Nobody thought that Julianna Peña or Jessica Rakoczy would make it to the final of the Ultimate Fighter. Peña was written off early in the tournament as she prepared to take on long time womens Mixed Martials Arts veteran, Shayna Baszler. Peña herself was extremely nervous for the fight and even her fellow team mates doubted that she could win. Peña went on to stop Baszler in devastating fashion with vicious ground and pound in the second round. Jessica Rakoczy also had to face adversity on the show as she was picked last out of all the girls. Rakoczy went on to prove everybody wrong with two impressive wins.
This fight has all the makings of a classic underdog story, with the first pick taking on the last pick, but can Rakoczy go one step further and make that story a reality? The fight against Peña is certainly a tough one, but Rakoczy has a great chance of causing an upset against a heavy favourite. The 8 time World Boxing Champion has a ton of experience fighting in large events and that experience will prove invaluable come Saturday night. Rakoczy also has an incredible spirit and determination. It is this spirit that carried her through the Ultimate Fighter and saw her put on several impressive performances, despite being the underdog in nearly all of her fights.
Peña showed that she is extremely well rounded on the Ultimate Fighter with her only real weakness being her mentality. At several points throughout the show, she doubted her own ability and looked towards her coaches for motivation. This generally isn’t a good sign when a fighter is embarking upon the biggest fight of their life. You’ve only got to look at Urijah Hall on last seasons Ultimate Fighter, to see how damaging a lack of self belief can really be. One thing is for certain, Rakoczy will show up to fight on Saturday night and she is an extremely tough opponent for anyone in the Womens Bantamweight division, given her world class Boxing credentials.
When a fighters only weakness appears to be their inability to believe in themself, it’s probably not a good enough reason to not bet on them. Peña has all the tools necessary to beat Jessica Rakoczy. If Julianna Peña fights to her full potential on Saturday night, then Jessica Rakoczy really doesn’t stand a chance.
The world class boxer has a ton of heart and is a dangerous technical striker, but she won’t be able to compete with the speed and strength of Peña. The Venezuelan Vixen looked absolutely devastating on the Ultimate Fighter and she could go on to great things in the UFC.
I expect Peña to close the distance and take down Rakoczy, she should then go on to be able to finish her with the same ground and pound that she used to defeat her opponents on the show.
JULIANNA PENA TO WIN[divider]
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