Two weeks in and it looks like Team Cormier is the one that will live up to The Ultimate Fighter 27’s “Undefeated” theme.
Brad Katona defeated Kyler Phillips by majority decision on Episode 2 of TUF 27, giving coach Daniel Cormier a 2-0 lead over Stipe Miocic. The 26-year-old Winnipeg native used a steady diet of leg kicks and standing grappling control to earn 20-18 scores from two of the judges (the third scored the two-round bout a 19-19 draw).
“It feels absolutely amazing to get the win as well as come away from it healthy,” Katona said post-fight. “My mom told me to come back pretty and every time she does before a fight, I don’t get too marked up.”
With the win, Katona, 26, preserved his 6-0 pro record that was built up on the regional scene in western Canada. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and currently trains at SBG Ireland in Dublin.
Phillips will have to add an asterisk to his 5-0 pro mark. The 22-year-old was last seen winning by 46-second TKO on an episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
All of this season’s fighters entered the show with an unblemished record and will technically remain that way until the finale on July 6, due to TUF bouts being classified as exhibitions.
In other storylines, lightweight Thai Clark butted heads with coach Cormier leading to the two clearing the air after working with each other on the mats, and Miocic pranked Cormier by putting pictures of his face all over the opposing team’s locker room.
Here are the first-round results so far:
Joe Giannetti def. John Gunther via technical submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
Brad Katona def. Kyler Phillips via majority decision
On next week’s episode, Team Miocic’s Jose Martinez fights Team Cormier’s Luis Pena in a lightweight bout.
Season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter is being coached by UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Cormier challenges Miocic for the heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 226 on July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The finalists of the TUF 27 lightweight and featherweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract on July 6, also in Las Vegas.
Here is the TUF 27 roster divided by team:
Advancing to Round 2: Giannetti, Katona
Eliminated: Gunther, Phillips