The first fight on the main card is a battle between Team Tate teammates, Roxanne ‘Roxy’ Modafferi and Raquel ‘Rocky’ Pennington.
Roxanne (15-10), a long time veteran of MMA, is finally making her well deserved UFC debut. She has fought since 2003 against some of the top competition WMMA has to offer. She has fought Sarah Kaufman, Rosi Sexston, Tara LaRosa, and Marloes Coenen among many others. She lost by TKO against finalist, Jessica Rakoczy, in the elimination round of the tournament, but will still get a shot to fight in the UFC come tomorrow night.
Pennington (3-3), a veteran of Invicta, has also fought elite talent before, such as Cat Zingano. She also defeated TUF castmate, Sarah Moras, in Invicta before the show. Pennington defeated Jessamyn Duke in an incredible battle in the elimination round of the tournament. She followed that up with a decision loss in the semi-finals to Jessica Rakoczy.
Round 1: Roxy with two outside leg kicks to start. Lots of feinting from Roxy. Pennington with a nice straight right. Roxy misses a big right. Roxy pushing forward but not landing. Inside leg kick from Rocky. Nice 1-2 from Roxy, and she follows it up with a inside leg kick. Roxy looks good to start this fight. Rocky looks very gun shy. Push kick misses for Rocky. 1-2 again from Roxy. Straight right from Rocky, but Roxy is still pushing forward. Step in kick for Rocky. Roxy misses a spinning back fist. Nice combination from Roxy. Roxy pushes Rocky to the fence and eats an uppercut. Roxy looking for a hip toss on the cage, but can’t get it. Rocky pushes Roxy to the fence now and unleashes some elbows. Roxy with a nice inside leg kick. Two big jabs by Rocky. Nice body kick from Roxy, but Rocky with a big right hand that stuns Roxy to end the round. 10-9 Roxy for her pressure and striking.
Round 2: Big spinning back fist misses for Roxy. Rocky with a strong push kick. Nice 1-2 combination from Roxy as she pushes Rocky to the fence. They are fighting for position on the fence, and Rocky has her hands clasped together momentarily. Both women exchange right hooks. Roxy misses a spinning back kick and eats a 1-2 combination. Rocky sprawls and stuffs a takedown. Rocky is in full guard, while Roxy puts up rubber guard. Rocky slams Roxy as she looks for the triangle choke. Elbows from the bottom from Roxy. Rocky raining down some right hands from top position. Roxy has an armbar locked in, but Rocky lands some big hammerfists to get out. Rocky stands up and they restart in the middle. Nice inside leg kick from Rocky. Big left hook rocks Roxy. And another. Thai clinch from Roxy and lands a knee to the body. Rocky lands another nice right hook to end the round. 10-9 Rocky for more effective and powerful striking.
Round 3: They meet in the center of the cage and exchange nice combinations. Roxy is throwing a lot of different strikes. Roxy’s takedown attempt is stuffed. Body kick from Roxy. Inside leg kick followed by a left hook from Rocky. 1-2 lands for Rocky. Nice left hook from Rocky. A 1-2 lands for Rocky again. Roxy pushes Rocku to the fence, but is turned around immediately. Rocky catches a kick and nails Roxy with a 1-2. Roxy goes for a takedown, and is stuffed again. Big elbows from Rocky on top. Rocky is punishing Roxy to the body. Roxy again working rubber guard. Roxy looking for an armbar, but can not get it. More body shots from Rocky. Roxy gets up with under a minute to go, but Rocky has a deep guillotine with 10 seconds to go. Incredible survival from Roxy right there as that guillotine was very deep. 10-9 Rocky for her control on top, and more effective striking. I have it 29-28 Raquel Pennington.
Official Decision: Raquel Pennington defeats Roxanne Modafferi by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)