It’s the second fight of the quarterfinals. Again, a pair of Anthony Pettis’ fighters will square off. This battle will pit the no. 5 seed, Aisling Daly, against the no. 4 ranked, Jessica Penne.
Daly has been trying to fit in with the others, but realizes that’s probably not in the cards. What keeps her going is knowing her teammates back in Ireland support her.
Penne is a self-proclaimed “loner”, but is close with Justine Kish. Kish has been trying to get closer to Daly as well, but can’t really seem to crack the surface with her.
Kish and Penne have been preparing together for the upcoming fight. They are aware that Aisling has an unorthodox style in the cage. Kish is working with Penne on controlling the distance and space.
The teams enjoy a day at the Harley-Davidson store where the coaches and ladies check out some motorcycles. Whoever is crowned champion gets a customized Harley to take home as does the winning coach. Gilbert Melendez tells his team’s last hope, Rose Namajunas she’s got to win it all so he can have a motorcycle.
Daly is still acclimatizing to the desert. She also sees the coaches working with and assisting Jessica much more than they do with her. Her Straight Blast Gym teammate Conor McGregor shows up at the gym which lifts her spirits.
A rising contender in the featherweight division, McGregor offers support by picking up the UFC belt off the wall it’s been mounted on, hands it to Daly and tells her that’s her belt. He senses the tension in the air immediately upon entering the girls’ locker room. Aisling makes it a point to only introduce Conor to those who have been kind to her. McGregor says he’s not sure if he would have ever made it through an Ultimate Fighter experience.
FIGHT RECAP: #5 Aisling Daly (14-5) vs. #4 Jessica Penne (11-2)
Round One: The girls trade some punches after a bit of feeling out and Penne is poked in the eye. Referee Herb Dean checks on Penne and the action resumes. Daly stays busy switching stances. Penne uses her jab to set up a takedown that’s defended by Daly. They clinch up and Penne knees Daly. Penne continues to attempt to leverage a takedown, but it’s defended. Daly and Penne exchange punches against the cage. Daly reverses the clinch and initiates some knees and strikes of her own. Penne reverses the clinch and tries to take Daly’s back, but can’t. Daly takes control of the clinch and gets in some more punches. Penne breaks away from the clinch and lands a front kick. Penne strikes with a pair of rights and a combo. Daly counters witha combo. They end up in the clinch where Daly is the aggressor and takes Penne down. Daly again trips Penne, but won’t engage in her guard. Penne’s back to her feet and finishes the round strong landing strikes.
Round Two: Daly comes out landing punches right away. They exchange punches again and Penne’s right continues to land. Penne clinches up with Daly and Aisling immediately reverses the clinch. Daly lands rights and knees, then she takes Penne down. Daly won’t engage on the ground. They clinch back up and Penne brings a sharp jabs and knees. Penne lands to the body and delivers a strong combo. A hard left from Penne hits and she follows up with a leg kick. Daly clinches up and tries to trip Penne. She gets the trip, but Penne leverages her weight to take top control. Penne mounts Daly and lands punches. Daly gives up her back and Penne continues to rain down punches to the bell.
Round Three: Penne starts with the jab and kicks. Daly counters with a hard kick to the body. Penne trips Daly, looks to take her back, but slips off. Daly briefly manages to take hold of Penne’s leg but can’t secure a leg lock. Daly sweeps and comes into Penne’s guard. Penne looks for a triangle, but Daly tries to improve her position and escapes. Penne goes for mount, but Daly prevents it. Penne maintains top control against the cage and finally finds side control where she’s able to generate some offense. In half guard, she continues to land punches on Daly. With about 45 seconds left, Daly gets to her feet. She comes straight forward and eats a few punches from Penne. Daly goes for a takedown in the final seconds and gets it. Penne comes right back up as the fight ends.
Pettis calls the fight one of the best he’s seen all season. Melendez liked the aggression from Daly in her standup. Jessica Penne takes the decision and advances.
Penne says she’s tired and that Daly was tough. All of Team Pettis’ coaches talk about how strong Daly is. Daly is in the showers getting her tape cut off. Daly said she felt a little sluggish out there. Once the fight is over, they hug it out.
Both of the last quarterfinals: Esparza vs. Torres and Calderwood vs. Namajunas, will be seen on the next TUF 20 episode airing at 10:00pm EST next Wednesday on FOX Sports 1. Check out the full tournament bracket by clicking here.