The ninth episode of TUF 18 was to feature the final fights of the men's and women's quarterfinals, with Cody Bollinger taking on Anthony Gutierrez and Peggy Morgan taking on Sarah Moras. Of course, we only got one of those bouts, as Bollinger failed to make weight, allowing Gutierrez a bye into the semifinals.
As for the women's fight, Moras and Morgan fought for under a round until the Team Tate grappler tapped out Morgan. Moras gave up a great deal of size, but was far too overwhelming on that mat, scoring an armbar victory.
- I would have loved to see Chris Beal back in the competition, but I can understand Gutierrez not wanting to cut that much weight in a short time. I am pretty sure that is the first bye into the semifinals since the first ever seasons when they had different rules.
- If Morgan were able to keep her distance better than she did, I think she could have jabbed her way to victory. Moras was very aggressive, but footwork and solid counterstriking could have been the recipe for success.
- Moras was very confident in her ground game coming into this fight, and for good reason. Her takedown on Morgan was powerful and her top game was slick. That armbar was nasty, which eventually led to the tap.
- With the win, Team Tate's women showed that size doesn't matter. They had a smaller team than Team Rousey, especially since they had Jessamyn Duke and Morgan.
TUF 18 Rosters
|Team Rousey||Team Tate|
|Shayna Baszler||Julianna Pena|
|Jessamyn Duke||Sarah Moras|
|Peggy Morgan||Raquel Pennington|
|Jessica Rakoczy||Roxanne Modafferi|
|Chris Beal||Cody Bollinger|
|Davey Grant||Chris Holdsworth|
|Anthony Gutierrez||Josh Hill|
|Michael Wootten||Louis Fisette|
- Most of the episode concerned the weight cut for Cody Bollinger and Anthony Gutierrez. I am not surprised that Bollinger didn't make the weight, as he pigged out on bad food all season. Plus, he's a massive bantamweight that may actually be better suited at featherweight, a weight class he competed in while with Bellator.
- That being said, I am shocked that Gutierrez made weight. He looked to be a bigger perpetrator when it came to feasting on junk food, but it looked like he was working hard to get the weight down.
- As stated, I would have really loved to see Chris Beal get a second shot, especially if his hand was healed up. But, you can't blame Gutierrez for wanting a huge weight cut for the second time in a short amount of time.
- Until the finish, the Sarah Moras-Peggy Morgan fight seemed to be dragging on with boredom. However, once Moras got Morgan off the cage and was able to grapple more freely, it was worth the wait. That was a nifty, painful armbar.
- It was crazy to see how agreeable Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate were when making the semifinal matchups. I figured we'd have at least a little back-and-forth, but there was nothing there.
- The male semifinal matchups are Davey Grant vs. Anthony Gutierrez and Chris Woldsworth vs. Michael Wootten. Gutierrez and Grant both cut a lot of weight to get to 135, but Gutierrez has the benefit of being fresh from no fight in the quarterfinals. He is the grappler to Grant's striker. As for Holdsworth-Wootten, this will likely be a striker vs. grappler match. Holdsworth is a high-level ground fighter, while Wootten is a more-refined striker. That being said, Holdsworth showed good striking against Beal in his quarterfinal.
- The female semifinal matchups are Sarah Moras-Julianna Pena and Jessica Rakoczy-Raquel Pennington. The Moras-Pena fight is interesting because Pena was tough on the ground, but I think Moras is better there. Pena is a brawler, though, and if she can stay on her feet, she should be able to beat Moras. If you didn't know, Moras beat Pena last year by doctor's stoppage. As for Rakoczy-Pennington, that is going to be a slugfest. Rakoczy is a world champion boxer and Pennington is the most powerful striker in the house.
- Next week, we have Wootten-Holdsworth. The winner goes to the live finale.
The fourth episode of TUF 18featured the second women's fight of the quarterfinals, with Jessica Rakoczy of Team Rousey taking on long-time vet Roxanne Modafferi of Team Tate. Rakoczy scored the upset with a second-round knockout of Modafferi due to a vicious slam and follow-up punch.
As with the last fight's pick, Team Tate chose that fight because Rakoczy had a shoulder injury that it wanted to exploit. She worked through that, using her quickness, footwork and overall explosiveness to tire Modafferi and score the win.