Julianna Peña was the first fighter selected on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate, and at the TUF 18 Finale on Saturday night in Las Vegas, she proved why.
Peña faced Jessica Rakoczy in the TUF 18 women’s bantamweight final, but never gave the world champion boxer a chance to do any damage on their feet. Save for the one punch that Rakoczy landed in the opening seconds of the fight, it was all Peña.
She quickly rushed in, clinched Rakoczy, and tossed her to the mat, going to work from half guard. Peña stood to drop down punches, but Rakoczy kicked her away and returned to her feet.
That didn’t last long, however, as Peña kept the pressure on, clinching and tripping her back to the mat. Peña stood again, but this time dropped into side control and then moved to full mount and never let up.
Once in mount, Peña rained down an endless barrage of elbows and punches. Rakoczy defended well for a time, but eventually covered up. When she did, Peña turned up the heat and kept attacking until referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight with one tick left on the clock.
At four minutes fifty-nine seconds of the opening round, Julianna Peña made history, stopping Jessica Rakoczy to become the first female Ultimate Fighter ever.
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