“Fight of the month” by MMA Junkie for August 2021: “TUF 29” finals


Turcios and Hiestand left everything in the cage.

The two bantamweight fighters waged a non-stop war for 15 minutes in the 135-pound tournament final of “The Ultimate Fighter 29”. Turcios edged out Hiestand in a split decision that read 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.

With this victory, Turcios became TUF champion and got a UFC contract. He also received his black belt in jiu-jitsu from his trainer after the victory.

In the first round, Hiestand closed the distance early and beat Turcios. Hiestand maintained superior control, but Turcios made most of the attacks as he was consistently landing strikes from below. At some point in the middle of the lap, Turcios regained the upper hand but lost it soon after. The fight came back on its feet in the final 30 seconds, with the two fighters fighting.

The second round also had a similar story. Hiestand lobbied and sought to control the action on the ground, while Turcios kept busy with strikes from below. Turcios pushed more, scrambled and attempted multiple submissions but failed, failed to hit and finished last in most scrambles.

With two very competitive rounds in the books, both fighters came out to make a statement.

Turcios let down Hiestand with a big straight right hand, but was immediately downed early in the set. Again, Turcios did most of the damage. Halfway through the lap, Turcios started to be the dominant force in grappling – something that was not seen in the first two laps. The fight ended on his feet with the two fighters fighting and Turcios got the better of the shots.

With the win, Turcios is now 3-1 in his last four fights. His only loss came from UFC fighter Mana Martinez, who also fought on the same card, beating veteran Guido Cannetti. Turcios fights against Gracie Barra The Woodlands and Team Alpha Male.

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