Last night, the UFC‘s Ultimate Fighter reality show made it’s return on ESPN+. This season is being coached by featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and top contender Brian Ortega.
The two men were supposed to fight back at UFC 260, but Volkanovski got COVID and the fight was cancelled. With that, the UFC pivoted to having the two top featherweights coach against each other on The Ultimate Fighter.
After the show concludes, the two men will fight. Currently, the UFC is targeting September for their title fight. This season of TUF features prospective bantamweights and middleweights.
Last night, the UFC’s reality show kicked off with coaches evaluations, team selections, and of course the first fight. There wasn’t a ton of drama in the first episode, but we did see the first finish of the year inside the UFC‘s APEX.
UFC TUF 29 Fight 1: Petroski – Phillips
Kicking off the action in TUF 29 was a middleweight matchup between Andre Petroski (5-1) and Aaron Phillips (5-2). Team Ortega picked this matchup first after the UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski picked the first fighter.
Petroski was representing Team Ortega while Phillips was on Team Volkanovski. During the show, Phillips had talked about the fact that he lacked traditional training and learned a lot of his techniques from YouTube videos.
Not exactly the upbringing in martial arts you would expect from a potential UFC fighter. Nevertheless, he’s fought to a 5-2 record and made his way on to The Ultimate Fighter.
When the fight started out, both men took their time to just feel the other out. The first have of the round saw Phillips explode forward a few times, but really there wasn’t a ton of action in terms of the striking.
Just after the halfway point, Petroski shot in for a takedown and got Phillips down. Petroski immediately moved to side-control and started looking for an arm-triangle. He switched it to a guillotine after he moved to the mount.
The choke was in deep and Phillips was forced to tap. Andre Petroski won the UFC’s first fight of the season in it’s debut on ESPN+ by first round submission. A good way to start the season and a good way to start TUF.