Tonight on the UFC‘s Ultimate Fighter on ESPN+, we saw the final semi-final matchup in the bantamweight division. Team Ortega’s Vince Murdock (12-4) was taking on Brady Hiestand (5-1) of Team Volkanovski.
Prior to this episode, Team Volkanovski’s Ricky Turcios (10-2) punched his ticket to the UFC‘s Ultimate Finale. He did so by defeating Liudvik Sholinian by decision. Hiestand was looking to make the bantamweight finale a Team Volkanovski exclusive event.
Prior to the fight on tonight’s episode, the two coaches squared off in the coaches challenge. The challenge on this season was a good ole fashion game of cornhole. Brian Ortega seemed much more confident than the UFC champion Volkanovski going into the challenge.
The winning coach was set to receive $10,000 along with $1,500 for each member of his team. Ortega was able to win the game of cornhole then he turned to UFC president Dana White and asked if he could make his winnings $12,000.
White agreed and Ortega said that he was distributing the $12,000 to the fighters of Team Volkanovski so every fighter would get $1,500. A very classy move by T-City.
UFC’s Bantamweight Finale Set
After the coaches challenge, it was time to move on to the fight. Again, the winner was going to be fighting at The Ultimate Finale with a shot to earn a contract with the UFC.
When the fight started out, Hiestand immediately moved forward with pressure. Murdock looked to strike on the outside, but Hiestand did a really good job of closing the distance.
Hiestand was able to get in deep on a double leg and he took Murdock to the ground. Once the fight was on the ground, it was all Hiestand. Hiestand passed Murdock’s guard with relative ease and eventually found himself in an extremely dominant position.
He started raining down punches and the referee called a stop to the action in the first and the UFC featherweight champion has two fighters competing at the finale. After the fight, we learned that Murdock suffered a knee injury early on in the round.
UFC Bantamweight Finale – Ricky Turcios vs Brady Hiestand