The Ultimate Fighter 26 semifinals are set.
Wednesday’s episode of the FS1 show featured the final two quarterfinal bouts of the tournament to determine the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion.
A longtime flyweight stalwart and a longshot upstart moved a step closer to the Dec. 1 finale in Las Vegas. Team Alvarez’s Barb Honchak and Team Gaethje’s Nicco Montano both advanced to the semis with unanimous decision victories.
Honchak, the former Invicta FC flyweight champ, cruised to victory over Team Gaethje’s Rachael Ostovich.
The 10th-seeded Ostovich held her own in the standup in the opening round. But after popping Honchak with a big right cross, Honchak went to her wrestling base and scored a takedown which sealed the round. In the second, Honchak went to her wrestling game early and worked Ostovich over for most of the round en route to the decision.
The other matchup featured two members of Team Gaethje in Montano vs. Montana Stewart. The bout turned on a wicked knee thrown in the clinch by the 14th-seeded Montano midway through the opening round that opened a nasty cut on Stewart’s forehead. While Stewart fought valiantly the rest of the way — including sinking in a solid guillotine early in the second round — the damage was just too much to overcome, as Montano dominated the bulk of the fight en route to victory.
Here are the semifinal matchups:
No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi vs. No. 12 Sijara Eubanks
No. 2 Barb Honchak vs. No. 14 Nicco Montano
Here are the second-round results:
No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi def. No. 8 Emily Whitmire via TKO (ground-and-pound) in Round 1
No. 12 Sijara Eubanks def. No. 4 DeAnna Bennett via KO (head kick) in Round 1
No. 2 Barb Honchak def. No. 10 Rachael Ostovich via unanimous decision
No. 14 Nicco Montano def. No. 6 Montana Stewart via unanimous decision
Here are the complete first-round results:
No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi def. No. 16 Shana Dobson via TKO (ground-and-pound) in Round 1
No. 4 DeAnna Bennett def. No. 13 Karine Gevorgyan via TKO (ground-and-pound) in Round 1
No. 6 Montana Stewart def. No. 11 Ariel Beck via submission (D’arce choke) in Round 1
No. 14 Nicco Montano def. No. 3 Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision
No. 12 Sijara Eubanks def. No. 5 Maia Stevenson via submission (kimura) in Round 2
No. 2 Barb Honchak def. No. 15 Gillian Robertson via TKO (ground and pound) in Round 2
No. 10 Rachael Ostovich def. No. 7 Melinda Fabian via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 1
No. 8 Emily Whitmire def. No. 9 Christina Marks via submission (armbar) in Round 1
The season is being coached by former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. The winner of the TUF 26 tournament will be awarded the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title.
Alvarez and Gaethje will fight at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.
Here is the TUF 26 roster divided by team:
Team Alvarez: Dobson, Marks, Eubanks, Bennett, Honchak, Fabian, Beck
Team Gaethje: Modafferi, Whitmire, Stevenson, Gevorgyan, Robertson, Ostovich, Stewart, Montano, Murphy (formerly of Team Alvarez)
Advanced to the semifinals: Modafferi, Eubanks
Eliminated in Round 2: Whitmire, Bennett
Eliminated in Round 1: Dobson, Gevorgyan, Beck, Murphy, Stevenson, Robertson, Fabian, Marks