Yahya still has top control though, lands a few short elbows. 30 seconds to go. Yahya briefly looks for a kimura, lets it go but maintains top control until the bell. PMN scores the round 10-9 for Yahya, but the fight 29-28 for Niinimaki.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Tom Niinimaki def. Rani Yahya by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Akira Corassani vs. Maximo Blanco
Round 1 – Right front kick and a couple rights from Blanco before he puts Akira on his back. Akira starts to get up but eats an illegal knee on the way up. Corassani says he can’t see and when he tries to sit up falls over several times. This fight is over and is ruled a disqualification.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Maximo Blanco def. Akira Corassani by DQ (due to illegal knee from Blanco) Rd 1 (:25)
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Raquel Pennington
Round 1 – Leg kick Modafferi. Right hand from Pennington. Inside leg kick from Modafferi. Leg kick Pennington. They trade punches. Body kick Modafferi. Inside leg kick. Right counter from Pennington. Body kick from Modafferi. Pennington with a right. Big leg kick. Modafferi presses forward with a punch combo, nothing lands much. Right hand, leg kick from Modafferi. Side kick from Pennington. Nice right, left. Punch combo from Modafferi, goes for the clinch, takes a knee to the body. She presses Pennington to the cage, gets a head lock momentarily. Pennington turns her around and lands a nice elbow. Modafferi escapes to the center. Pennington scores again. Body kick from Modafferi. Big one two combo from Pennington. PMN scores the round 10-9 for Modafferi.
Round 2 – Left jab from Pennington after Roxy misses a spinning backfist. Nice punch combo from Modafferi as she ties Pennington up against the cage, looking for the trip. Knee to the body from Pennington in the clinch. They trade more knees then punches on the break. Nice one two from Pennington as Roxy slows down. Big right from Pennington. Roxy shoots, stuffed, pulls guard, Pennington lands a couple short shots from top. Roxy gets her in full high guard, Pennington postures up with a couple nice right hands. Roxy goes for an armbar, eats a couple hammerfists. Pennington breaks free, stands over Roxy. Ref stands them up. Inside leg kick Pennington. Nice left from Pennington rocks Roxy. They trade knees. Roxy with a left. PMN scores it 10-9 Pennington.
Round 3 – Roxy shoots, stuffed. Body kick from Modafferi, not much on it. Another body kick. Right hand. Pennington with a left, then a left right combo. Roxy ties her up, takes a knee to the body. Pennington pushes her to the cage and then they separate. Pennington lands a one two after taking a body kick. Roxy shoots, stuffed, pulls guard. Pennington on top in half guard, landing some short elbows. Roxy holding on with a high guard, looks for an armbar but Pennington lands a couple hammerfists to the body. Roxy looking for a leg, eats some punches. Pennington landing some ground and pound as Roxy gets to her feet. Pennington locks up a very tight guillotine from full mount. Roxy squirming and survives but PMN sees the round 10-9 for Pennington and the fight 29-28 for Pennington.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Raquel Pennington def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan
Round 1 – Left hook from Duke. Front kick from Duke. Nice combo from Duke. Nice body/head combo from Duke. Thai plum and knees from Duke as Morgan presses her to the cage. Duke turns her around to the cage. Duke locks up an arm in guillotine, jumps guard with it. Morgan pops her head out, Duke still has full guard, looking to transition to a triangle, landing some elbows. Duke locks up the triangle and lands some big elbows to the side of the head. PMN scores it 10-9 Duke.
Round 2 – Left from Duke. Leg kick follows, right hand. Left to body. One two, one two. Body kick. Thai plum and knee. Jab from Morgan. One two. Left from Duke. Left hook. One two. Jab from Morgan, right hand. One two from Duke. Right from Morgan. Right from Duke. Again. Leg kick. Left from Morgan. Left hook from Duke. Right from Duke. Thai plum and knees from Duke. Big left right from Duke. Left hook. Left right again. Thai plum and knee. Jab from Morgan but eats one in return. Duke gets a body lock takedown before the bell. PMN scores it 10-9 Duke.
Round 3 – Left right from Duke. Couple body kicks from Duke, again. Thai plu and knees. Morgan with a knee, another. Duke gives it back with a big punch combo to follow. Presses Morgan to the cage. Duke looks for a takedown, landing some punches in the process. Duke drags Morgan to the ground with a headlock. Morgan ends up on Duke’s back, one hook in and looking for the choke. Duke is able to spin around to half guard. Morgan on top now landing some ground and pound. Ref stands them up. Now Duke starts teeing off on the feet, lands a big right before the bell. PMN scores the round 10-9 and the fight 30-27 for Duke.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jessamyn Duke def. Peggy Morgan by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Chris Holdsworth vs. David Grant
Round 1 – Leg kick Grant. Again. Inside leg kick Holdsworth. Clinch, Holdsworth presses him to the cage, Grant turns him around and lands a big left. He backs out. Leg kick. Big right from Holdsworth staggers Grant, leg kick follows. Holdsworth presses him to the cage, Grant turns him around, looks for the takedown, no dice. Knee from Holdsworth. Grant with a body shot. Again. They tie up, Holdsworth presses Grant to the cage, looking for a single. Grant defends. One two from Grant. They tie up, Holdsworth turns him to the cage. Knee to the body. Grant turns him around, goes for a body lock takedown but ends up on the bottom. Holdsworth postures up, Grant with full guard stifles the attack. PMN scores the round 10-9 Holdsworth.
Round 2 – Holdworth lands a high kick to the noggin. Grant catches the leg and tries to dump him. Grant with body shots, front kick. Nice left to the body. Holdsworth pushes him to the cage and gets a single leg takedown. Grant bleeding from his nose. Holdsworth in control from side mount, landing some ground and pound. Grant gets to half guard, scrambles, Holdsworth takes his back with a body triangle. Holdsworth gets the rear-naked choke locked in and Grant taps out.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Chris Holdsworth def. David Grant by submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Rd 2 (2:10)
Julianna Peña vs. Jessica Rakoczy
Round 1 – Right from Rakoczy, Pena ties her up and puts her on her back. Pena on top in half guard. Pena postures up and Rakoczy kicks her back and gets to her feet. Pena pushes her to the cage. They struggle in the clinch until Pena puts her down on her back again. Pena on top in half guard. Pena lands some right hands, passes to side mount. Pena gets to full mount and postures up with punches. Rakoczy bucking up but unable to escape so far. Pena unleashing big punches and elbows from the mount. She unleashes a flurry of punishment until ref steps in with less than 10 seconds left in the round.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Julianna Pena def. Jessica Rakoczy by TKO (strikes) Rd 1 (4:59)
Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz
Round 1 – No glove touching here. Diaz showing a jab. Maynard tries to close the distance. Maynard gets a single leg relatively easy. Diaz on his back with full guard. Maynard pushes him to the cage. Diaz gets to his feet, uses a trip to put Maynard down, back to the feet quickly thouh. Maynard cut over his right eye. Leg kick Maynard. Front kick from Diaz. Right hook from Maynard. He shoots, stuffed. Diaz drops Maynard with a punch, backs him to the cage with big combos, Maynard rocked. Diaz unloading on Maynard with big punches, Maynard out on his feet and the ref steps in to stop it. Maynard tries to walk it off but falls to his knees. Wow! Beautiful performance from Diaz.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Nate Diaz def. Gray Maynard by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (2:38)