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The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 results, recap for ‘Volkanovski vs Ortega’ (Ep. 10)


The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 semifinals continue tonight (Tues., Aug. 3, 2021) on ESPN+, where Brian Ortega’s team will attempt to retake the momentum after Alexander Volkanovski and his squad claimed their first lead of the competition.

We got our first finalist last week when Ricky Turcios outclassed Liudvik Sholinian for Team Volkanovski’s fifth consecutive victory. The task of stopping their roll falls to Team Ortega middleweight ace Andre Petroski, who squares off against Bryan Battle after scoring a dominant finish in the quarterfinals.

The current lineups:

Bantamweights: Mitch Raposo, Dustin Lampros, Ricky Turcios, Brady Hiestand
Middleweights: Ryder Newman, Gilbert Urbina, Aaron Phillips, Bryan Battle

Bantamweights: Dan Argueta, Liudvik Sholinian, Josh Rettinghouse, Vince Murdock,
Middleweights: Andre Petroski, Tresean Gore, Micheal Gillmore, Kemran Lachinov

We start the program with a quick diversion from Dana White. Forrest Griffin and a pro truck racer stop by to introduce the Toyo Tires Pit Stop Challenge, where three members from each time have to change the tires on a massive, jumped-up truck as quickly as possible.

Team Volkanovski enlists Hiestand, Newman, and Battle; Hiestand has automotive experience, so the other two serve as muscle. Under Hiestand’s leadership, they soundly defeat Ortega’s squad. White tells them that there’ll be a “prize” waiting for them, then scoots away in shotgun as the racer guns it out of the parking lot.

The prize turns out to be all-you-can-eat sushi from professional chefs. I’m very happy that I didn’t eat dinner before this episode, because otherwise I’d have ordered a batch for myself. Volkanovski flexes on the team by eating a raw fish eyeball.

Over on the other side, Ortega and his assistants stop by to hang out with the team and try to help pump them up during their losing streak.

Time for Battle’s fight prep. He’s excited to show off the small improvements he’s made under Volkanovski’s guidance, and Volkanovski speaks highly of his teachability. He outright admits that he’d undo the fact that he left Battle as his last pick if he could. We get a look at the “fight simulator,” where Battle has to switch to various targeted training styles every 30 seconds.

Battle is confident he’s the better striker, but mentioned needing to avoid the single-leg and get up if he’s taken down.

Petroski, meanwhile, is enjoying some chess with teammate Josh Rettinghouse. Petroski outright kicks his ass for multiple games in a row as Rettinghouse, on a voiceover, compliments Petroski’s abilities.

In the gym proper, both Petroski and Ortega hype up Petroski’s standup abilities. Ortega wants him to keep Battle uncomfortable and unable to figure out whether Petroski’s looking to shoot or strike.

Over in the house, Battle talks about how much he loves his expecting wife in a very touching moment. He polls his teammates as to whether they think she’ll will have a boy or girl; Battle wants a girl and is a bit afraid a boy would be just like him.

Not even 20 minutes into the episode and it’s already weigh-in time. Battle comes in well under the limit at 184.5, while Petroski’s a shredded 186.

In this week’s flashback, we look at TUF 4, including Shonie Carter’s classic pimp outfit. This, of course, leads into Serra’s victory in the house and subsequent knockout of Georges St. Pierre.

It’s Petroski’s and Battle’s turns to call home. Petroski chats with his girlfriend, daughter, and roommate, admitting that he was worried his daughter might forget him; she actually cries when he can’t pick her up through the FaceTime, so I think there’s still plenty of attachment there. His girlfriend tells him that they need to take her to Disney after he returns.

Battle, meanwhile, calls the aforementioned wife, who reveals that their bun in the oven is most likely a boy. Battle chokes up in the one-on-one interview, admitting that he used to make fun of the guys on reality shows who got emotional after being away from their family.


Middleweight Semifinal: Bryan Battle (Team Volkanovski) vs. Andre Petroski (Team Ortega)

Round one: Petroski punches his way into a single-leg attempt. Pressing Battle against the fence. They separate a minute in. Counter right from Battle. Battle presses forward, falls victim to a single-leg but pops right back up. Petroski elbow, Battle knees. Petroski starts cussing him out, claiming a headbutt, and they pause to check out the cut and do some instant replay to see what caused it. When they confirm it was a knee, Battle’s furious, and they resume two minutes in. Petroski spins him down once again, once again can’t keep him there. Body lock takedown into an attempted back take. One hook in against the fence. Now two with two minutes to go.

Petroski looking for the choke. Battle nearly spins into guard, but gives up mound. Now the back again for Petroski, dropping shots. Hunting the RNC in the final seconds. Battle gets to his feet before the bell. 10-9 Petroski.

Round Two: Battle comes out aggressively, advancing and landing shots. Good body kicks. Overhand left from Petroski, who’s looking a little labored. Battle fires knees a minute in. Counter right hook connects for him. Counter left knocks Petroski back. He shoots, puts Battle on his back. Battle uses the fence to get back to his feet, then wraps up a power guillotine. He wrangles Petroski to the mat and there’s the tap.

Final result: Battle def. Petroski by submission (guillotine choke)

The two bury the hatchet after the fight, while Volkanovski reminds Dana White that he told him Battle would end up in the finals. Back in the locker room, Petroski’s downcast, but claims he’ll go back to the drawing board and continue to improve. Battle’s understandably on cloud nine, and he asks Dana White to give him a bonus so he can show how good he can be while training full-time.

We’ve got a cornhole coaches’ challenge next time, then Brady Hiestand vs. Vince Murdock for a shot at Ricky Turcios on the Finale.

Same time next week!

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