The UFC closes the chapter on another installment of The Ultimate Fighter this Saturday night when Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz headline a very well-rounded fight card.

Two UFC contracts are on the line as Julianna Pena takes on Jessica Rakoczy in the final of the women’s bantamweight bracket, and Chris Holdsworth battles Davey Grant for the men’s contract. Also sprinkled throughout the fight card are TUF 18 favorites Roxanne Modafferi, Raquel Pennington, Jessamyn Duke and Peggy Morgan.

The finales of TUF seasons typically introduce quite a few fans to up-and-coming fighters who are looking to make a splash in the organization. If you’re looking for a couple of bruisers, there’s a heavyweight match-up between Jared Rosholt and Walt Harris, two guys who love to let their hands fly. On the flipside, those who enjoy the flyweights should find Ryan Benoit and Joshua Sampo enjoyable.

The preliminary card kicks off with a single bout on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages at 7:30 p.m. ET. Four additional preliminary card bouts follow on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET. The main card, also on Fox Sports 1, begins at 10 p.m. ET. The MMA Corner’s Joe Chacon, Dale De Souza and Corey Adams break down the entire card in this edition of the Round Table.

Women’s BW: Jessamyn Duke (2-0) vs. Peggy Morgan (2-0)

Chacon: Jessamyn Duke and Peggy Morgan face off in what I’d expect to be a quick fight favoring Duke. “The Gun” will push the pace against Morgan and try to end this one early. Morgan is somebody who likes to get cut up for a few rounds en route to hard-earned decision wins. She has the cardio advantage over the former model, but ultimately it will be Duke’s aggressive style and powerful strikes that ends this is the first round. Duke wins by TKO.

De Souza: Duke and Raquel Pennington took part in what I would deem the lock for the “Fight of the Season” on the show. If that can happen during a non-finale bout, imagine how Duke might push the pace against the cardio machine, Morgan. No question about it: Morgan can make this fight ugly, but she needs to get Duke down if she wants that decision, and on Duke’s watch, that just won’t happen. Give me Duke by TKO as well, but don’t call it a shocker if Duke knocks Morgan clean out.

Adams: Make it three out of three for Duke. How can I not take the Kentucky native who has a similar accent to my own? Okay, that doesn’t play into my decision-making, but I like “The Gun” against Morgan. Duke is younger, faster and has been in tough fights, as Dale mentioned. First-round TKO finish for Duke. Yee haw.

Women’s BW: Roxanne Modafferi (15-10) vs. Raquel Pennington (3-3)

Chacon: Two of the more pleasant members of the TUF cast come together for what I’d consider a fun match-up.

“The Happy Warrior,” Roxanne Modafferi, has a wealth of experience under her belt. She has fought the likes of Tara LaRosa, Shayna Baszler, Marloes Coenen, Sarah Kaufman and many other notable names in the women’s landscape. Unfortunately for Modafferi, she doesn’t have very many wins to show for all those great match-ups. Her record stands at 15-10, and she is currently on a five-fight losing streak. (Fights that took place during the filming of TUF don’t count towards her 15-10 mark.)

Raquel Pennington is a bit of a mystery still. While best remembered from the show for snapping at Julianna Pena’s daily habits, she kept to herself for the most part. We didn’t get to see too much of her fight game either. She’s good on the ground, but also has problems defending herself against the submission. In order for her to beat Modafferi, she’ll need to avoid having the fight go the distance. Modafferi likes to hold her opponent in an effort to win fights by points, and that could very well be her game plan here.

It’s hard to imagine many people rooting against “The Happy Warrior,” but Pennington should be able to find a way to utilize her submission skills and win this one before the judges get ahold of it.

De Souza: Seriously, how does anyone not like either Pennington or Modafferi? Both women come to fight in their own unique ways, and both represented Team Tate rather well for as long as they lasted in the tournament. Once the cage door shuts, though, someone’s going home with the short end of the stick.

Pennington may not have had the label of a favorite heading into this season, especially with Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke on the same season, but she fought her heart out to make it to the semifinals of the tournament. Before losing to Team Rousey’s last pick in Jessica Rakoczy, she bested Duke in one of the best fights in the history of The Ultimate Fighter, bar none. Though she came up short when she lost to Rakoczy, the loss will only motivate her to emerge as the fighter that most hardcore followers remembered watching and loving before she even got the call to come to the TUF house.

Modafferi’s road lasted until her own fight with Rakoczy, but things for “The Happy Warrior” struck more of a heartbreaking chord. Because both she and Rakoczy grew to become the two most likable women in the house, it hurt their housemates to see either one of them lose. Still, Modafferi knows about the sting of defeat, and while she had been knocked down and knocked out before, she’s no stranger to getting back up and coming back stronger.

Modafferi will not go down without a fight, regardless of how much “Rocky” throws at her. She will take all that Pennington dishes out and come back for more. Still, Pennington will not break, and her composure, along with her aggressive pace, will force the fight to the ground, where Pennington finishes it via TKO midway through the second round.

Adams: At the end of the night, this could be one of the favorites for “Fight of the Night.” Modafferi and Pennington are both warriors without question, and I see them both coming out quickly.

The only way I see Modafferi winning is by decision. I don’t think she will be able to finish a very tough fighter in Pennington. However, I do see Pennington being able to stop “The Happy Warrior”.

Pennington has to have the mindset of finishing the fight early. She can’t let Modafferi pick away at her to earn a decision. Look for Pennington to be aggressive, as she was in her fight with Duke, but this time she gets a TKO stoppage late in the first round.

TUF BW Final: Chris Holdsworth (4-0) vs. Davey Grant (8-1)

De Souza: To say that Chris Holdsworth and Davey Grant took vastly different roads to get to this bantamweight finale would understate the obvious. Holdsworth, Team Tate’s second team pick, faces off against Team Rousey’s second pick in Grant. Although both men hold potential to emerge as the second-ever bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter, only one of these two submission wizards can walk home with the six-figure contract and the spot on the UFC bantamweight roster.

We’ll call these two gentlemen “submission wizards” for a couple of reasons, one of which relates to “Dangerous Davey.” Grant holds the majority of his professional wins by way of submission, but only found himself fighting twice to book his spot in the finals. After second-round submission wins over Danny Martinez and Louis Fissette, Grant got a bye into the finale when Anthony Gutierrez missed weight.

Holdsworth, on the other hand, earned three wins en route to the finale. Holdsworth actually eliminated Fissette, but an injury to Tim Gorman brought Fissette back. Nevertheless, Holdsworth submitted Team Rousey’s first pick from the men’s selection in Chris Beal, as well as Michael Wootten, to book his spot in the finale.

Holdsworth only carries a 4-0 record, but all four wins came by submission, so don’t think this will serve as a quick bout that Grant runs through. If Holdsworth can close in on Grant and leave him unable to work any significant offense in the grappling realm, he can submit Grant, and it goes vice versa for Grant if he can close the distance on Holdsworth. Similar styles can make for a rather slow and tactical fight, so look for this one to hit the judges, and if this bout does not end in a finish, Holdsworth will control the action on the ground and attack harder for submissions, thus getting a unanimous decision.

Adams: I completely agree with Dale here. Holdsworth leaves the cage with the six-figure contract on Saturday night.

Both men will look to lock up submission holds, which is a given. It will come down to who has the better preparation coming in. Holdsworth, who trains under Duane “Bang” Ludwig and the guys at Team Alpha Male, will be in great shape coming in with A+ plus training partners. To my knowledge, Grant will be training at his home in Manchester, England, so you also have to factor in the travel that is much farther than Holdsworth’s couple of hours.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this fight ends in the first round. Holdsworth has gone to the second round just once in his entire career, and he will add another first-round submission to his record. I’ll go out on a limb and say he gets it by rear-naked choke.

Chacon: Let’s spice it up a bit here. Although both Holdsworth and Grant win via submission more often than not, that’s typically not how things end up when you match up two guys that are not only good at getting the submission but also at defending it.

Call me crazy (I’ve been called much worse), but these guys are going to be so amped up to finally fight for this contract that the fight may go more like the recent Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal fight. Heading into that bout, many believed it would be a struggle on the ground, but Kennedy caught Natal with a devastating punch. That’s how I see this fight ending up as well.

Grant fights with so much emotion, whereas Holdsworth comes across as somebody a bit more focused. Look for Grant to catch Holdsworth off-guard with some quick footwork en route to a combination of strikes that’ll land Holdsworth on his back. Grant pounces on his semi-conscious opponent for the submission victory late in the first round.

TUF Women’s BW Final: Julianna Pena (4-2) vs. Jessica Rakoczy (1-3)

Adams: Even after losing back-to-back fights prior to trying out for this year’s season, Julianna Pena turned things around in a big way. Not only did she upset the favorite on the ladies’ side in Shayna Baszler, but she was also able to reach the finals with an outstanding performance against Sarah Moras to avenge a 2012 defeat. The top pick of Team Tate, Pena has evolved as a fighter under the tutelage of Tate to become very well-rounded in her game. Even though both of her wins inside the house came by submission, her striking has improved as well.

In terms of resume, Jessica Rakoczy is the complete opposite on paper from Pena. Whereas Pena was the first pick, the 36-year-old Canadian was taken last of the eight women by Rousey. But even with the odds against her, Rakoczy has reached the finals by upsetting Roxanne Modafferi and Raquel Pennington. Rakoczy is durable, but doesn’t quite have the skill set or athleticism that Pena brings to the table.

I see this fight being competitive at first, but Pena will take over late in the first or second. Pena will be crowned the first Ultimate Fighter female winner with a second-round submission win.

Chacon: I agree with my colleague in that Pena will come away from this fight with a six-figure contract, but I don’t think it’s going to take her until the second round to win it.

Pena, for all the irritating moments she had during the season of TUF, shows signs of being a very exciting future member of the UFC roster. When she snaps her jabs properly, the damage shows up rather quickly on the face of her opponents. Her strength, agility and youth will carry her past Rakoczy.

Rakoczy can withstand an early onslaught of offense from Pena, but I see this as a very one-sided match-up. Even if Rakoczy can get out of the first round, it won’t be long until Pena imposes her will and catches Rakoczy sooner or later.

Go with sooner. Pena wins via first-round TKO.

De Souza: This could prove a difficult TUF final to call because, in essence, two underdog stories made it to the first-ever women’s bantamweight final. On one hand, Pena was picked as Team Tate’s top female selection, received much criticism for what many perceived as special attention on the part of Team Tate’s coaches and still earned herself a spot in this history-making finale. Rakoczy got picked last by Team Rousey, served as one of the most well-liked women in the house and shocked quite a few by making it all the way to this point, where she could make history at Pena’s expense.

For all of the talk about Pena receiving some favoritism because of her history with Tate, Pena proved that the things she picked up from Tate actually sank in and worked to her advantage. First came the shocker against Baszler, Rousey’s first pick, and then came the hard-fought performance against Moras, who learned first-hand that Pena did put in hard work to get to TUF 18. Now, Pena gets to shock the world one more time against Rakoczy, but rest assured, it will not come easy.

Don’t let Rakoczy’s pro record fool you into thinking that someone totally brand new to the fight game will just get thrown to Pena, though. The woman who finished Modafferi and Pennington will bring a well-rounded game much better than her MMA record suggests. Besides the fact that her losses include a split decision defeat to Felice Herrig in Bellator, as well as a 2010 submission loss to Zoila Gurgel, Rakoczy transitioned to MMA after going 33-3 as a professional boxer, and scored a knockout in her only official MMA win. Her TKO victory over Modafferi only proved further just how dangerous “Ragin’ Jessica” becomes once she lays leather on somebody.

It gets tough to call bouts like this when one underdog knows how to shock the other, but there is a darn good reason why Tate picked Pena first. She carries a stone-cold focus into every bout, and she will fight as hard as she needs to, if not harder, to come out with the win. Look for her to endure an intense fight from Rakoczy in the first round and finish her in the second when Rakoczy gives up her neck and taps to a rear-naked choke from this season’s upset queen.

LW: Gray Maynard (11-2-1) vs. Nate Diaz (16-9)

Chacon: Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz will get together for a third time to headline this card. Technically, this fight should be considered Maynard vs. Diaz II because their fight during the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter isn’t recognized as an official bout on their professional records. It is, however, being given the title as the third match-up to settle the score, as each fighter has one win apiece against the other.

The last three fights for Maynard haven’t been anything to write home about. Two years ago, he was knocked out by Frankie Edgar. That was followed up with a fight against Clay Guida, which was one of the worst fights I’ve ever seen. Guida utilized the bicycle approach to fighting and we were left seeing Maynard chase “The Carpenter” around for five rounds. The last time we saw Maynard, he was getting knocked out by T.J. Grant just six months ago. As the case with any fighter who has lost two of his last three, Maynard needs to get back on track quickly, especially considering he is approaching the age of 35.

Diaz has taken a tumble as of late as well. A loser of his last two fights, Diaz needs to focus more on his excellent overall game and less on trying to bait his opponent in with trash-talking. When on his feet, Diaz is a good striker. He’s not as good as his brother, but very competent. He doesn’t have one-punch knockout power, but he can dance in and out of the pocket with quick jabs and follow it up with a takedown to come out of this with a win.

Maynard has a strong wrestling background that has kept him from being submitted in his 15-fight career. Diaz is a phenomenal talent on the ground who has world-class BJJ skills. Both fighters have excellent cardio and like to grind out wins. Maynard goes the distance more often than not, whereas Diaz gets his wins by submission.

Something has to give here. Unless the Diaz brothers have joined together to somehow flip the bird to the UFC, I can’t see Diaz losing a third straight fight. He should come out extremely motivated to keep his family name relevant in the MMA game. Although Maynard has not been submitted, I can’t help but get the image of Diaz throwing up a triangle and beating Maynard in my mind.

Diaz gets Maynard to the ground in this fight and wins via submission late in the third round.

De Souza: I agree with Joe, in that I cannot see Diaz losing a third straight fight. But, of course, that does not mean Maynard cannot win. Remember, the majority of wrestlers that face Diaz find a way to shut his game down to where he cannot strike for long or work his BJJ game from any position. While Diaz made things work the first time he fought Maynard on The Ultimate Fighter 5, Maynard earned a split decision over Diaz in January 2010.

Still, Diaz came a long way from the kid that lost the split to Maynard. His boxing remains a threat, his grappling still stands as some of the most sound in the division, and he will carry a reach advantage that he will not shy away from using. We must remember, though, that Nate might fight similarly to his brother Nick, but notable differences exist in the way the two men throw punches. Also, when it comes down to finishing fights, Nate owns a bit more success in finding submissions, whereas big brother Nick can claim more TKOs and knockouts.

Maynard, for his part, owns some power in his hands, or so we think. The majority of his success comes from dominating with his wrestling game by maintaining positional control and not allowing his foes to stay active from the bottom. The performance against Guida marked a strange bout all around, but again, a guy with Maynard’s wrestling can still shut down Diaz if he can press him against the cage and sap his energy from him before getting him down.

I would not find much shock in Maynard trying to stand with Diaz for the majority of the bout in an attempt to rock Diaz and potentially knock him out. However, this one should hit the third round, and regardless of whether Diaz needs the finish by that time or not, he will find it early in the third, via a submission hold of his own personal choice.

Adams: All valid points raised by my fellow panelists, but I think Maynard deserves more credit than given. In fact, I’m saying he hands Diaz his third straight loss on Saturday.

Remember, Maynard has beaten Diaz before in 2010, and even though it was by split decision, Maynard has the style to top the kid from Stockton again. Diaz doesn’t have the frame to defend takedowns, and Maynard is one of the top wrestlers in the lightweight division. The key for “The Bully” is to actually bully Diaz on the ground rather than falling into a trap submission.

On the feet, we know what Diaz is going to do. Throw up fingers and look to pick his opponent apart. The thing with Maynard is that he won’t be fazed by the trash talk, and, as Dale mentioned, Maynard could easily drop Diaz with a punch. But if Diaz’s jab is on point, it could be a long night for the former Michigan State Spartan.

With this fight being just a three-round affair, I see it going the distance. If this were a five-rounder, Maynard might be able to finish the fight, but with it being just three, the safe pick is a decision.

Preliminary Card
FlyW: Ryan Benoit (7-2) vs. Joshua Sampo (10-2)

Adams: If you don’t know me well enough, you’ll quickly realize the flyweight division is my favorite. This fight between Ryan Benoit and Joshua Sampo features two newcomers where the winner could become one of the names in the mix very soon. Benoit is a striker with six of his seven wins coming by knockout, while Sampo brings in a grinder style and a CFA championship reign. This is a tough call, but I’m going to lean toward Sampo due to the competition level of fighters he has face. His cardio will be the key to winning a decision.

De Souza: I also love flyweight bouts, so obviously, this means that I will have both eyes glued to this fight. Benoit packs a strong striking game that can keep the grinder Sampo at bay, but don’t sleep on “Baby Face” Benoit in regards to his striking power. If he lands something hard enough on Sampo, he can rock him. Still, I’ll give Sampo all the credit for getting the job done in long-distance bouts. He submits Benoit if he can get him to the ground.

Chacon: Sign me up for a good flyweight fight as well. Although Benoit and Sampo are capable of putting each other away, the important factors that give Sampo the edge are experience and stamina, just as Corey suggested. This one will go the distance, with Sampo getting the unanimous decision win.

HW: Jared Rosholt (8-1) vs. Walter Harris (4-1)

De Souza: A bout between heavyweight prospects Jared Rosholt and Walter Harris certainly garners a nice share of interest, especially given that both men come into the UFC with one loss each. Rosholt and Harris can finish fights, but Harris’ lone loss came by decision, whereas Rosholt was finished by Derrick Lewis in Legacy FC. This may appear as a tough call, but should Rosholt find an opening to land a huge shot, he takes a first-round knockout over Harris.

Chacon: I really enjoy what I’ve seen from Rosholt. The man is a bruiser, plain and simple. As you might expect from a heavyweight making his UFC debut, he has a few first-round knockouts. Harris brings the same type of power with him into the Octagon, but in the end it appears Rosholt looks a little more polished and should come away with a TKO win.

Adams: Look out, “The Big Show” is stepping inside the Octagon. No, not the WWE one. This is Rosholt, who is dangerous both standing and on the mat. Just from looking at the record of the Bama boy Harris, you’ll see he’s a bit one-dimensional. All four of his wins have come in the first round by knockout, so he’ll be head-hunting early and often. However, I see Rosholt taking the fight to the ground and finishing there with punches.

FW: Rani Yahya (19-7) vs. Tom Niinimaki (20-5-1)

De Souza: Let the record show that no man has defeated Tom Niinimaki since November 2006, and that “Stoneface” rides a nice 11-fight winning streak at the moment. For all the Finnish fighter promises, he will face a stern test in former ADCC Submission Wrestling champion Rani Yahya, who knows how to tire guys out with ease. Should he defeat Niinimaki, Yahya should start declaring intentions to face tougher featherweights. After much thought, however, I must go with an upset pick. The newcomer picks apart Yahya and takes the better end of a unanimous decision win.

Adams: This a difficult call due to the fact that we haven’t seen Niinimaki compete inside the Octagon. However, with “Stoneface” being a veteran, the jitters shouldn’t factor into the outcome. Yahya deserves more respect for his three-fight winning streak, and many people forget he fought for the WEC bantamweight title way back in 2007. In the end, I have to go with my gut instinct and pick Yahya. If the Brazilian can take control early, he can grind out a decision win.

Chacon: If there was ever a fight to pick by flipping a coin, it’d be this one. Niinimaki has looked impressive during his 11-fight winning streak, but Yahya smothers his opponents with such a technically sound ground game. In a situation like this, it’s hard to go against “Stoneface” and his recent track record. Niinimaki by split decision.

WW: Drew Dober (14-4) vs. Sean Spencer (10-2)

Adams: After many setbacks, Sean Spencer finally has an opponent for this card. Drew Dober steps in for an injured Sergio Moraes, but certainly doesn’t give Spencer an easy fight. Despite losing to Daron Cruickshank to not have a chance to advance on TUF 15, Dober has won his last five fights. Three of those came by submission, which is Spencer’s vulnerable area. Give me Dober by second-round submission.

Chacon: I completely agree with Corey. Spencer may have the bigger frame, but Dober has lightning-fast transitions on the ground that should result in giving Spencer his second submission loss of 2013. Dober’s best chance of winning this fight will be in utilizing his size and pressing Spencer up against the cage for three rounds in an effort to earn a victory in the eye of the judges. Spencer should be able to take Dober down and get that submission win before the judges get their hands on this one.

De Souza: My big question for Spencer regards the short notice that Corey brought up. Moraes does bring a grappling offense that could’ve given Spencer fits, but, as has already been pointed out, Dober’s size makes the challenge much different for Spencer than what he would’ve encountered against Moraes. I would anticipate him using his size in the first round and forcing Spencer down by the second, where he will hunt for submissions. If he does not find any, though, he will finish the fight from the back. However, more likely, he will get a TKO in round two.

FW: Akira Corassani (11-3) vs. Maximo Blanco (9-4-1)

Chacon: This fight between Akira Corassani and Maximo Blanco should be a pretty open-and-shut case. If Blanco can keep this fight standing up, his odds of winning greatly increase due to his wild and violent way of striking. Corassani no doubt has plans of getting Blanco to the canvas as soon as possible. Corassani is looking to win his third straight fight, whereas Blanco is trying to string together consecutive wins for the first time since 2010. Look for Corassani to catch Blanco off balance and get this fight to the ground in the waning moments of the second round, leading to a submission win for the Swede.

Adams: For the most part, I agree with Joe’s analysis. This fight will come down to Corassani getting a takedown or Blanco landing shots to the chin of the Swedish fighter. All three of Corassani’s losses have come by knockout, but I see this fight hitting the mat early and often in his favor. Corassani improves to 3-0 in the UFC with a unanimous decision win.

De Souza: When you’re on, you’re on, and Corassani has shown that he knows how to turn it on while under the UFC banner. The explosive former Sengoku standout, Blanco, will present a problem on the feet, but he needs to bring a calmer version of his stand-up if he hopes to defeat Corassani. The former TUF 14 standout will not play the wild and violent brawling game, and if Blanco gets too reckless, he’ll get taken down and submitted before the end of round two, or perhaps round three at the latest.

Photo: Nate Diaz (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)