Las Vegas, NV — If Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 47 bout between Bryan Battle and Tresean Gore was the “real” Ultimate Fighter 29 finale, the outcome didn’t change when all was said and done.
Bryan Battle won TUF 29’s middleweight tournament, after original opponent Tresean Gore was forced out with a knee injury. He also won his first non-TUF UFC fight against Gore, settling once and for all who really won the show. Not that it was an easy feat.
“I kind of feel like I just got hit by a car,” Battle (7-1) admitted following the event, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “Immediately after the fight, I was totally fine. I knew my eye was swollen; the eye doesn’t even hurt. My head doesn’t hurt. My body f*cking hurts, from checking and blocking stuff, and throwing strikes myself. But you’ve got to pay the cost to be the boss. I feel fantastic. I’d take double this amount of pain for the W.”
The W is what he got, following three rounds that ended in a unanimous decision. Gore’s power was on display, but he fought in fits and starts compared to Battle’s more measured attack. After the fight, Battle brought his Ultimate Fighter trophy into the cage with him. Despite protests prior to the fight that it was anything but a “real” TUF finale, the win clearly meant something to him.
“At the end of the day, we’re just fighting. We’re getting inside a cage and we’re fighting each other, it’s the same thing from when we were amateurs to now,” explained Battle. “The difference is, the public perception of you. The eyes that are on you, the lights, the production value.”
“With this fight, this was my first UFC fight, but so many people were talking about it being the real TUF finale,” Battle continued. “The real TUF finale, if Tre wins, he’s the real champ. That’s all something, you’re preparing for a fight, you can’t let that stuff get in your head, but it’s still there. You try to ignore it as much as you can, but it’s still there. Tonight, I defended my title as The Ultimate Fighter. If anyone ever asks who was the TUF champ for Season 29 in the 185lb division, it’s motherf*cking Bryan Battle.”
Battle then corrected himself rather quickly. “Sorry mom, I didn’t mean to say that part! I’m sorry mom.”
In terms of the fight itself, Battle had to contend not only with Gore’s power, but a very tight defensive game. But that was a puzzle he was ready to solve.
“In combat sports, the beautiful thing is, there’s always a counter to the counter. No matter what the problem is, there’s always an answer. You just have to have the answer,” said Battle. “Then sometimes you give an answer to a certain problem and then the problem changes, you have to come up with a different answer. Tresean is very sound defensively, but the thing is, you can’t sit there and look at him and be like ‘oh wow, man, he’s really good defensively, I don’t know where I’m going to hit him.’ You’ve got to throw. The only way to penetrate a solid defense is to go after it — so that’s what I did, and I knew the openings would show themselves, and they did.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 47 post-fight press scrum with Bryan Battle above. More coverage from the event can be found below.