UFC Vegas 65’s Brady Hiestand Considers Himself TUF Champion

Ricky Turcious and Brady Hiestand, UFC Vegas 35
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 27: (L-R) Opponents Ricky Turcios and Brady Hiestand face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on August 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Brady Hiestand achieved his goal of making it to the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter. While the 23-year old prospect was able to check that off of his list, it maybe wasn’t the way he wanted to. In the TUF finale, he took a close split decision loss to Ricky Turcios – just barely missing out on that elusive moniker that comes at the end of a Bruce Buffer introduction.

However, considering the circumstances, it’s pretty understandable why the night may have just eeked away from Hiestand. Prior to entering the TUF house, Brady hurt his knee, which wound up being an ACL and meniscus tear. He chose to do the whole show anyways.

“I’ve never been injured before in my life. I’ve never broken a bone, never tore anything – nothing more than a sprained ankle. So I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what, and I never went to the doctor,” Hiestand explained. “Once I was in the house, I didn’t tell production because I didn’t want to get kicked off the show.”

Despite not getting the desired result, Hiestand doesn’t look back with any regret. Some of that is due to how he lives his life, but some is due to how he perceived that fight.

“I don’t look at life with regret. I don’t really look back on it,” he shared. “Plus, I think I did pretty good for myself on the show. I honestly believe that I won the finale – so either way I think I’m the Ultimate Fighter.”

Now, he believes that people are overlooking just how good he can be with two legs, which may just play into his favor.

“Going into this next fight, I don’t have any regrets. I got my contract – 7-fight contract with the UFC,” Hiestand said. “I came off the show having put on good performances. If anything, it’s going to be a surprise when I go out there and I’m on a whole other level.”

He’ll get a chance to finally put on that sophomore performance this Satruday when he faces Fernie Garcia. That fight will air on the UFC Vegas 65 prelims on ESPN+.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 31:26.