Ricky Turcios and Brady Hiestand put on a show tonight!
The Ultimate Fighter finally returned to us earlier this year in June for season 29. Now, three months later, at the end of August, we have the finale at UFC on ESPN 30.
Headlining the event is an incredible featherweight bout between two former kickboxing champions, Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze.
Barboza went 25-3 as a professional, while Chikadze went 38-6 as a professional, each of them securing 22 knockout victories before starting their mixed martial arts careers.
Now, Barboza has found a new home at 145 lbs, coming into the bout on a two, should be three, or maybe even four-fight win streak, while Chikadze is coming in on an eight-fight win streak, having gone 6-0 thus far into his UFC career.
Co-headlining the event was the TUF 29 middleweight final between Bryan Battle and Gilbert Urbina, before Ricky Turcios battled Brady Hiestand for the TUF 29 bantamweight crown.
Turcios came into the bout with a record of 10-2, while Hiestand came in with a record of 5-1, after each of them went 2-0 on the show.
Official Result: Ricky Turcios def. Brady Hiestand via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Turcios looked very sharp on the feet early on, up until Hiestand was able to secure his first takedown. He was on top of Turcios for the majority of round one, but was defending submissions roughly half the time he was on top.
It’s evident they both want this very badly.
Hiestand secures another takedown early in round two, before Turcios sweeps him and ends up taking his back.
However, Hiestand is able to shake Turcios off and slams him back down to the ground, remaining in Turcios’ side control for the rest of the round.
Turcios is a tenacious talent, and he’s incredibly slick and technical, but the wrestling of Hiestand appears to be what’s winning this fight.
Turcios drops Hiestand with a beautiful 1-2 combo to start round three, before he’s taken down for the fifth time. He then gets up and wins the remainder of the round with his pressure and striking.
He just didn’t stop moving forward, and they both fought until the very end.
This was an incredibly close fight that could’ve very easily went either way. Great fight by both men!
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.