Team Volkanovski’s Ricky Turcios is on his way to making the most of his second shot at a UFC contract.
The one-time Contender Series contestant won a unanimous decision over Team Ortega’s Dan Argueta (5-0*) in a three-round thriller on the sixth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 29. With the win, Turcios (10-2) advances to the next round of the season’s bantamweight tournament.
Coach Alexander Volkanovski has now won two straight fights after his team went 0-4 to start the season.
Turcios and Argueta battled back and forth for two rounds, with Turcios getting off to a faster start to take round one. He consistently beat Argueta to the punch, rifling a quick jab in his face and landing stiff body kicks, while also scrambling to avoid Argueta’s takedown attempts. Through the first five minutes, Turcios appeared do more damage with his punches.
In round two, Turcios’ output slowed slightly and that was enough of an opening for Argueta to tie it up on the scorecards. He followed coach Brian Ortega’s game plan of sticking-and-moving to deal with Turcios’ aggressive style, and mixed in takedown attempts to slow Turcios down.
TUF bouts are normally two-round affairs, but with both fighters clearly having earned one round apiece, they went to a “sudden victory” third. There, Turcios surged and scored a key takedown early in the period. Unable to shake Turcios off, Argueta spent much of the round defending against strikes and chokes. A late scramble provided one last burst of excitement and Turcios ended the fight in top position furiously throwing punches.
The decision went Turcios’ way, giving him his first win in the octagon after previously losing to Boston Salmon on Dana White’s Contender Series in July 2017.
Only two fights remain, meaning we know the two remaining matchups in each division: Team Volkanovski’s Brady Hiestand vs. Team Ortega’s Josh Rettinghouse at bantamweight, and Team Volkanovski’s Gilbert Urbina vs. Team Ortega’s Miles Hunsinger at middleweight.
In other storylines, Ortega executed the first prank of the season. He arranged to have Volkanovski’s tires removed from his car and then left the UFC featherweight champion with horses and donkeys with which to ride home on.
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
Bryan Battle def. Kemran Lachinov via decision
Ricky Turcios def. Dan Argueta via decision
On next week’s episode, Team Ortega’s Josh Rettinghouse fights Team Volkanovski’s Brady Hiestand in a bantamweight bout.
*TUF bouts are considered exhibitions and the results do not affect the fighters’ official records.
Season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter is being coached by UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. A bout between the two is being targeted for UFC 266 on Sept. 4.
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, Battle, Turcios
Eliminated: Phillips, Raposo, Newman, Lampros, Lachinov, Argueta