Gilbert Urbina is living a true dream. Although he fell in the semi-final of season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter, an injury to Tresean Gore opened the door for him to be the first of his clan to be crowned on the reality show this Saturday, when he faced his teammate Alexander Volkanovski, Bryan Battle.
Gilbert is the brother of Héctor and Elías Urbina, who previously participated in the program, but did not make it to the final. Now he has that experience and support heading to the final at UFC Fight Night. “We walk here together, so the Urbina brothers are going to enter the cage,” he said with a smile for ESPN Deportes.
Gilbert was born in South Texas, but his family is from Monterrey, the city where he was able to accompany his brother Héctor in what was his second fight in the Octagon, remembering it as a great experience.
“I feel blessed now. Just being here, living it. When we went to Mexico it was crazy. Everything was new, I feel like I’ve already been through this with the UFC. Ready to leave everything and I hope to be able to fight in Mexico one day, I have a lot of family in Monterrey and I would like to fight there again ”, commented Gilbert.
The Urbinas’ advice was listened to by his younger brother, who won his first match and then put up a good fight in the semifinal against Gore.
“My brothers told me to stay away from the hustle and bustle, to maintain my confidence, and not to waste a lot of time between practices. That I focus on being better physically and mentally. I listened to them and it worked well ”, explained the Mexican American.
Battle was his partner for the six weeks of filming, so they became good friends, especially after the start, when Brian Ortega’s men took the first four fights. They never imagined having all the finalists.
“It feels very good, I think about when we were there we all wanted to win. We were 0-4 and those of us who remained to fight promised to all be in the final. Even those who had lost did their part for the rest of us to win, ”he explained.
Although it was finished by Gore, he suffered an injury that opened the doors to the final. The promoter had assured him that he would have his chance, but he did not imagine that it would be in the final.
“They didn’t tell me when, just to keep training because I might have a chance. Since I lost, I learned a lot about how to attack my rivals at this level. It is God’s plan, Tresean also gave me his blessing, I am here to take advantage of it ”, he added.
Gilbert was one of the attendees at UFC 263, where Mexican Brandon Moreno beat Deiveson Figueiredo to become a flyweight champion, a moment that inspired him to seek his own title this week as they shared training at the UFC facilities.
“He is a dog, I saw him train and every day he works as a world champion, he knows what he has to defend and that everyone comes for what he has, but he works very hard, he wished me success, I am not a champion yet, but I will. to be this weekend. It’s the only thing you need sometimes. Just a little encouragement, ”he shared.
Urbina vs. Battle at middleweight and Ricky Turcios vs. Brady Hiestand in bantamweight are the finals of the season of The Ultimate Fighter 29 that are defined this Saturday in Las Vegas, in an event starring Giga Chikadze and Edson Barboza.