Ricky Turcios

TUF 29 winner Ricky Turcios and TUF 29 finalist Brady Hiestand set for UFC returns

UFC Fight Night 215 is to go down on November 19, 2022, live from the UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada, and it is to be headlined by a pair of heavyweight contenders in no. 7 ranked Derrick Lewis and no. 12 ranked Sergey Spivak.

The Ultimate Fighter 29 alumns Ricky Turcios (11-3) and Brady Hiestand (5-2) will also make their returns at this event.

Season winner Ricky Turcios defeated Hiestand via split decision in a very closely contested, entertaining back-and-forth battle to claim The Ultimate Fighter 29 trophy. That was in August of 2021, and he returned to the cage earlier this year in July where he lost a unanimous decision to Firas Zahabi’s brother, Aiemann Zahabi.

This was quite an underwhelming performance, as Turcios broke one of the most unfavorable records no one wants to have, landing the lowest percentage of total strikes ever in a UFC fight. He was outstruck 27-54 throughout the three-round encounter, and he landed just those 27 strikes out of 235 attempted.

That’s just under 9% of the strikes he threw that landed.

Then we have Brady Hiestand, who hasn’t fought since losing his TUF championship bout to Turcios.

The only other defeat of Hiestand’s career comes to Chad Anheliger, also a current UFC talent, back in November of 2019.

Honestly, he could very well be The Ultimate Fighter, his fight with Turcios was so close, but he gets a chance to right that wrong with a win at UFC Fight Night 215.

Turcios will be facing Kevin Natividad, a 9-3 talent that’s 0-2 thus far inside the octagon (both have two UFC fights), while Hiestand will be facing 10-2 opponent Fernando Garcia, who, like himself, is 0-1 thus far in the UFC.

It’s a tad surprising it took this long for each of them to return; Turcios took an 11-month absence following his UFC debut, and Hiestand will have been out of action for 15 months at the time of his return.

Not to mention, the UFC paired them up with opponents on the same card, and both are facing men that have 12 fights. Just some interesting facts regarding these two.

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Brady Ordway
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 ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!