Brogan Walker started her journey on The Ultimate Fighter 30 with some bad news, but now she’s one win away from winning the season.
The Invicta FC veteran won a unanimous decision over Laura Gallardo (4-1) on this week’s episode of TUF 30 to advance to the flyweight tournament final. Earlier this season, Walker (7-2)* suffered an injury in training and was diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL tear. She was able to work through it and claim a spot in the live finale, which takes place later this year (date and location still to be determined).
Walker rode sturdy takedown defense and an effective jab to earn the nod over Gallardo, though the smaller and less experienced Gallardo didn’t go down without a fight. A replacement contestant for Chantel Coates, Gallardo entered the tournament with nothing to lose and after beating Kathryn Paprocki in the quarterfinals, she gave Walker all that she could handle.
Gallardo’s speed helped her get the better of several striking exchanges, though neither she nor Walker generated much sustained offense. Walker repeatedly stuffed takedowns and appeared to ramp up her striking aggression as the bout progressed, which gave her the edge on the scorecards in a close and competitive fight.
Afterwards, UFC President Dana White praised Walker for battling through her injury and coming out on top.
Peña currently has one fighter set for the finale, heavyweight Zac Pauga. He faces either teammate Mohammed Usman or Team Nunes’ No. 1 pick, Eduardo Perez.
Here are the semifinal matchups and results so far:
Zac Pauga def. Jordan Heiderman via TKO (strikes) (R2, time not announced)
Mohammed Usman vs. Eduardo Perez
Brogan Walker def. Laura Gallardo via unanimous decision
Juliana Miller vs. Kaytlin Neil
Here are the first-round results:
Zac Pauga def. Nyle Bartling via unanimous decision
Kaytlin Neil def. Helen Peralta via split decision
Mohammed Usman def. Mitchell Sipe via unanimous decision
Laura Gallardo def. Kathryn Paprocki via majority decision
Eduardo Perez def. Bobby Maximus via TKO (strikes) (R1, 3:58)
Juliana Miller def. Claire Guthrie via unanimous decision
Jordan Heiderman def. Chandler Cole via TKO (strikes) (R1, time not announced)
Brogan Walker def. Hannah Guy via majority decision
On next week’s episode, Team Peña’s Mohammed Usman fights Team Nunes’ Eduardo Perez in the second heavyweight semifinal.
(*TUF bouts are considered exhibitions and fighters’ pro records are not affected by the results on the show)
Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter is coached by UFC bantamweight champion Julianna Peña and UFC featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. Peña defends her title against Nunes in a rematch that serves as the main event of UFC 277 on July 30 in Dallas.
The finalists of the TUF 30 heavyweight and flyweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract at a finale event with a date still to be announced.
New episodes premiere at midnight every Monday exclusively on ESPN+.
Here is the TUF 30 roster divided by team:
*replacement for Chantel Coates
Advancing to finals: Pauga, Walker
Advanced to semifinals: Pauga, Neil, Usman, Gallardo, Perez, Miller, Heiderman, Walker
Eliminated: Bartling, Peralta, Sipe, Coates, Paprocki, Maximus, Guthrie, Cole, Guy, Heiderman, Gallardo