TUF 18 episode 6: An epic battle between Racquel Pennington and Jessamyn Duke
Racquel Pennington's (extreme right) win over Jessamyn Duke puts Team Tate back in the driver's seat
In the sixth episode of TUF 18, Racquel Pennington and Jessamyn fought in all out war that would rival the classic battle between TUF pioneers Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. It was revealed early in the show that Pennington and Duke were supposed to face each other even before the start of TUF 18. Duke is scheduled to fight Pennington in her first professional fight but she pulled out with the recommendation of her coach.
“Raquel and I were actually supposed to fight for my pro debut, but I had only fought at 135 once and my coach was like, I don’t want you to make your pro debut as an underdog,” states Duke. “I was all disappointed about it, but right now I think the fight was held off for a reason. Now we get to do it on the big stage. We get to do it in front of Dana White, on The Ultimate Fighter and I can’t wait to get in there.”
Pennington admits that she did not know why the fight was cancelled but she also revealed that she wanted to fight Duke since the start of the season.
“I’m not sure exactly what happened with the fight between me and Jessamyn. They pulled out, but I knew one day that we would face off in the cage,” explains Pennington.
Before the bout, all fighters went to the fight party at Green Valley Ranch and Casino. Duke however, decided not to attend to focus for her fight. Upon their return, Anthony Guttierez gave an impression that he was intoxicated. He yelled and threw some stuff in the girls’ bedroom. His actions irritated the girls and Pennington promised that the girls will have their revenge. The bout was eventually shown after a brief sparring session from Team Rousey.
Jessamyn Duke looks to utilize her reach in the opening round. She seems to get the better of the exchanges but eats a left and right combination towards the end of the first round.
In the second round, Pennington took Miesha Tate’s advice to close the distance. She countered effectively and backed Duke into the cage. Duke retaliated with some knees in the clinch but Pennington repeatedly tagged her with hard shots in the closing minutes of the round. Afterward, Dana White informs the girls that they will need a third round to decide the victor.
It was all Pennington for the most parts of the final round. Her right hand seems to find its mark on the face of her gassed out opponent. Duke’s flying knee produced a cut on Pennington with 20 seconds left in the fight. However, it was too late for Duke as all judges scored the round for Pennington.
After the score is announced, Tate tried to shake Ronda Rousey’s hand but the bantamweight champ gave her a middle finger in return. Tate just laughed off the incident.
“I tried to shake their hands afterward and Ronda just flipped me off. I think the tables have turned. She used to be the one always giggling at me, and I would get all upset about it, like I hate this girl. But I don’t really hate her anymore. To me, it’s just kind of funny.”
[Photos from fightline.com]View Article Source »