Brad Katona made history as the first man to win The Ultimate Fighter twice, while Kurt Holobaugh picked up the 10th submission finish of his career as both men secured UFC contracts with winning performances in their respective finals of The Ultimate Fighter.
The preliminary card of UFC 292 in Boston was enhanced by a pair of final matchups from the recent season of The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Chandler, as the 31st season of the show came to a conclusion in Boston.
In the bantamweight final, Katona outbattled Cody Gibson in an all-out war that brought back memories of the iconic light heavyweight final between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar from the original series of The Ultimate Fighter.
Katona and Gibson went back and forth in a breathless fight as both men pushed a ridiculous pace through the three-round bout.
Both men had their successes in the bout, which was spent exclusively on the feet. But, despite both men being banged up with swellings on their respective faces, it was Katona’s cleaner work that helped him earn the unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.
It meant that Katona captured his historic second TUF crown and earned his spot back on the UFC roster, where the former Brave CF bantamweight champion will look to build on his five-fight win streak after ending his four-year UFC hiatus.
In the lightweight final, Holobaugh captured the 155-pound TUF crown with a second-round submission victory over Austin Hubbard that showcased his black-belt grappling skills.
Hubbard started arguably the better of the pair, but Holobaugh soon found his feet and started to push the pace on his friend and Team Chandler teammate.
And, when Holobaugh dropped his man with a punch to the unbalanced Hubbard, a scramble ensured as Holobaugh looked to make his grappling skills pay.
Hubbard attempted to find a way back to the feet, but found himself caught in an armbar. And, as Hubbard looked to escape, Holobaugh transitioned beautifully to lock up a triangle choke that eventually forced Hubbard to tap at the 2:39 mark of the second stanza.
It gave Holobaugh the 20th win, and 10th submission finish, of his professional career as he made his return to the Octagon for the first time since May 2019.