In the first episode of TUF 30, we met some of the contenders and saw Zac Pauga defeat Nyle Bartling by way of unanimous decision in the first heavyweight bout of the season.
The second episode of the season opened up with Bartling explaining how he feels like he has let everyone down. Suffering his first defeat in six years, the heavyweight is comforted by teammate Chandler Cole who tells him to keep his head up and ensures him that there is always a way to get back in the competition.
As the fight for the episode is the first women’s flyweight bout of the season, we are then introduced to Kaytlin Neil.
Neil explains her frustration of not being picked for team Julianna Pena, as she has trained with her several times in the past.
We see Neil chat with her family back in Utah and she explains how she grew up in the Mormon church and has turned into what she called the “black sheep of the family.” Despite being 30 years of age with no kids and fighting in a cage, she explains that her family is extremely supportive of her.
Days before the fight, Neil receives a call that her father has passed. With the emotions flowing, team Amanda Nunes tries to help comfort her in a heart-breaking scene.
Amanda Nunes consoles TUF competitor Kaytlin Neil after hearing of her father's death #TUF30
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) May 10, 2022
We are then introduced to Helen Peralta. Pena encourages her to use her aggressive striking and to stay out of the clinch for her upcoming bout against Neil.
She explains her frustration of not being picked for team Nunes as it pans to her homevideo. Peralta, a 4-2 fighter from Iowa shows her room and gym before jumping in an iced-over lake.
"Ice is free in Iowa."
Helen Peralta's recovery routine at home is wild 🥶 #TUF30
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 10, 2022
The day before the bout, the two make weight and finish their preparations.
The two arrive at the UFC Apex, loosen up, and get taped. Before walking out, Pena whispers in Peralta’s ear “your dinner is waiting for you inside the jaula (cage). Time to eat.”
"Your dinner is waiting in the jaula (cage). Time to eat."
Julianna Peña with a chilling line to motivate Helen Peralta on #TUF30 😨
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 11, 2022
The two make the walk and the bout begins.
The first round saw looping punches from Peralta and a lot of clinch work between the two. The round continues with a lot of work inside the clinch up until the bell.
The second showcased more striking from both fighters. Peralta lands a few good lefts while Neil does a good job of using distance and timing her shots. At the end of the round, Neil lands a takedown that likely put the round in her favor.
As the judges have it 1-1, the third round begins and Peralta comes out swinging. This round showed a lot of solid combinations from Neil while Peralta stuck to single heavy shots.
As the horn sounded, the bout seemed rather close and it was up to the judge’s scorecards.
Result: Neil def. Peralta via split decision
The two head to the back and Neil celebrates with her team while Peralta explains her feeling of being robbed.
With the ‘picking-power,’ team Nunes picks the next bout of the season. She decided to place heavyweights Mohammed Usman up against Mitchell Sipe.
Nunes gets to pick the next match-up and she chooses Mohammed Usman (Team Pena) vs. Mitchell Sipe (Team Nunes)
— Amy Kaplan (@PhotoAmy33) May 10, 2022
Next week’s episode will be broadcasted on ESPN+ on Tuesday, May 17th. Make sure to check back here at MyMMANews for the recap and fight results.
As a recent graduate from Lewis-Clark State College with a B.S. in History, Bjorn first fell in love with mixed martial arts when he watched UFC 196. As a contributor for MyMMANews, Bjorn matches his love for MMA, history, and writing.