TUF 18 Finale: Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan preview and the prognostication

TUF competitors and women's bantamweight stalwarts Jessamyn Duke and Peggy Morgan face off in Nevada for the TUF 18 Finale in a bout that favors Duke.

Jessamyn Duke (2-0-1 NC) vs. Peggy Morgan (2-0) Women's Bantamweight

When we last left our heroes...Just to introduce this preview on a personal note, I realize I have a job to do here. I used to be staunchly anti-TUF. As in, I have a threshold for the amount of abuse that I can take, and every lameduck attempt to make me interested just makes me a race car in the red.

We're constantly teased by Dana about how progressively crazy this and that season will be, and each time I'm disappointed to know that sushi love jam is still the pinnacle of bad taste, and that TUF'ers aren't opposite Katniss Everdeen in a fight to the finish.

In other words, I'm trying real hard here.

With 140 words now wasted on my betrayal of responsibilities, let's talk about our two competitors. Beofre Duke entered TUF, she was undefeated until losing by KO to Miriam Nakamoto at Invicta FC 5. However, one of Nakamoto's knees that landed did so while Duke was considered a downed opponent, and so her spotless record remains. At least on the official books.

She lost her TUF bout to Raquel Pennington in a bout that can only be summed up in cliches. It was an incredible back and forth match that saw both women struggle to gain the upper hand.

As for Peggy Morgan, she also comes into this bout officially undefeated, but with a loss in the house. She was finished rather quickly by Sarah Moras via first round submission.

What both women can do: Duke has a pretty solid skillset. She uses her length as a real asset, shooting inside leg kicks from her traditional stance, and throwing knees when in close. It's a fantastic recipe for success when she's fighting to her capabilities.

We haven't seen much of her on the ground, and she hasn't lost by submission, but her long limbs make for an effective guard and she has good hip movement as was displayed with her armbar against Marciea Allen.

As for Morgan, she didn't get a chance to show much on the show. She has good size and really good back control. Offensively, she is capable on the ground though it's the other part...

What both women can't do: that needs work. Moras absolutely throttled Morgan on the ground with slick, aggressive guard passing. Duke will want to exploit this if she can.

The problem here is that Duke gets very comfortable staying at range with front kicks, leg kicks, etc. but then just bites down on her mouthpiece whenever her opponent pressures her. Pennington did a number on Duke's face simply being aggressive, and wading in with straight rights despite the much smaller stature.

Granted, Morgan doesn't have that power or aggressiveness, but it's a gameplan she may want to adopt. Still, Morgan doesn't have the ability to outstrike Duke at range, which makes this an easy pick.

X-Factor: None that I can think of.

In-Fight Soundtrack: Be Quick or Be Dead by Iron Maiden.

Prediction: Jessamyn Duke by RNC, round 2.

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