The Ultimate Fighter 32 Ep. 2 Sees Last-Minute Switch in Fights

The Ultimate Fighter 32
Credit: UFC

We’ll be recapping each episode of The Ultimate Fighter 32 this year, with episode 2 arriving on June 11, 2024. Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko are your coaches, while featherweights and middleweights are featured.

“Victory or Valhalla” is the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter 32, and right off the bat, the best laid plans go haywire.

A week ago, Valentina Shevchenko chose the first middleweight fight, pitting Omran Chaaban against Shamidkhan Magomedov. The pair don’t seem to love being paired up with one another, but that’s the fight business. Maybe the MMA Gods heard them, however, as a medical issue has soon scrapped the fight.

The culprit? Omran gets a cold sore, and is told he can’t fight; potentially pushing the fight back a week.

“It was kind of sad, and at the same time, frustration,” coach Grasso says of the situation.

As for Magomedov, “it’s sad,” he says. “I was ready to fight. Everything was perfect.”

Instead of Chaaban vs. Magomedov, we get Team Grasso’s first booking, Robert Valentin vs. Giannis Bachar. Valentin tells coach Grasso that he’s got about 11 pounds to go in terms of a weight cut. While the magic of TV doesn’t show it, many of the TUF fights are filmed on the same day, so chances are, these two are still on the same schedule regardless.

“I have the ability to break my opponents. It doesn’t matter how tough they are or how badly they want it,” Valentin tells the camera. He later explains that his fighting style relies on violence. “Cut his face open, split his skull, and sacrifice some blood for the gods,” he exclaims while a training montage including elbows that would make Tito Ortiz proud plays.

Over with Team Shevchenko, Bachar carries out his own prep. Shevchenko recognizes that while Valentin is the biggest guy on the show, cutting a lot of weight, Bachar isn’t really cutting anything. She refers to his striking, however, as “deadly.”

“He knows about hard training, he knows how to perform the best,” Shevchenko says, clearly satisfied with her pupil’s preparation and work ethic. We then get a look at Bachar at home in Athens, Greece.

After that, coach Shevchenko takes her team for some outdoor training, with the Mojave desert serving as backdrop. It goes over well with her fighters, with Roedie Roets calling it his favorite part of the TUF experience to date.

Both fighters make weight, and Robert Valentin gives us the title of the episode in a quote: “I always say, victory or Valhalla.”

The Ultimate Fighter 32: Valentin vs. Bachar

Round 1: 

Valentin opened the action in TUF’s second fight with a front kick, then ended the fight as quickly as it started. A standing elbow connected to the skull of Bachar, and down he went. Bachar went down like a sack of potatoes, Valentin followed up with a few punches, and the ref dove in.

Official Result: Robert Valentin def. Giannis Bachar by TKO, Round 1

“That was a massive, badass elbow, and I cannot wait to see Robert fight again,” UFC President and CEO Dana White exclaimed afterwards.

Next week it’s back to featherweight, as Kaan Ofli faces off with Nathan Fletcher.