The last bout of The Ultimate Fighter 29 middleweight quarterfinals didn’t go off as planned, but that wasn’t a problem for Gilbert Urbina.
Urbina (6-1)* was to face Miles Hunsinger (7-0) on this week’s episode of TUF 29, but disaster struck when Hunsinger injured his knee while training for the fight. Hunsinger received an MRI and was diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL tear, which left him with a conundrum. The diagnosis wasn’t severe enough to rule him out completely, but it wasn’t negligible enough to guarantee that he wasn’t risking further injury should he fight.
The decision to compete or not was left up to Hunsinger, and after consulting with coach Brian Ortega and his team, he decided to withdraw from the bout.
Stepping in for Hunsinger on just two days’ notice was Micheal Gillmore (6-3). Hailing from Lansing, Mich., Gillmore was part of the TUF 29 tryouts and he decided to stay in Las Vegas in the event that the show needed an alternate at 185 pounds. UFC President Dana White was thrilled at hearing that Gillmore was dedicated enough to leave his job to chase his UFC dream and he called Gillmore, “my kinda f*cking guy.”
With little time to prepare for the fight, Gillmore didn’t get the chance to show much against Urbina, coach Alexander Volkanovski’s No. 2 middleweight pick. Urbina rushed Gillmore from the opening bell, took his back, and worked ground-and-pound until Gillmore was left open to a fight-ending rear-naked choke submission.
Urbina’s win places him in the middleweight semifinals, which is further than his brothers made it during their TUF stints. Hector Urbina competed twice on TUF, losing in the quarterfinals of TUF 19 to Cathal Pendred and then failing to make weight for a fight with James Krause on the TUF 25 “Redemption” season. However, between his TUF appearances, Hector did compete three times for the UFC.
Their other brother Elias was a cast member on season 23. He was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Eric Spicely. Elias currently fights for Combate Americas.
Team Volkanovski won its fourth straight fight on the show, evening the score at 4-4 and giving both coaches two fighters each in the bantamweight and middleweight tournaments. The coaches later convened with Dana White to decide the semifinal matchups for both divisions.
Ortega suggested that Bryan Battle fight Andre Petroski and Urbina fight Tresean Gore, both of which Volkanovski agreed with. Volkanovski added that he feels Battle could go all the way in the middleweight bracket.
The semifinal matchups were announced as follows:
Ricky Turcios (10-2) vs. Liudvik Sholinian (9-1-1)
Vince Murdock (12-4, 1 NC) vs. Brady Hiestand (5-1)
Bryan Battle (5-1) vs. Andre Petroski (5-1)
Gilbert Urbina (6-1) vs. Tresean Gore (3-0)
Here are the first-round results so far:
Andre Petroski def. Aaron Phillips via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 4:42
Liudvik Sholinian def. Mitch Raposo via decision
Tresean Gore def. Ryder Newman via decision
Vince Murdock def. Dustin Lampros via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 2:40
Bryan Battle def. Kemran Lachinov via decision
Ricky Turcios def. Dan Argueta via decision
Brady Hiestand def. Josh Rettinghouse via decision
Gilbert Urbina def. Micheal Gillmore via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, time unknown
On next week’s episode, Team Volkanovski’s Ricky Turcios fights Team Ortega’s Liudvik Sholinian in the first bantamweight semifinal matchup.
*TUF bouts are considered exhibitions and the results do not affect the fighters’ official records.
Season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter is being coached by UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. A title fight between the two is set to take place at UFC 266 on Sept. 25.
The finalists of the TUF 29 middleweight and bantamweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract at a finale event with a date still to be announced.
Here is the TUF 29 roster divided by team:
*Micheal Gillmore (short-notice replacement for Hunsinger)
Advancing to Round 2: Petroski, Sholinian, Gore, Murdock, Battle, Turcios, Hiestand, Urbina
Eliminated: Phillips, Raposo, Newman, Lampros, Lachinov, Argueta, Rettinghouse, Hunsinger, Gillmore