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The Ultimate Fighter

Episode 7 Recap | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes

Relive The 7th 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 Division

Previously on The Ultimate Fighter…

Team Nunes heavyweight Chandler Cole injures his elbow in training, but vows to remain in the competition. Inside the cage, former opponents Juliana Miller and Claire Guthrie face off for a second time, with Team Pena’s Miller earning a unanimous decision win after three hard-fought rounds.

All Things The Ultimate Fighter

Now it’s time for the final quarterfinal matchup in the heavyweight competition, as Cole looks to push through the pain and advance to the next round when he takes on Jordan Heiderman of Team Pena.

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

At The Ultimate Fighter House…

Guthrie and Miller share a cool moment following their fight, showing appreciation to one another for their outstanding clash last episode, posing for pictures together.

Miller speaks in a confessional interview about overcoming her fear of failure by earning a measure of revenge in her fight with Guthrie, and that she’s eager to move forward from here. She thanks Guthrie for the battle and suggests they’ll cross paths again somewhere down the line.

Four Days Before the Fight…

RECAP TUF 30: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6

Jordan Heiderman walks into the UFC APEX and it’s really the first we’ve seen of the Team Pena heavyweight thus far this season. He’s a big, tall dude with a wrestling background, and Pena sings his praises for his work ethic.

Heiderman believes the fight with Cole will be more of a grappling match, and he’s confident in his ability to defend the shots and dictate the terms of engagement once they step into the cage. The team knows Cole has a strong overhand right and works with Heiderman to keep that left hand high in order to shut down the Team Nunes fighter’s biggest weapon.

Back at the house…

Jordan Heiderman Gets His Hands Wrapped Prior To His Bout Against Chandler Cole On Season 30 Of The Ultimate Fighter

Jordan Heiderman gets his hands wrapped prior to his bout against Chandler Cole on Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Maximus sits down with Cole to learn more about his housemate, asking the Team Nunes heavyweight to tell him about himself, which leads into a confessional interview with Cole answering Maximus’ question.

The heavyweight hopeful works at a super-max correctional facility in Virginia and says he tries to keep a “super-positive attitude” with everyone, which he’s already displayed this season as the chief cheerleader and uplift agent for his team. He explains to Maximus that being in the UFC is to send a message to kids going through what he went through that you don’t have to be defended or limited by your circumstances.

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

Home video footage from Coeburn, VA begins to roll, with Cole driving to a run, giving some quick facts and information about his small hometown. He’s the head wrestling coach at his high school alma mater and carries a lot of pride representing where he’s from.

He goes back to the house he grew up in, which is now abandoned, explaining that when his grandmother, who raised him, was diagnosed with cancer and passed in 2015, they moved out. He heads into his home gym at Wise County Combat Club, a small gym “right on the street” in Coeburn, as he says.

Chandler Cole steps into the Octagon to fight Jordan Heiderman on Episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter: team Peña vs Team Nunes.

Chandler Cole steps into the Octagon to fight Jordan Heiderman on Episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


After wrestling in high school and college, Cole wasn’t competing in anything before taking up MMA, which very quickly led to him pursuing the sport as a career. Footage of some of his regional bouts rolls, including a pair of high amplitude slams, with Cole stating that “getting punched in the mouth is the best character builder, because you got a lot of people who talk, but they’ve never been punched in the face, so they have a really bad attitude.”

The heavyweight hopeful introduces his three-year-old daughter, Chloe, explaining that being her dad is his favorite job. He sees his journey to this point as reason why he can continue to succeed and win the competition, calling this is a big moment not just for himself, but for his community.

Get To Know Chandler Cole

Three Days Until the Fight…

Cole arrives at the UFC APEX for his fight prep. Nunes suggests Cole’s wrestling will be the key, praising his athleticism, with the heavyweight hopeful stating he knows what he needs to do to win.

This elbow injury is holding up well, but Cole explains to Nunes that he’s a little worried about pushing too hard in the training sessions and potentially putting himself in a position where he doesn’t make it to the fight. He says in a confessional interview that Nunes has a “push through it” mentality and perhaps that’s what it takes to succeed and be a world champion, but he doesn’t want to put himself in a bad position this close to the fight.

Back at the house…

Jordan Heiderman stares across the Octagon at The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 opponent Chandler Cole ahead of their heavyweight bout.

Jordan Heiderman stares across the Octagon at The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 opponent Chandler Cole ahead of their heavyweight bout. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Heiderman and some of the other Team Pena heavyweights load up their plates in the kitchen, with Heiderman explaining that he only trains every other week because of his work schedule as a welder. He tells them that he had to quit that job in order to come take part in the competition as his home video footage rolls with him walking through his neighborhood and into his house in Norfolk, NE.

The 30-year-old introduces his girlfriend Vanessa and their dog, Gus, and explains that he had two older brothers he always competed with growing up. His oldest brother had a few amateur fights, which planted a seed with the youngest of the trio, with all of his athletic endeavors leading him in the direction of becoming a fighter himself.

Get To Know Jordan Heiderman

Heiderman explains that he’s 5-0 as a pro, as highlights of some of his handiwork runs, including a couple efforts under the LFA banner. He calls himself a “freestyle fighter” and says the opportunity to get this victory over Cole and ultimately win the competition would be huge.

Still at the house…

Cole arrives at the house, asking, “Who’s ready to get this fitness on?” to no one specifically, drawing smiles and laughs from his teammates. Kaytlin Neil explains he’s developed an alter-ego, “Fitness Chandler,” and Cole suggests “Fitness Chandler” is the best athlete in the house, as he’s shown doing a couple squats and walking around with exercise bands. It’s a great gimmick that brings some lightness to the house.

Zac Pauga notes that Cole “looks a certain way,” adding, “they say, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but there’s a reason books have covers.”

Cole counters in a confessional interview that he “looks like a whale, but moves like a shark” while continuing to do squats and stretches throughout the house, much to the amusement of his teammates.

Heavyweight Weigh-Ins…

Jordan Heiderman and Chandler Cole face-off after weighing in for their bout on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes.

Jordan Heiderman and Chandler Cole face-off after weighing in for their bout on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Forrest Griffin greets the teams at the UFC APEX for the weigh-ins. Cole climbs on the scale first, coming in at 264.5 pounds. Heiderman follows him onto the scale, weighing in at 247 pounds.

The final heavyweight quarterfinal matchup is official.

The Ultimate Fighter Flashback, presented by ZipRecruiter…

Season 5 featured one of the most iconic Ultimate Fighter contestants ever, Nathan Diaz, who was selected to be a part of Team Pulver. Diaz embarked on a dominant run inside the house, posting three consecutive submission finishes to advance to the finals, where he earned a victory over teammate Manvel Gamburyan to join the fraternity of Ultimate Fighter winners.

Fight Day…

Both heavyweights head to the UFC APEX, expressing their readiness to do whatever it takes to get this victory and advance in the competition. They get taped up, loosened up, and ready to go in their respective dressing rooms, and now it’s time to get after it.

Round 1: Cole comes out looking to throw kicks, attacking the lead leg, while Heiderman is content to work to find his range and get his timing down. Cole presses forward and connects with the first overhand right he throws, following it with another heavy low outside leg kick.

Heiderman paws out with punches that aren’t close and Cole counters with a right hand that connects before resetting to the center. Heiderman lands a kick to the thigh but continues to wait on Cole and offers very little 90 seconds into the contest. He chops with another outside kick and Cole lands with another overhand right, working forward behind it to throw the first real extended flurry of the fight from either man, though nothing of real substance lands.

Chander Cole throws an overhand right against Jordan Heiderman on episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes.

Chander Cole throws an overhand right against Jordan Heiderman on episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Back in the center midway through the round, Heiderman slams home a low outside kick that draws a smile from Cole. He’s doing a better job at managing the distance and keeping Cole on the outside now, forcing the Team Nunes fighter to constantly reset and connect with less. They trade jabs heading towards the final minute when Cole uncorks a spinning wheel kick that cracks Heiderman on the jaw, sending him tumbling backwards into the fence.

Dana White’s jaw hits the floor and he rises to his feet, blown away by what he just saw, as Cole tries to capitalize on the heavy connection. Heiderman does a good job of tying Cole up and creating a scramble, getting back to his feet and looking to walk down Cole and get something back. Instead, Cole connects with a winging right hand and gives him an “Is that all you’ve got?” look in the center of the cage with 30 seconds remaining in the round.

Heiderman lands a one-two down the pipe, but Cole counters with a left of his own and the horn sounds.

Round 2: Cole looks to close the distance and connects with another spinning kick to the body, following it with an inside and an outside low kick. Heiderman lands a jab, Cole counters with a right, and is feeling himself a little, but his coaches implore him to just stay focused and not play.

Heiderman lands a couple lefts and misses with a pair of big uppercuts, but Cole isn’t throwing much. He rushes in with a right hand, but Heiderman sees it coming. The inside low kick remains there for Cole, but Heiderman is the more active of the two, chopping with a kick to the thigh and putting his jab out there. He lands a one-two that is his best connection of the fight, and his corner roars for him to keep the pressure on.

Jordan Heiderman punches Chandler Cole in their heavyweight bout on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes.

Jordan Heiderman punches Chandler Cole in their heavyweight bout on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes. (Chris Unger/ZUffa LLC)


Cole throws the occasional kick, but Heiderman is the aggressor and more effective of the two, even if he’s not landing too much. A couple right hands find a home and Pena just keeps shouting, “Again!” at her charge, who is having success whenever he closes the distance, crowds Cole, and lets go of his hands.

Cole lands a counter left, but Heiderman isn’t all that bothered by it, continuing to press forward and stick shots in the Team Nunes fighter’s mug. The horn sounds and it feels like we’re heading to a third round.

Forrest Griffin and Dana White both think Cole still did enough to win, as does Team Nunes, obviously, while Pena encourages Heiderman to continue doing what he’s doing and expand his attacks a little more as the commission official informs referee Chris Tognoni that we’re going to a third round.

Round 3: They touch gloves and Cole is the first to offer, lunging in with a left hand, connecting with a right behind it, and then eating a left from Heiderman in return. Cole is far more active to start the round, chopping at the lead leg with low kicks, much to the delight of coach Roger Krahl.

Cole presses forward and the two exchange in close, each landing a good shot before Cole clips Heiderman on the side of the head when he’s already a little off balance, sending him to the canvas briefly. Heiderman scurries back to his feet and hits Cole with a right hand as the Team Nunes fighter tries to swarm, backing him off and prompting him to panic wrestle.

Heiderman sees the takedown coming, sprawls well, and floats to the back, unloading on Cole as he turtles and covers up. The Team Pena fighter keeps hammering away, bringing Tognoni in for a look, and when Cole doesn’t respond to the referee’s request to fight back, the fight is stopped.

Great come-from-behind win for Jordan Heiderman.

Official Result: Jordan Heiderman def. Chandler Cole by TKO (strikes) at 1:14 of Round 3

Jordan Heiderman Reacts To His Win Against Chandler Cole | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
Jordan Heiderman Reacts To His Win Against Chandler Cole | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
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The coaches and White recap the action, with the spinning wheel kick obviously the defining point of the first round. White says he and Griffin thought the fight was going to be over, and Nunes concurs, suggesting Cole only needed to land a couple shot and he’s have earned the stoppage. To his credit, Heiderman recovered, which impressed the UFC President.

White says he thought the second was close and expected the judges to award the round, and the fight, to Cole, as did Nunes, who says she felt like the fight was supposed to be over. It went to the third, and after a minute of trading blows, a good shot hurt Cole and gave Heiderman the chance to finish.

Amanda Nunes Reacts To Jordan Heiderman's Win Against Chandler Cole | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
Amanda Nunes Reacts To Jordan Heiderman's Win Against Chandler Cole | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
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The undefeated Team Pena fighter celebrates with the squad, while Cole is understandably disappointed and emotional in the Team Nunes room. His teammates are trying to lift him up the way he did for them following their fights, telling him he’d done enough to win the fight through the first two rounds.

White says he didn’t agree with the judges before the squads reassemble to announce the final flyweight fight of the season: Hannah Guy from Team Pena versus Brogan Walker of Team Nunes.

Julianna Peña Reacts To Jordan Heiderman's Win Against Chandler Cole | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
Julianna Peña Reacts To Jordan Heiderman's Win Against Chandler Cole | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Peña vs Team Nunes
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