Episode 5 of The Ultimate Fighter 29 featured a middleweight match between Team Ortega’s Kemran Lachinov (10-3) and Team Volkanovski’s Bryan Battle (5-1).
The 29th season reality show features bantamweight and middleweight fighters competing to earn a spot on the UFC roster. Coaching the teams are featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and no. 2 ranked contender Brian Ortega.
Heading into Tuesday’s episode, Team Ortega led the team competition 4-0.
The Fight: Kemran Lachinov vs. Bryan Battle
Battle enjoyed a sizable reach advantage and used it to keep Lachinov at distance. Battle worked his jab and delivers front kicks to the body. Lachinov pressed forward but was having difficulty closing the distance. Battle continued to move on the outside sticking his jab and landing leg kicks.
Lachinov looked to land big right hands and take the fight to the ground. Battle’s takedown defense proved strong. He shook off the takedown attempts and delivered knees to the body while the two clinched along the cage. With 90 seconds remaining in the round, Battle disengaged from the clinch and Lachinov put his hands down and walked forward. Battle connected with four punches and a head kick but Lachinov walked through them like a zombie. Lachinov dropped down and isolated a leg and got the fight to the ground. He briefly looked to lock up a submission in the closing seconds.
If you’ve never seen @killa_kem_ fight, this sneak peak from tonight’s #ReturnOfTUF should give you an idea 😳— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 29, 2021
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The two exchange a series of leg kicks to start the second stanza. Battle’s output was much higher than Lachinov’s. Lachinov desperately unloaded winging right hands. He overcommitted on one so much that Battle easily secured top position on the ground. Lachinov quickly got to his feet, pressed forward and took Battle down midway through the frame. Battle rose to his feet and landed a knee on the cup of Lachinov.
After a moment for Lachinov to recover, the fight was restarted with 2:10 remaining in the round. Lachinov pressured Battle but Battle moved laterally on the outside and avoided Lachinov’s big right hands.
After two rounds of fighting, the judges rendered their decision. All three judges scored the fight for Battle. Team Volkanovski picked up their first win of the season.
“Finally! Team Volkanovski gets their first win,” said UFC president Dana White. “Now the score is 4-1. Let’s see if this is the beginning of a comeback.”
The Next Fight
The sixth fight of the season will featured bantamweights. Coach Ortega selected Dan Argueta to go up against Team Volkanovski’s Rickey Turcios.