Raquel Pennington wasn’t able to pull the trigger to make it to
the final fight on The Ultimate Fighter, but she didn’t have that
trouble against former housemate Roxanne Modafferi on Saturday
night in Las Vegas.
With a superior boxing game that included some huge power shots
landed in each round, Pennington was the more dominant fighter over
the course of all 15 minutes against Modafferi.
In the early going, Modafferi tried to set the pace with her
activity, constantly moving forward and pressing Pennington with
her punches and kicks. As the first round progressed, however,
Pennington started to counter and landed some power shots the last
of which rattled Modafferi just before the horn sounded to signify
the end of the five minute session.
Pennington’s stand up attack forced Modafferi to look for the
ground instead, but when her takedown didn’t land she ended up on
the bottom looking for submissions. Despite one armbar attempt,
Modafferi couldn’t find anything to put her opponent in danger, but
Pennington firing back from the top position slammed down like a
hammer time and time again. Pennington eventually got the fight
stood up again and with her timing spot on at this stage in the
fight started to pop Modafferi with more and more of her shots.
The third round saw more of the same as Pennington’s striking
forced Modafferi to try and drag the action to the mat, but again
she could only end up pulling guard and working from the bottom.
Pennington stayed patient on top and absolutely unloaded the bulk
of her punishing shots to Modafferi’s body. The fighters worked
back to the feet, but it was there that Pennington turned the
tables on Modafferi, grabbing a guillotine choke and lifting her
opponent into the air. Modafferi finally crashed back to the mat
with Pennington mounted on top with the guillotine still in
With only 10 seconds remaining, Modefferi’s face contorted with
a grimace of sheer determination to survive, but it was clear that
when the fight was over that Pennington had done enough to win.
The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 — all in
favor of Pennington, who gets her first UFC win.
Pennington (4-3) was favored to make it to the finals before she
came up short against Jessica Rakoczy during The Ultimate Fighter,
but she showed up in a big way against her former Team Tate
training partner on Saturday night. Modafferi (15-11) suffered her
sixth loss in a row with the defeat to Pennington, and that could
mark her only fight in the UFC after she competed for more than 10
years to get there.