Skip to main content
The Octagon inside the UFC APEX for The Ultimate Fighter season 30. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
The Ultimate Fighter

EPISODE 4 RECAP | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA vs TEAM NUNES

Relive The Third Episode Of The 30th Season Of The Ultimate Fighter Where Team Peña vs Team Nunes Fight To Determine The Next Stars Of The UFC Flyweight And Heavyweight Divisions

Previously on The Ultimate Fighter 30…

In the first flyweight fight, Team Nunes’ Kaytlin Neil punched her ticket to the semis by edging out Julianna Pena’s No. 1 pick, Helen Peralta in a three-round decision.

Now Team Pena’s Chantel Coates looks to take on Team Nunes’ Brogan Walker in the second flyweight fight of the season, but recent health issues have Coates worried about her ability to make weight.

This is Episode 4 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Pena vs. Team Nunes!

We open at the UFC APEX five days before the fight with Brogan Walker going through drills with Team Nunes. As she’s working a grappling drill where she has to work back to the fence and get up from on bottom, something happens to her knee, leaving Walker noticeably limping as she hustles to the next station.

All Things The Ultimate Fighter

The Team Nunes coaches recognize the issue and have Walker stop her training session, with the coaches having her ice her knee and use a massage gun to release some of the pressure and strain in the muscles around the knee.

“Even though there is plenty of pain here on the inside of my knee,” Walker begins in a confessional interview, “I didn’t hear a pop. There’s not too much swelling right now, so I think we’re just going to wait for the MRI and see what the doctor says.”

RECAP TUF 30: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3

Nina Nunes walks out with Walker, explaining that she’s dealt with knee issues throughout her career, advocating a “wait and see” approach and for the flyweight to listen to her body at the moment.

Back at the house…

The Ultimate Fighter season 30 contestant Kathryn Paprocki poses for a portrait ahead of the filming of TUF. (Photo by Mike Roach/ Zuffa LLC)

The Ultimate Fighter season 30 contestant Kathryn Paprocki poses for a portrait ahead of the filming of TUF. (Photo by Mike Roach/ Zuffa LLC)


Julianna Pena and Rick Little turn up to check in on Chantel Coates and see where her weight is at, trying to make sure she doesn’t have too drastic a cut in advance of her fight. Coates gets down to a sports bra and underwear, steps on the scale, and comes in at 154.5 pounds, meaning she’s 28.5 pounds above the flyweight limit with not a lot of time to get her weight down.

The coaches meet with Coates, who explains her recent health challenges.

Order UFC 275: Teixeira vs. Prochazka

“I got sick, I got COVID, lost my baby, and it’s like 148 is the lowest I’ve been since I got here,” she says, with Pena acknowledging the sizable cut in a separate solo interview following the meeting. Coates says the biggest cut she’s previously done is roughly 10 pounds, with Little admitting that he’s never seen a female fighter make a cut of this size in his career. He doesn’t see how it’s going to be possible for Coates to make this cut, given the time and the sheer amount of weight she would need to drop.

They all agree to take the night and re-assess in the morning.

Four days before the fight…

Walker arrives at the UFC APEX to meet with Dr. Jeff Davidson, the UFC’s chief physician. She explains in a confessional interview that she was bracing for the worst as she headed into the meeting.

She’s informed that there is an injury to her MCL, but she’s pretty stable on her examination. It’s a Grade 1 tear, so there is an opportunity for things to heal, but it’s all a matter of time. Walker admits she’s happy with the news and hopeful that she’ll be able to fight soon.

Coates and several coaches from Team Pena convene around the scale, and she’s at 148 or 149 pounds. The coaches tell Pena that it’s too much weight to cut and “it’s not going to happen.” Everyone meets in the dressing room and the coaches outline to Coates that they have to pull her from the fight.

Missed The First Few Episodes Of TUF? Find Out How You Can Catch Up Here.

She understands and breaks down into tears. Pena explains she once had to do a large cut and still missed weight back when she used to compete at 125 pounds, and Coates acknowledges she’s not upset with the coaches and their decision at all.

“The hardest part for me is that I love to fight,” Coates says in a confessional interview. “I really wanted to show my skills, and I just wanted to finish out what I started. Everybody has a story, everyone has something going on; I know it’s something I couldn’t control because my hormones are very unbalanced still, but I just wanted to work hard… I don’t know.”

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Laura Gallardo prepares for her quarterfinal fight on TUF. (Photo by Chris Unger/ Zuffa LLC)

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Laura Gallardo prepares for her quarterfinal fight on TUF. (Photo by Chris Unger/ Zuffa LLC)


Pena encourages Coates to go home, sort things out, and suggests she’ll get another opportunity in the future, fighting off the emotions of having just been forced to pull the plug on one of her team members’ time in the competition.

Back at the house, Coates talks with Bobby Maximus about the disappointment she’s feeling, and the veteran tells her to hold her head high.

“This is only the end if you want it to be the end,” says the two-time Ultimate Fighter contestant, which resonated with Coates. She collects her gear and departs the house, promising to be back better and stronger in the future.

Team Pena Training Session at the UFC APEX…

Pena explains that she’s familiar with her alternate, Laura Gallardo, greeting her at the doors as she comes into the facility, where she presents her with a Team Pena jersey. Pena tells her that she’s going to offer to have her fight Walker in place of Coates, meaning she could fight in a couple days, but will leave the decision up to the other team and the UFC.

She introduces Gallardo to the team and instantly brings her into the training session. Gallardo instantly recognizes Peralta, as the two fought under the CFFC banner a year ago.

See What Mohammed Usman Had To Say About His TUF 30 Win | Julianna Peña Reacts To Usman's Victory

Peralta explains in a confessional interview that she had no emotions welcoming Gallardo to the team, calling her split decision loss to the newest member of Team Pena “bull***” before suggesting “if you’re able to make it that close with me, you deserve my respect.”

Gallardo gets right down to work with the rest of the team while Pena and Little meet with Amanda and Nina Nunes to discuss Coates’ departure and how to move forward with the next fight. Pena says that Gallardo is ready to jump right in against Walker, and the Nunes’ seek to choose a different fight, without telling Pena and Little about Walker’s knee issues.

Since Team Nunes originally selected the matchup, how to proceed is their decision. With Walker dealing with her knee injury, they move in a different direction. Kathryn Paprocki raises her hand and asks to fight the new arrival, Laura Gallardo.

Walker encourages her teammate and admits that it works out all around as she now gets the time she needs to let her knee heal properly before competing.

The two sides agree to the new matchup, Pena breaks the news to her team, and the reigning bantamweight champion is confident that her team will be ready come the day of the fight.

Back at the house…

The UFC APEX ahead of filming for season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes

The UFC APEX ahead of filming for season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes


Gallardo gets a tour of the house, saying in a confessional interview that she’s always felt she deserved to be there, while calling the way things played out “divine timing.”

Footage of Gallardo at home in San Clemente, CA rolls as she has breakfast with her dog. The 32-year-old introduces her boyfriend Jesse and their dog, her addiction to ordering things off Amazon, and her family.

The 4-1 fighter explains that she started Brazilian jiu jitsu during her final year of high school, fell in love with it, and has been competing ever since, eventually transitioning to MMA. She heads into Dan Henderson’s Athletic Fitness Center in Temecula, working under the watchful eye of TUF 2 winner Joe Stevenson, who sings her praises.

Footage of Gallardo’s fights rolls as she explains what winning this season would mean for her.

“Winning this season would mean that everything I’ve done in the past wasn’t for nothing,” she says. “This is an opportunity that I don’t want to take lightly. This can open a lot of doors for me.

“Being here makes everything I miss, all the time I spend devoted to this, worth it. Just because I was an alternate, I’m not just feeling happy that I’m another body here. I’m here to win and I’m here to win the whole thing.”

Laura Gallardo’s Fight Prep…

Pena and assistant coach Wayne Gregory fill Gallardo in on what Paprocki brings to the table, calling her a scrappy fighter and advising their newest member to focus on her wrestling and top control once she gets the fight to the canvas.

Gallardo goes through hard grappling sessions and looks sharp, outhustling her partners and drawing raves from Pena and the coaching staff. The plan is to put Paprocki on the deck and dominate her on the canvas.

Two Days Until the Fight, Back at the House…

The members of Team Pena talk about the diversity of the cast, with Paprocki acknowledging her stutter, addressing how it shouldn’t limit anyone in any way.

In a confessional interview, the Team Nunes flyweight speaks about it more.

“I’ve been stuttering since I was about three,” says Paprocki. “It was definitely very impactful for me for a very long time. I had a really hard time just talking. I wouldn’t call anyone, but now that I’m older, I have a lot more confidence in it, and it’s me — it’s who I am, and sometimes you just have to hold off and I’ll talk through it.”

Paprocki’s home movie footage rolls with a scenic shot of the mountains in Denver, CO where she lives with her husband, her two kids, and her two dogs.

She trains out her the gym that she owns, DCO MMA & Fitness, and explains she got into fighting through her husband, Steven, who fought first. She was looking for a way to be healthy and fell in love with it.

“I love punching people, I love the confidence that it has brought me,” she says, describing her skill set as “anything, anywhere, all the time.”

Back at the UFC APEX, Paprocki goes through fight prep with Nunes and the team. The featherweight champion and former bantamweight titleholder outlines the approach for Paprocki this fight, suggesting they want to make Gallardo work to close distance by moving a lot, defending shots, and getting off with her hands.

Paprocki praises Nunes’ positivity and the details in her coaching as footage of her previous fights begins to play.

The Team Nunes fighter is 3-2 as a pro, with her losses coming against Invicta FC strawweight champ Emily Ducote and last fall in a fight with Maria Silva on Dana White’s Contender Series, where she took the fight on two weeks’ notice. She calls it a great learning experience and sees this return to competing inside the UFC APEX as a chance to enjoy the experience a little more.

“Right here is my lawn,” she says in a confessional interview, pointing to the length of her outstretched arms, smiling widely. “And I don’t let anybody onto my lawn. I’m gonna throw these hands, and I’m excited to do so.”

Flyweight Weigh-Ins…

Paprocki is up first, coming in at 124 pounds. Gallardo gets on the scale next and comes in at 123.5 pounds, making the fight official.

The women face off and we’re all set for the second flyweight fight of the season.

Fight Day…

“I’m prideful,” begins Paprocki. “I’m very proud that I’m finally figuring out what fighting is to me. I absolutely feel prepared. It is my time, I know why I’m here. I’m down for the get-down!”

Gallardo heads to the UFC APEX focused, stating she knows exactly who she is and why she’s here.

Each woman gets taped up and loose in the back, and now it’s time to see which one will advance.

Laura Gallardo stands across the Octagon from Katlyn Paprocki in season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter. (Photo by Chris Unger/ Zuffa LLC)

Laura Gallardo stands across the Octagon from Katlyn Paprocki in season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter. (Photo by Chris Unger/ Zuffa LLC)


Round 1

Gallardo pressures forward and changes levels immediately, moving from a single to the clinch and backing Paprocki into the fence. They trade knees in tight and Gallardo switches to a single, dumping Paprocki to the canvas momentarily. The Team Nunes fighter scoots back to the fence and stands with Gallardo looking for a snap-down from a front headlock position before settling for a body lock against the fence.

Paprocki looks to land little shots in tight and breaks free, eating a couple shots on the way out. Gallardo is the quicker, more fluid of the two on the feet, leading the exchanges and touching Paprocki first and more frequently through the first half of the round.

Paprocki lands a nice right hand and seems to be getting Gallardo’s timing and her range down. Gallardo crashes forward into the clinch, using an outside trip to put the Team Nunes fighter on the canvas. Paprocki quickly works back to her feet and breaks free into space with a little under 90 seconds to go in the opening stanza.

Gallardo lands with an outside low kick, while Paprocki answers with a couple long right hands and a pair of good kicks of her own. Gallardo spins Paprocki to the canvas off a good level change just before the horn.

Round 2

Kathryn Paprocki punches Laura Gallardo in their flyweight bout on The Ultimate Fighter season 30. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Kathryn Paprocki punches Laura Gallardo in their flyweight bout on The Ultimate Fighter season 30. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Gallardo is first to land out of the corner, showing more volume and diversity to start the second than she did in the first. Paprocki reaches for a right hand and Gallardo grabs a partial collar tie, hitting her with knees to the head and short left hands.

Paprocki pressed forward and Gallardo changes levels underneath her, driving her backwards to the canvas, pulling her off the fence, and settling in her guard. Paprocki works to set up a triangle choke off her back, but Gallardo is hip to it, twisting out of the hold, and passing to side control, with the Team Nunes member desperate to collect her leg and keep her from climbing into a crucifix position.

Paprocki tries to muscle her way out of the position, but Gallardo stays heavy, grinding time off the clock and landing sporadic short blows. Paprocki pushes off the fence in an attempt to create space but can’t work free. Gallardo hits her with a knee to the midsection and climbs to the other side with a minute remaining in the round.

Paprocki is stuck on bottom and Gallardo is content to keep her there, smothering the Team Nunes member before finally climbing into mount and unloading punches in the final seconds before the horn.

Both sides know the fight is done and Paprocki is sporting a massive welt under her left eye.

“That’s a f****** hematoma,” Dana White says to Forrest Griffin, seeing the grapefruit developing under the Team Nunes fighter’s eye.

Official Result: Laura Gallardo def. Kathryn Paprocki by majority decision

Laura Gallardo Reacts To Her Win Over Paprocki | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
Laura Gallardo Reacts To Her Win Over Paprocki | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
/

The highlights roll and Pena explains the largely one-sided decision win for her fighter. Nunes addresses the difficulty Paprocki had getting back to her feet, giving all credit to Gallardo, as does White, who calls her “a little bad ass.”

Gallardo and Team Pena celebrate the victory, with Pena admitting even she was surprised by how good the newest member of her squad was, saying she’s going to be a problem for everybody.

Julianna Peña Discusses Laura Gallardo's Win Over Kathryn Paprocki | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
Julianna Peña Discusses Laura Gallardo's Win Over Kathryn Paprocki | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
/

In the opposing locker room, Paprocki is in tears after the loss, with Nina Nunes trying to console her and redirect her thinking. She’s questioning her own skills while getting held by Walker, with Chandler Cole continuing to serve as the resident spirit-lifter for Team Nunes.

Amanda Nunes Discusses Laura Gallardo vs Kathryn Paprocki | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
Amanda Nunes Discusses Laura Gallardo vs Kathryn Paprocki | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
/

Now it’s time for the next heavyweight fight announcement. Team Pena has the selection, and picks Bobby Maximus versus Eduardo Perez.

Maximus says this was the fight he was hoping for as the last pick, getting matched up against Team Nunes’ first heavyweight selection.