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

EPISODE 5 RECAP | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES

Relive The 5th 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 two heavyweight fights, Team Pena representatives Zac Pauga and Mohammed Usman earned wins over their Team Nunes counterparts to advance to the semifinals, while alternate Laura Gallardo walked into the competition and immediately earned a victory for Team Pena, earning a two-round unanimous decision win over Kathryn Paprocki.

All Things The Ultimate Fighter

Now TUF 2 alum and former UFC fighter Bobby Maximus steps into the cage for the first time in more than a decade as he takes on Team Nunes’ No. 1 pick, Eduardo Perez.

It’s time for Episode 5 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Pena vs. Team Nunes!

At The Ultimate Fighter House…

Paprocki and Gallardo chat in the kitchen following their fight, with Paprocki giving the newcomer props for an elbow she landed in the bout. Gallardo explains in a confessional interview that she’s grateful for her first experience, while Paprocki continues to question her approach and what went wrong, questioning the amount of work that she got with Nunes and the coaching staff.

She says in a confessional interview that she didn’t do herself any favors by not pushing back against the game plan, which felt focused on Gallardo, instead of her own strengths and ways to control the bout. Kaytlin Neil listens to her teammate second-guess things without offering up anything in response, which is probably the right call.

RECAP TUF 30: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4

Elsewhere in the house, Maximus and Usman talk about the upcoming fight, with Maximus saying he’s at his best when he just goes out there and competes, rather than over-thinking. It’s the “16 versus 1” matchup and Maximus is eager to prove he’s “nobody’s free lunch,” telling Usman to get his money ready to bet on him.

The following morning, Perez sits at the kitchen table with Chandler Cole and Nyle Bartling, flabbergasted that Maximus hasn’t fought since 2009. The Team Nunes fighters map out Maximus’ history in the cage — that he was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter before, fought a few times after that, and retired in 2009 — with Perez seeming both unsure and confident about the fight ahead.

MEET HEAVYWEIGHT EDUARDO PEREZ | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
MEET HEAVYWEIGHT EDUARDO PEREZ | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
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Perez goes through his fight prep, working on the mitts with Roger Krahl and John Wood, as Nunes explains that she chose Perez first because of the big power in his hands. Perez says he was 14 when Maximus last fought, suggesting that the layoff will work against his Team Pena counterpart when they step into the cage.

Back at the house…

Maximus sits in the living room with Walker and Claire Guthrie, doing some sports psychology work, with both of the Team Nunes flyweights speaking highly about the work they’re doing with the veteran heavyweight, who clearly enjoys helping others with these types of things.

Three Days Until the Fight…

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

Team Pena’s Juliana Miller says in a confessional interview that she feels “betrayed” and “offended” by Maximus working with Walker and Guthrie.

She speaks to him about it on the bus ride to the UFC APEX, asking if the team is safe to train around him given they’re going to have to face those individuals and he’s working with them regularly at the house. Maximus assures her that he doesn’t talk about what they do in training sessions and never would. She asks him about the work he’s doing with them, and he says he understands her complaints.

In a confessional interview, Pauga, who was sitting between the two Team Pena competitors on the bus ride, during their interaction, says that Miller likes to complain and that there is nothing Maximus can tell the other team that is going to give them an edge. Maximus hears her out, acknowledges her grievance, and then shares a little smile with Pauga, who turns around, shaking his head.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Bobby Maximus walks to Octagon to fight Eduardo Perez in the semifinals of TUF.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Bobby Maximus walks to Octagon to fight Eduardo Perez in the semifinals of TUF. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Maximus is shown in his gym, Maximus Gym, where he’s the owner/operator. He sees being 43 years old this time around as an advantage, and makes it clear he’s anything but a typical 43-year-old.

“Bobby Maximus is 100 percent all-in; he’s here to win it all,” says the former Robert MacDonald. “I mean, what a story: to come back from losing and then come back and win Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter, and then get back in the big show? I mean, the universe is speaking to me.”

Back at the UFC APEX…

Cole and Nunes meet with Dr. Jeff Davidson to discuss his elbow injury. The MRI shows a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Under normal circumstances, four weeks with no activity would be the recommended course of action, but obviously that timeline doesn’t work.

Cole isn’t told “he can’t fight,” but is also cautioned that the ligament will not be healed should he opt to continue on in the competition. He says that he wants to continue competing, and Dr. Davidson gives him directions on what not to do with his elbow during training and his fight. The plan is to try to work around things, so we’ll see how it goes.

Four Days Until the Fight…

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Eduardo Perez prepares for semifinal bout on TUF.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Eduardo Perez prepares for semifinal bout on TUF. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Perez’s home video rolls, beginning with him saying goodbye to his family in Richmond, CA. The 27-year-old lives at home with his parents and one of his brothers, having moved to the United States when he was two and settled in the Bay Area a few years later.

He heads into American Kickboxing Academy to train, going through mitt work with different coaches, and then his fight highlights run. Perez is 4-1, cites fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez and Cain Velasquez as Mexican inspirations, and thanks his girlfriend for the support she offers him.

Team Nunes Training Session

Nunes and the coaches put her team through a hard workout inside the UFC APEX, with everyone working through the circuit.

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Cole works on the mat with Bartling, and in one of their scrambles, Cole feels something funky in his elbow and presses pause on his training session. He’s forced to sit out the rest of practice with ice on his elbow but promises in a confessional interview that regardless of what steps they have to take, he’s going to remain in the competition and fighting when the time comes.

Back at the house…

Walker talks to Maximus about what drew him back to fighting, and he begins to explain as the “Way Back Machine” runs highlights from his time on Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter, where he was on Team Hughes, losing to Brad Imes in a fight where he blew out his shoulder.

“My UFC career wasn’t what I wanted it to be,” says the Canadian veteran, who currently resides in Salt Lake City. “I won a fight, won Submission of the Night, lost a couple of fights, got my contract cut.”

He explains that he walked away to devote his time to his son, who was born in 2009, as home video footage rolls of MacDonald at home with his youngest son, two-year-old Hunter. He has three boys now, and explains that when he retired, he wanted to put his effort into being a dad, not working his way back to the UFC.

MEET HEAVYWEIGHT BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
MEET HEAVYWEIGHT BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
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In a confessional interview of his own, Maximus shares his truer thoughts on Miller’s frustrations, saying, “Grow the f*** up!”

At the facility, Pena goes through a shadowboxing routine of her own and discusses how much she’s putting into the competition and her impending rematch with Nunes. The team arrives and Maximus goes through his fight prep for his fight with Perez.

He says in a confessional interview that he loves being the underdog and the “first vs. last” setup of this fight, suggesting that he’s battled adversity his entire life and that he’s going to show everybody that Team Nunes picked wrong.

The focus is going to be on grappling for Maximus, as he and the team believe he’s a different class of fighter on the canvas than Perez has faced before. Pena raves about Maximus’ coachability and willingness to work as he continues to go through pad work with Wayne Gregory.

The only things Maximus is worried about is that he hasn’t fought in 13 years, so he knows there will be ring rust.

Back at the house…

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Bobby Maximus and awaiting the start of his semifinals bout against Eduarado Perez on TUF.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Bobby Maximus and awaiting the start of his semifinals bout against Eduarado Perez on TUF. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Maixmus speaks to Miller in the kitchen, telling her that he wants her to win the competition. She explains in a confessional interview that Maximus “bothers” her, and there is a part of her that has been screwed over in the past that is worried he’s going to tell the Team Nunes members elements of her training.

He agrees to not work with them over the next couple days, but she doesn’t feel like she can trust him. He explains in his own interview that he doesn’t tell the other team anything about the Team Pena athletes’ strengths or weakness.

Heavyweight Weigh-ins…

Forrest Griffin calls Eduardo Perez to the scale, coming in at 266 pounds with his uniform on. Maximus is up next, registering 237 pounds, making the fight official.

REVISIT EPISODE 4: See What Laura Gallardo Had To Say About Her TUF 30 Win | Julianna Peña Reacts To Gallardo's Victory

The two men face off, and Griffin explains that everyone likes a good comeback, which makes this fight supremely interesting.

Ultimate Fighter Flashback, presented by ZipRecruiter…

In Season 25 — The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption — 14 welterweights who previously competed on the show were brought back and given a second chance at a UFC contract, culminating with Season 19 silver medalist Dhiego Lima facing Season 7’s Jesse Taylor in the finale.

In the fight, Taylor submitted Lima in the second round to win the competition and cap off a comeback story nine years in the making.

It’s Fight Day!

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestants Bobby Maximus and Eduardo Perez's opening exchanges in the semifinals of TUF.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestants Bobby Maximus and Eduardo Perez's opening exchanges in the semifinals of TUF. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Both heavyweights hop in their respective vans and head to the UFC APEX. Each is focused and ready to compete, getting wrapped and loose in their dressing rooms before making the walk out to the Octagon.

Round 1: After touching gloves, Maximus is on a single leg instantly, dumping Perez into the fence and hitting him with a clean right hand as he tries to scramble back to his feet. Perez gets up, but Maximus controls him along the fence. Maximus twists Perez to the canvas, landing in mount with more than four minutes remaining in the round.

Perez tries to hold on to control posture and Maximus rains down strikes. As Perez bucks and turns, Maximus grabs onto his neck, but Perez fights it off. Perez again tries to get back to his feet, but the veteran is still around his waist, landing short shots and controlling him along the fence. Perez fights the hands, turns into Maximus, and hits him with a short elbow in close, but he still can’t get Maximus off him.

Maximus looks for a trip but can’t complete it. Perez turns and lands a good knee to the body, drawing a “nice knee” from Dana White at cageside. Maximus reaches for a single, but Perez stuffs it, and as they straight up, the Perez belts Maximus with a clean right hand that instantly puts him on shaky legs. We also see that the elbow from earlier (or perhaps something else) left Maximus with a bloody nose.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Eduardo Perez lands ground and pound on Bobby Maximus during the semifinals of TUF.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 contestant Eduardo Perez lands ground and pound on Bobby Maximus during the semifinals of TUF. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Perez sticks two jabs, lands an uppercut as Maximus shoots, and sprawls well, defending the desperate takedown attempt, hammering home shots the whole time. As they stand, Perez continues piecing up Maximus, who is in all-out takedown mode, closing the distance and forcing Perez into the fence.

Perez breaks free and walks down Maximus, who wings an overhand and dives at an ankle unsuccessfully, ending up turtled on the canvas with Perez pounding away. Maximus turns his back to the canvas and Perez continues to let loose heavy shots, bringing referee Mike Beltran in for a closer look. One particular elbow earns an “ooh ­— that was nasty” from the UFC President, and after a few more blows and several warnings for Maximus to defend himself, Beltran steps in and stops the fight.

Just an absolute mauling down the stretch from the Team Nunes top pick.

Official Result: Eduardo Perez def. Bobby Maximus by TKO (strikes) at 3:58 of Round 1

The two sides and Dana White recap the fight, which was a tale of two segments. Pena highlights Maximus’ immediate takedown, but acknowledges he was probably a little too aggressive and ultimately lost his position. From there, Perez took over.

White suggests that Perez is one of those fighters whose skills and attributes are better than you expect, singing the Team Nunes standout’s praises for his dominant effort. Nunes is all smiles after getting the victory and believes Perez will be able to do the same no matter who he faces the rest of the way.

EDUARDO PEREZ REACTS TO HIS WIN AGAINST BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
EDUARDO PEREZ REACTS TO HIS WIN AGAINST BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
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Perez celebrates in the dressing room with his team, while Maximus laments losing, especially after starting so well. He says there is no reason this has to be the end.

AMANDA NUNES REACTS TO EDUARDO PEREZ vs BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
AMANDA NUNES REACTS TO EDUARDO PEREZ vs BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
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Through five bouts, it’s Team Pena has a 3-2 lead, and now it’s time to pick the next flyweight matchup.

Pena selects Juliana Miller to face Claire Guthrie. They’ve fought before in the past, with Guthrie handing Miller her first loss, which adds a little more spice to next week’s matchup.

JULIANNA PEÑA REACTS TO EDUARDO PEREZ vs BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
JULIANNA PEÑA REACTS TO EDUARDO PEREZ vs BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
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