This season of “The Ultimate Fighter” has had its share of upsets, right back to the elimination matches in the first episode.
One of the fights featured Invicta FC fighter Raquel “Rocky” Pennington taking on veteran Tonya Evinger, who was coming in with 11 wins and riding a three-fight winning streak. On the other side you had Pennington, who had lost back-to-back matches to Leslie Smith and Cat Zingano, both top 10 ranked fighters in their divisions.
Despite Evinger’s experience, Pennington locked in a guillotine choke that earned her a submission win and a trip into the “TUF” house and a spot on the team coached by former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate. Even though Pennington has an even record, numbers don’t necessarily matter when a fighter enters the UFC for the first time. Look at Mark Hunt. For all we know, she could end up in the finals and win the tournament.
Pennington’s opponent for the next round will either be Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke or Peggy “The Daywalker” Morgan, who are both undefeated. It would not surprise me to see Pennington take on Duke as they have crossed paths on the camera where Duke joked about having access to a list of women’s match-ups for the show. Although both of her opponents have a height advantage, Pennington’s has the grappling skills to take them to the mat.
Even if Pennington loses her next fight, she could be invited to participate on the “TUF” 18 finale, Nov. 30, if she puts on an impressive performance.
Who do you hope Pennington fights in the first round of the show? Answer with a comment below, send a tweet to @alstover or email [email protected]