The quarterfinals of The Ultimate Fighter 18 are now complete, as we are now left with four men and four women in the semifinals. There were a lot of shockers in the opening round, as favorites fell and new contenders arose.
On the men's side of the bracket, Team Rousey has three fighters and Team Tate has just one. As for the women, it's the exact opposite, as Team Tate has three fighters to Rousey's one.
Now that the fights for the quarterfinals have been completed, let's power rank the fighters still in the house.
|1. Julianna Pena||Team Tate||Defeated Shayna Baszler|
|2. Sarah Moras||Team Tate||Defeated Peggy Morgan|
|3. Jessica Rakoczy||Team Rousey||Defeated Roxanne Modafferi|
|4. Raquel Pennington||Team Tate||Defeated Jessamyn Duke|
|5. Shayna Baszler||Team Rousey||Loss to Julianna Pena|
|6. Jessamyn Duke||Team Rousey||Loss to Raquel Pennington|
|7. Peggy Morgan||Team Rousey||Loss to Sarah Moras|
|8. Roxanne Modafferi||Team Tate||Loss to Jessica Rakoczy|
The women's side of the bracket shaped up with many surprises. Going into the quarterfinals, I thought Team Rousey had the bigger, more talented team, but they sent just one fighter, the last overall pick, into the next round.
Julianna Pena, despite early struggles in her fight, overcame the heavily-favored Shayna Baszler via submission. Pena showed powerful striking in her fight, as well as composure on the ground against the overconfident Baszler.
Sarah Moras, despite a hefty height disadvantage, showed that her ground game is legit in tapping out Peggy Morgan. She has great takedowns and submission ability, as seen in her slick armbar win against "The Daywalker."
Jessica Rakoczy, the ultimate underdog of the season, had an impressive performance in blasting through MMA pioneer Roxanne Modafferi. The former pro boxer came into the house with just a 1-3 record, leading many to doubt her skill.
Raquel Pennington won the fight of the season so far over Jessamyn Duke in a bout where she showed a great chin and powerful sledgehammers for fists. She may be the toughest woman in the house in terms of punishment absorption and damage infliction.
The semifinal matchups are set. Pena and Moras will duke it out to see who makes it to the live finale, while fellow strikers Pennington and Rakoczy will attempt to one-up Pennington's last fight to have the best bout of the season.
|1. Chris Holdsworth||Team Tate||Defeated Chris Beal|
|2. David Grant||Team Rousey||Defeated Louis Fisette|
|3. Michael Wootten||Team Rousey||Defeated Josh Hill|
|4. Chris Beal||Team Rousey||Loss to Chris Holdsworth|
|5. Josh Hill||Team Tate||Loss to Michael Wootten|
|6. Anthony Gutierrez||Team Rousey||Bye due to forfeit|
|7. Louis Fisette||Team Tate||Loss to David Grant|
|8. Cody Bollinger||Team Tate||Forfeit to Anthony Gutierrez|
The men's side of the bracket is the less featured of the two genders due to the decent-at-best fights and overall less fights in terms of quantity. That came courtesy of Cody Bollinger, whose inability to make weight for his fight against Anthony Gutierrez left the latter man with a bye to the semis.
Chris Holdsworth looks like the man to beat on the men's side of the bracket. He has top-notch jiu-jitsu that was overshadowed in his last fight when he used powerful striking to hurt Chris Beal.
David Grant and Michael Wootten are the two Brits in the house and both won their respective quarterfinals against the two Canadian fighters. Grant dominated Louis Fisette from bell to bell, while Wootten won a scrappy effort against Josh Hill to really earn his way into the next round.
The semifinals see two Brits fight two Americans. Wootten will face off with Holdsworth, while Grant meets Gutierrez, who had the aforementioned bye into this round.
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