Hector and Elias Urbina’s younger brother Gilbert kicked off episode eight of The Ultimate Fighter 29, “Fight or Flight.” Middleweight Gilbert was hoping to succeed where his brothers had failed, and spoke of following in brother Hector’s footsteps since he was all of five years old. He certainly wound up making his family proud on the latest installment of TUF 29.
Miles Hunsinger was Urbina’s scheduled opponent. One problem, while throwing a kick in training, Hunsinger injured his knee, resulting in the need for an MRI. A physical therapist informed Hunsinger that he had a tear, and the injury created an issue for him in the TUF house: the need to keep a poker face and not show that he’s favoring his leg. The end result from the MRI, meanwhile, is that it showed a Grade 2 strain of MCL, and a tear. An injury that puts the decision in Hunsinger’s hands, as he can compete on it — but competing could complicate things, according to the doctor.
Coach Brian Ortega stated he was trying to push “in the best way possible” for Hunsinger to want to get in the cage. Ultimately it was left up to a training session, during which Hunsinger noted that the knee is unstable.
“There’s not one time I’ve stepped in that cage where I’ve been perfectly healthy. We’re in a rough business” says Ortega. Hunsinger made the call the drop out of the fight, and two days out from the bout, alternate Michael Gillmore got the call to join the show. Gillmore had been told to go home this far into the show, but quit his job and stayed in Las Vegas on his own dime in the hopes that something opened up. It did.
White proceeded to tell the house that Hunsinger could have stayed and fought — saying that he couldn’t take the pain. Which contradicted Hunsinger’s own words, that he was worried he couldn’t perform with the instability in the knee.
Regardless, the end result is a switch in opponents, and Hunsinger exiting the house.
When it came time to fight, Gillmore wound up with Urbina on his back early in the pair’s middleweight fight. Urbina got both hooks in, and Gillmore struggled to fight hands or shake Urbina off. Urbina stayed right on the back and got a body triangle in. He dropped a few elbows, switched to punches, then sunk in the rear-naked choke for a dominant submission victory.
Credit to Gillmore for stepping in on short notice, but the fight couldn’t have gone better for Gilbert Urbina.
The end of the episode had coaches Alexander Volkanovski, Brian Ortega, and UFC President Dana White setting the match-ups for the semifinals
Ricky Turcios vs. Liudvik Sholinian and Vince Murdock vs. Brady Hiestand are the bantamweight semifinals. Tresean Gore vs. Gilbert Urbina and Andre Petroski vs. Bryan Battle are the middleweight match-ups. The season has flown by, with minimal emphasis on drama, a pleasant surprise thus far.