Ricky Turcios is the UFC’s Bantamweight Ultimate Fighter


Tonight at UFC Vegas 35, we saw a new Ultimate Fighter crowned in the bantamweight division. The finale tonight featured two members of Team Volkanovski as Ricky Turcios (10-2) took on Brady Hiestand (5-1).

This is a tremendous matchup at UFC Vegas 35 and the story of two very different fighters. On one hand you have Hiestand. Hiestand is what you think of when you think of guys from The Ultimate Fighter.

He’s a very talented prospect with a good wrestling skills and is somewhat well-rounded. However, there are parts of his game that still need developing, but that hasn’t stood in the way of the 22 year old getting this far.

On the other hand you have Ricky Turcios. The UFC has had their eyes on Turcios for some time now. He appeared on the very first episode of Dana White’s Contender Series where he lost to Boston Salmon.

It took going through The Ultimate Fighter, but Turcios has worked his way back onto the UFC scene. Turcios definitely has the experience edge heading into the finale tonight.

UFC Vegas 35 Recap

Round 1

The UFC TUF bantamweight finale kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Hiestand who immediately shoots in to try and get a takedown. However, Turcios defends well and they separate.

Hiestand is relentless here trying to get the takedown. Turcios lands a couple of shots as Hiestand shoots in but that doesn’t deter Hiestand. Hiestand lands a big down and he settles into the top position.

Turcios is able to work his way back up to his feet and the two separate. However, they aren’t standing more than five seconds before Hiestand lands another takedown. Turcios attacks a triangle and he uses it to get back to his feet.

However, Hiestand immediately shoots in for another takedown. Turcios hits a nice switch and he gets the back of Hiestand briefly. However, Hiestand spins and ends up on top. Turcios again attacks off his back and uses it to stand back up.

Turcios pushes off and they’re striking. Both men land some big shots. Turcios is getting loose on the feet as he lands. Both men swing furiously at the end of the round. 1-0 Brady Hiestand here at UFC Vegas 35.

Round 2

You can tell that both of these men want that UFC contract heading into the second round. Turcios has a lot to say as the second round gets going and the action starts right away with Hiestand shooting in for a takedown.

However, Turcios is able to stay on his feet. The pressure from Hiestand is just relentless here as he is doing nothing but pushing forward with takedown attempts. Turcios defends well at first, but Hiestand is able to get him down against the fence.

Elbows land from Turcios and he uses the fence to get back up. Turcios separates and both men land good shots as they start striking. Nice right hand lands for Hiestand on the feet and now it’s Turcios pushing forward with pressure.

Huge left hand lands for Hiestand and Turcios shakes it off. Pressure from Hiestand and it’s Turcios who lands a takedown and he briefly takes the back of Hiestand. However, he’s a bit high and Hiestand shakes him off. Hiestand immediately then takes down Turcios.

Turcios uses a nice sweep to get top position. However, Hiestand then reverses and gets back on top. Furious pace here at UFC Vegas 35. Turcios works his way back to his feet and both men land some good shots. Great fight here, but I think it’s 2-0 Hiestand after two.

Round 3

Heading into the final round of the UFC bantamweight TUF finale and I think Turcios needs a finish to win. Hiestand pushes forward with immediate pressure to start the final round.

Big shots being thrown by Hiestand here and Turcios not throwing much here. Nice left hand lands for Hiestand. Big right hand lands for Turcios and Hiestand seems a bit wobbled.

Huge 1-2 lands for Turcios and Hiestand is down. However, Hiestand grabs on to a leg for dear life and Turcios can’t get him off. Hiestand lands a takedown as he looks to recover.

Turcios uses the fence to get up to the feet. Big knee lands for Turcios but he’s not separating here. Both men are just clinching along the fence as they look exhausted. Turcios backs away after his corner begs him to.

However, after pressure from Hiestand, Turcios clinches him again. Turcios’ corner is begging him to separate but he looks exhausted. Hiestand shoots for a takedown, but he can’t get him down. Turcios throwing shots as the final bell sounds. Turcios should easily get this final round, but Hiestand is likely going to be the UFC’s bantamweight Ultimate Fighter.

Ricky Turcios def. Brady Hiestand by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

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