This weekend at UFC Vegas 35, the 29th series of The Ultimate Fighter draws to a close as Bryan Battle collides with Gilbert Urbina. However, there can only be one winner. Who will become the next ultimate fighter?
With just a week until the finale, the return of The Ultimate Fighter hit a bump in the road as finalist Treasean Gore, was forced to withdraw due to a serious knee injury. Gilbert Urbina, whom Gore beat in the semi-finals will now find himself in the championship bout.
Gore would have been the only finalist in the 29th series to represent team Ortega as Bryan Battle, Brady Hiestand, and Ricky Turcios were all members of team Volkanovski.
Bryan “Pooh Bear” Battle entered the competition with a professional record of 5-1. Outside of the Ultimate Fighter, his last win was via Rear-Naked Choke in RD 2 against Ben Fowler at Hardrock MMA 117.
The victory against Fowler seemingly handed the 26-year-old American all the confidence in the world as he defeated Kemran Lachinov in the quarter-finals and took out Brian Ortega’s number one pick, Andre Petroski in the semis.
Battle believes that his opponent’s lack of fight camp will give him a significant advantage and predicts a finish:
“Gilbert has been training but he hasn’t been in fight camp and if you aren’t in fight camp, I have a hard time believing you will be able to keep up with my pace. I see the first round being extremely competitive and I see me taking over and getting a finish in the second.”
Gilbert Urbina became the third Urbina brother to be on the show. Hector Urbina was announced as one of the fighters on “The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption” and was picked 4th by Cody Garbrandt. However, after failing to make the welterweight limit of 171 pounds, only getting down to 188.4, Urbina was removed from the competition.
Meanwhile, Elias Urbina was a contestant on TUF 23 where he won his preliminary fight against Norman Paraisy before losing in the quarter-finals to Eric Spicely via Unanimous decision.
Gilbert looks to make it 3rd time lucky for his family as he advances to the final and has the chance to earn himself the UFC contract. The 25-year-old beat Michael Gillmore in the quarter-finals before being knocked out in the second round by Gore in the semis.
Before entering the house in June, Urbina tallied up a professional record of 6-1 with his only career loss coming against top UFC welterweight contender Sean Brady.
Saturday night’s winner will become the tournament champion in the 29th series of the Ultimate Fighter and earn a six-figure UFC contract. That begs the question, who will be crowned as the next Ultimate Fighter?
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