Even if the final second had ticked off the first frame and Rakoczy had made it to the next round it was clear Pena had her number. However, while Pena came off as a killer, it’s important to keep in mind how raw the former pro boxer’s grappling skills are in relation to Rakoczy’s ability to deal with the clinch or when put on her backside. Still, Pena was the better Mixed Martial Artist in the match-up and deserves credit for her showing. For some reason, Amanda Nunes jumps out as a perfect fit for Pena’s next fight in terms of delivering a challenge also sure to leave fans pleased. Neither is overly experienced and both are aggressive.
Every win under the UFC banner is important. However, some victories stand out more than others, especially when you’re an up and coming competitor looking to make an impact in the Octagon. A number of athletes fitting that bill took to the cage on Saturday night at the Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale including Chris Holdsworth and Julianna Pena, the organization’s newest TUF champions. Here’s a look at some of the top performances from the show and what the efforts may mean to the futures of each involved fighter. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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