As the final fights in the opening round of “The Ultimate Fighter” approach, it’s worth introducing two more prospects who have yet to fight on the show. In this article, you will briefly get to meet middleweights Bryan Battle and Gilbert Urbina.
Battle is a guy that you have to look a little deeper into. He’s 26-years-old and from North Carolina, USA. He is 5-1 with four finishes and doesn’t really have any notable wins or any fights in notable promotions. But look deeper: You take a look at his amateur record and see he has wins over UFC fighter Impa Kasanganay (9-1) and “Dana White’s Contender Series” alum Cody Brundage (6-1).
He told the story of how he started fighting. It was almost like a movie.
“I just walked into the gym and they asked what I wanted to do,” Battle said. “I said I wanted to fight. They asked if I had a background in anything and I said no. No wrestling, no boxing, no karate. They said to come on in and let’s see what happens.”
Battle just started training in 2016 at 22-years-old. He isn’t a lifelong wrestler or martial artist. He is a guy that started from humble beginnings and has done all the right things to get the opportunity to fight in the UFC.
“My expectations are to go on and win the show and go on and beat people in the UFC,” he said. “There are guys I see fight in the UFC all the time that I believe I can beat. There are guys that I’ve fought as an amateur that are in the UFC right now. I haven’t been training for a whole lot of time, but I feel like that I have made up the difference with how I train and my approach to training. I look forward to putting my skills on display very soon.”
Battle is a likeable guy that’s definitely going to be a great personality on the show.
Urbina is 25-years-old and trains at the “BMF Ranch” with Donald Cerrone and Cameron Else. He is 6-1 with three fights between LFA and Combate Global, so the level of competition he has faced is good. He has survived 15 minutes with UFC welterweight contender Sean Brady (14-0). From the highlights of that fight, Brady did what he does. He took Urbina down, defended submission attempts and grinded out the 30-27 decision. No shame in that. A concern heading into “The Ultimate Fighter” is inactivity. The “TUF” house is enough of a grind, but to go in with a year and a half layoff is not ideal.
He is the third brother along with Hector and Eli to fight on the show. He has a background in wrestling – he started in middle school after moving to Ohio at a young age. Urbina talked a lot in the pre-show interviews about following in the footsteps of his oldest brother Hector. He grew up watching Hector wrestling and going to matches. “You’d go to the matches and you’d see Mark Coleman,” he said. “It was Hector that sparked the idea, but there were a lot of great fighters. You had Wes Sims stomping on Frank Mir’s face. That was like…Damn. I can’t personally say I wanted to do this but growing up and how far I’ve come with wrestling; I’ve always been coachable. I’m just hungry as an individual to grow and come up from the dirt.”
Urbina also told the story about how he got into fighting and it was far from traditional. He loved wrestling and his goal was to win state. He also had some pressure from the coach at Oklahoma State, John Smith that if he won state, he could walk on for the Cowboys. He lost in the state tournament and was heartbroken. He said he didn’t care about school and wasn’t going to graduate. He did and a teacher close to his heart flew him out to American Top Team to train there. He took his first pro fight as an 18-year old with no amateur fights and got the win. That was the start of what Urbina called a ‘long road’.
This is a guy with a personality that people are going to want to be around. Fans are going to like Urbina.