TUF 18 Episode 13 Recap: Rakoczy Defeats Pennington, Finale SetFormer boxing champion Jessica “The Ragin'” Rakoczy scored yet another impressive victory during tonight’s 13th episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18: “Team Rousey vs Team Tate.” Rakoczy earned her spot in the TUF 18 final by outpointing Raquel “Rocky” Pennington in a three-round striking battle.

With the win, Rakoczy, who was this season’s final team pick, moves on to face number one seed Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña on Saturday. The victor will be crowned as the first ever TUF female winner. In the men’s final, Team Rousey’s Davey Grant faces Team Tate’s Chris Holdsworth.


Rakoczy and Pennington traded jabs and leg kicks during the first two minutes of tonight’s semi-final matchup. Both scored with right hands and Pennington countered a knee by clinching in search of a takedown. Rakoczy defended well against the cage, but Pennington eventually got her down and she finished the close round on top.

In round two, Rakoczy got off to a quick start with more jabs, right hooks and one-twos. She began to target the body with her strikes, but Pennington fired back with a flurry of her own. Rakoczy backed Pennington up with punches and she kept the pressure on with more jabs. Pennington worked for a late takedown and Rakoczy stayed on her feet until the bell.

Rakoczy controlled the striking exchanges once again in the final round and she kept Pennington at bay with jabs and counter right hooks. Rakoczy landed another right hand and she rushed forward with a three-punch combo that forced Pennington to backpedal. Pennington took Rakoczy down in the final 20 seconds, but it was Rakoczy who was most active with strikes from her back.

After 15 minutes of action, all three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Rakoczy, who entered the gruelling tournament competition as an underdog and now finds herself one win away from making history as the first female winner of The Ultimate Fighter. Rakoczy represents Team “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey when she faces Team Miesha “Cupcake” Tate fighter Peña at the TUF 18 Finale on Saturday night.

Also on the TUF 18 Finale card, Grant takes on Holdsworth in the men’s final. Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke faces Peggy “The Daywalker” Morgan and Pennington looks for redemption when she battles Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi. The event takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.



(Photo Credit: UFC)

  1. Rakoczy’s been underestimated from Day 1, and I must admit I was guilty of the same. Maybe easy to do given her 1-3 MMA record coming in. But MMA is all about technique and mental strength, and Jessica has both in abundance. Add to that time to get healthy, put on some muscle, and a couple of months of dedicated training — anything’s possible come Saturday night against Pena. No doubt Rakoczy will again be the underdog, but I’m starting to like her chances.