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TUF 26 results: DeAnna Bennett grounds Karine Gevorgyan to pick up TKO victory

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DeAnna Bennett Getty Images

DeAnna Bennett won one for her Dad.

The 32-year-old Bennett (8-3), whose father passed away in late 2016, made short work of the relatively inexperienced Karine Gevorgyan (3-2) on the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter 26, finishing her with ground and pound in the opening round of their contest.

“My dad passed away this past December,” Bennett mentioned on the show. “And it was the absolute worst thing that’s ever happened to me. He was my best friend, he was the person that I can talk to about everything and anything, and my biggest supporter.”

Similar to the first episode, this week’s matchup pitted a grappler vs. a striker and it was the wrestling of Bennett that allowed her to get inside of Gevorgyan, take her down, and strike her with punches from top position until the referee waved off the bout.

Though TUF fights don’t count towards a martial artist’s professional record, this had to be a relief for Bennet who has lost her last three fights inside the Invicta FC cage after beginning her career 8-0. She holds notable wins over Jennifer Maia, Colleen Schneider, and TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena.

Gevorgyan’s struggles were exacerbated by her inability to communicate with coach Justin Gaethje, as the Armenian native only possesses limited English-speaking capabilities. Attempts to work through a translator failed to bridge the gap between the coach and his pupil.

Also in the episode, UFC and Invicta veteran Lauren Murphy began to look ahead to a potential matchup with teammate Barb Honchak, and Emily Whitmire suffered an upper body injury during training that could jeopardize her ability to compete in the tournament.

Here are the first-round results so far, and the remaining remaining seeds and matchups:

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. 2 Barb Honchak vs. No. 15 Gillian Robertson

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

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, Stewart faces Beck.

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

Advancing to Round 2: Modafferi, Bennett

Eliminated: Dobson, Gevorgyan