UFC Vegas 35: Ricky Turcios defeated Brady Hiestand to win The Ultimate Fighter.
Ricky Turcios defeated Brady Hiestand via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), UFC Vegas 35 on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV.
“If I can give a message to the children. Believe in yourself, don’t fear failure. Dream big, work hard, stay positive. Enjoy the journey,” said Turcios.
Neither fighter wasted any time, rushing across the Octagon. The two traded punches, before tying each other up. Eventually, Hiestand was able to takedown Turcios. Hiestand appeared to be cut open following an upkick. Turcios was able to get back to his feet but was taken down again. From the bottom, Turcios tried for a submission but Hiestand was able to escape, allowing Turcios to get up. Turcios was able to reverse positioning and went for another choke and then an armbar but could not lock either in. The fight moved to the feet for the final minute with both fighters trading big punches to close the opening round.
Hiestand aggressively came out of his corner to start the second round, landing a powerful straight left. Turcios again tried to use his grappling skills to position himself for a submission attempt. After losing the back, Turcios was slammed to the ground by Hiestand. Turcios fought his way back up and then went for a unique guillotine attempt.
Hiestand opened the third round with more high pace striking. Turcios landed a pair of powerful shots, knocking out Hiestand’s mouthpiece and sending him to the canvas. Hiestand was able to catch Turcios’ leg and take him down again. Turcios worked his way to his feet up against the cage. From the clinch, Turcios landed a series of powerful elbows. Hiestand was eventually able to get Turcios to the ground again. Turcios again worked his way back up and landed a massive knee. Hiestand landed a knee to the body and then landed a head kick. The two fighters continued to keep coming forward during the final 90 seconds of the fight. Both fighters relentlessly traded punches, looking to win the fight.
Turcios and Hiestand took very different paths to The Ultimate Fighter and the final. The 28-year-old Turcios entered the final with a 10-2 career record. In his first two fights in the competition, Turcios won both by unanimous decision.
Hiestand was the youngest bantamweight in the competition. After winning his first fight by split-decision, Hiestand scored a first-round knockout to reach the final. The 22-year-old entered the Octagon with a 5-1 career record with four finishes.