Four fights in to The Ultimate Fighter 29, Brian Ortega and his team are pitching a shutout.
Team Ortega bantamweight Vince Murdock (12-4-1, 1 NC) scored a first-round TKO of Team Volkanovski representative Dustin Lampros to give Ortega a commanding 4-0 lead on the season. The bout was fast-paced, with Murdock and Lampros exchanging quick combinations and low kicks through the first two minutes.
It was the more experienced Murdock that caught Lampros with a clean 1-2 down the middle that dropped Lampros. Murdock rushed in for the finish, taking Lampros’ back and throwing punches as he bullied him over to the cage. A crisp knee up the middle landed flush on Lampros’ chin, which resulted in the bout being waved off.
This was the first loss for Lampros, who was 5-0 as a pro entering the TUF house. TUF bouts are considered exhibitions and neither fighter’s official record will be affected by the result.
Murdock moves one step closer to earning himself a UFC contract after a couple of close calls in the past. The Team Alpha Male product was actually signed to compete for the promotion in 2019, but he was forced out of his debut after being diagnosed with a rare neurological condition. He would later be medically cleared to resume his fighting career and actually fought on Dana White’s Contender Series last November, losing to Luis Saldana in the third round.
“The thing they couldn’t figure out is how I made it this far.”
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With Ortega having control of the fight pick this episode, he selected Kemran Lachinov to fight Team Volkanovski’s Bryan Battle. Lachinov and Battle were the last middleweights picked for their respective teams.
UFC welterweight contender Michael Chiesa made a special appearance this episode to help coach Team Volkanovski, making sure to get in work with his Sikjitsu teammate Brady Hiestand.
Here are the first-round results so far:
Andre Petroski def. Aaron Phillips via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:42
Liudvik Sholinian def. Mitch Raposo via decision
Tresean Gore def. Ryder Newman via decision
Vince Murdock def. Dustin Lampros via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:40
On next week’s episode, Team Volkanovski’s Bryan Battle fights Team Ortega’s Kemran Lachinov in a middleweight bout.
The finalists of the TUF 29 middleweight and bantamweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract at a finale event with a date still to be announced.
Here is the TUF 29 roster divided by team:
Advancing to Round 2: Petroski, Sholinian, Gore, Murdock
Eliminated: Phillips, Raposo, Newman, Lampros