Bryan Battle is one win away from becoming the next Ultimate Fighter.
Battle was set to face Tresean Gore in the finale but last week, Dana White announced Gore was out of the fight with a knee injury. According to Battle, he only found out one day prior and he believes the fight with Gore is one of those cursed matchups in MMA as it has been canceled a couple of times in the past.
“I knew the day before Dana White announced it. I didn’t get much notice at all. I’m going to sound like a broken record but this fight against Tresean and me is like a jinxed fight,” Battle said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “He’s from South Carolina and I’m from North Carolina and there have been several times on the regional scene we were supposed to fight each other and I was really looking forward to it. He was talking a lot, but maybe we will fight again in the future. The fact that he is out, is what it is.”
With Gore out, Gilbert Urbina, who lost to Gore in the semis will now face Battle in the TUF 29 finals. For Battle, he says the short notice replacement is a blessing and a curse for him.
“With Gilbert, since it is a short notice fight, it’s a benefit that we have worked together so you don’t have to watch tape to see what they are about,” Battle said. “This is the most familiar I’ve been with an opponent and I only have 10 days. It’s a blessing and a curse as it’s a blessing I know what he will do but a curse because he knows what I’m going to do.”
Although he only has a week and a half to prepare for Urbina, Bryan Battle is confident he has all the skills to defeat Urbina and win TUF.
Battle has said he has been in contact with Alex Volkanovski and the coaches about fighting the TUF finale and fighting Urbina. In the fight, he thinks his pace and cardio will eventually be too much for Urbina and he’ll find the stoppage win.
“It’s the striking, it’s the grappling, it’s the composure and the pace. I think my pace will give a lot of people problems,” Battle said. “Gilbert has been training but he hasn’t been in fight camp and if you aren’t in fight camp, I have a hard time believing you will be able to keep up with my pace. I see the first round being extremely competitive and I see me taking over and getting a finish in the second.”
If Battle does get the stoppage win over Urbina and become the next Ultimate Fighter, he says it would be surreal. It would also give him the validation that he belongs at this level and all the hard work and dedication is all worth it.
“Man, talking about validation. It’s something I dreamed about forever coming to reality,” Battle continued. “Just being in the UFC is a dream, but winning The Ultimate Fighter and beginning my journey that way, like Forrest Griffin, is one of my favorite fighters ever and to have a similar path to him (is surreal). There are a ton of guys who have gone on TUF and not done anything but there has been a ton who have become legends and won the title. I’m looking to win the TUF title and carry that momentum into the UFC.”
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