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TUF 26 results: Top-seed Roxanne Modafferi advances with first-round TKO in premiere

Roxanne Modafferi (EL, MMA Fighting) Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The last time Roxanne Modafferi was on The Ultimate Fighter, she lost in the preliminary round. Now, she’s a top seed in a title tournament.

Modafferi made good on that ranking, starting The Ultimate Fighter 26 off with a bang in the premiere episode that aired Wednesday night on FS1. Modafferi finished 16th-seed Shana Dobson by TKO in the first round with violent ground and pound.

“The Happy Warrior” will now move on to face the winner of a fight between No. 8 Emily Whitmire and No. 9 Christina Marks on a later episode. The two tournament finalists will meet Dec. 1 in the Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in Las Vegas. The victor in that fight will be crowned the UFC’s first-ever flyweight champion.

Modafferi (21-13) competed on TUF 18 in 2013, but lost in the prelim round and then fell to Raquel Pennington in her only UFC fight. After the show, the women’s MMA pioneer moved to Las Vegas and Syndicate MMA, where she completely turned around her career. Modafferi, 34, has won six of eight in Invicta FC’s flyweight division.

Here are the other seeds and first-round matchups:

No. 2 Barb Honchak vs. No. 15 Gillian Robertson

No. 3 Lauren Murphy vs. No. 14 Nicco Montano

No. 4 DeAnna Bennett vs. No. 13 Karine Gevorgyan

No. 5 Maia Stevenson vs. No. 12 Sijara Eubanks

No. 6 Montana Stewart vs. No. 11 Ariel Beck

No. 7 Melinda Fabian vs. No. 10 Rachael Ostovich

No. 8 Emily Whitmire v. No. 9 Christina Marks

On next week’s episode, Bennett faces Gevorgyan.

The season is being coached by former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. Here is the TUF 26 roster divided by team:

Team Alvarez: Dobson, Marks, Eubanks, Bennett, Honchak, Fabian, Beck, Murphy

Team Gaethje: Modafferi, Whitmire, Stevenson, Gevorgyan, Robertson, Ostovich, Stewart, Montano

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