The second episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 29” aired Tuesday. The season consists of middleweights and bantamweights coached by featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and former title challenger Brian Ortega. Team Ortega got off to a solid start in the first episode securing the first middleweight win of the season.
For the first bantamweight bout of the season, Ortega put his second 135-pound pick Liudvik Sholinian (9-1-1) against Team Volkanovski’s first team selection Mitch Raposo (5-0).
The Fight: Liudvik Sholinian vs. Mitch Raposo
Raposo was light on his feet and connected with combinations in the opening round. He appeared to be the faster of the two fighters and was able to land and retreat effectively. Team Volkanovski’s first pick won the first round but wasn’t able to put Sholinian in any danger.
In the second round, Sholinian turned the tides with his takedowns and wrestling ability. He secured a takedown and took Raposo’s back, but Raposo fought his way back to his feet. Sholinian kept the pressure on and put Raposo back on the canvas.
With each fighter winning a round, the bout went into a third round to determine the winner. Sholinian was able to get Raposo to the ground early in the frame, but Raposo scrambled and was able to briefly take Sholinian’s back. Sholinian was able to fend off a submission attempt and regain top control.
The referee stood the fighters up in the closing moments of the round. Sholinian quickly secured a takedown. Raposo tried to threaten with a guillotine choke but was unsuccessful.
After three rounds of fighting, the judges scored the bout for Sholinian giving Team Ortega its second win and eliminating Team Volkanovski’s first bantamweight pick.
Next Week’s Match-up
Coach Volkanovski was able to select the next bout after Ortega selected the first two matches. Volkanovski selected his first middleweight pick, undefeated Ryder Newman (3-1) to face Team Ortega’s second middleweight pick Tresean Gore (3-0).