Fil-Am Turcios rules ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ to win UFC contract

MANILA, Philippines — Fil-Am Ricky Turcios of the United States bested Brady Hiestand via split decision to emerge the bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 29 held in the UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs Chikadze in Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

The 28-year-old Turcios, born and raised in the US but whose father is from El Salvador and mother from the Philippines, relied on his exceptional ground game and solid striking skills to gain two of the three judges’ nod, 29-28, with the other one going to Hiestand, 29-28.

Turcios, who improved to 12-2 (win-loss) including 2-0 in TUF, was proud of his heritage that he wrapped the Philippine flag on one side and El Salvador on the other while speaking both languages during the post-fight interview at the Octagon.

“It’s a dream come true. I wanna say, Salamat sa Diyos, Thank God, Gracias a Dios,” said Turcios. “I want to go ahead and give a message to the children. Believe in yourself. Don’t fear failure, dream big, work hard, stay positive, enjoy the journey.”

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