The Ulitimate Fighter 18If it wasn’t for the women of The Ultimate Fighter 18 this season could have been considered the worst season ever for the reality MMA show.

The 18th domestic season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close this weekend when two new fighters will be inducted into the fraternity of TUF season winners. This season was supposed to be different and for the most part it was, but not all of it was good.

For the first time in the shows history female contestants were competing for the UFC contract and the shows two coaches were also female. The eight women, along with eight men would be living in the same house, training together and when it was all said and done two of them (one man & one woman) would become the next Ultimate fighter.
No one really knew what to expect from this format and with the taped portion now behind us I doubt anyone could have guess it correctly anyway. To put it bluntly, without the eight women who entered the TUF house, this season could have been considered the worst season of The Ultimate fighter ever!

Of the eight men who competed in The Ultimate Fighter 18, two of them missed weight which got them booted from the house but more importantly allowing their opponents a free pass to the next round. David Grant earned his place opposite Chris Holdsworth in the finals when Anthony Gutierrez missed weight in the semifinal round. Oddly enough it was Gutierrez who gifted a spot in the semifinals when Cody Bollinger failed to make weight in the quarterfinals. This is not to take anything away from Grant, as he and Holdsworth were the other two fighters to finish their fights, post elimination round.

The women on the other hand brought their A-game and carried the entire show and its below average ratings as well. The female cast was a mix for veterans of the sport and newcomers but no matter who stepped into the Octagon you can just see the desire and determination. The women’s final will be Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Rakoczy but the other six will also get their chance under the bright lights. Only Shayna Bazler and Sara Moras will not be making their offical UFC debut, but that is only because of injury, according to these two will get their shot in 2014.

In case you were wondering, besides the two finalist none of the eliminated men are scheduled to fight at The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale. Here is the complete fight card for The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale, which will air live on FOX Sports 1.

Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard
TUF 18 Women’s Final: Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Rakoczy
TUF 18 Men’s Final: Davey Grant vs. Chris Holdsworth
Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Raquel Pennington
Maximo Blanco vs. Akira Corassani
Tom Niinimaki vs. Rani Yahya
Walter Harris vs. Jared Rosholt
Drew Dober vs. Sean Spencer
Ryan Benoit vs. Joshua Sampo*

(*) This bout will stream live on UFC YouTube page.

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