The Ultimate Fighter 30 season premiere results: Zac Pauga vs. Nyle Bartling


Julianna Pena got one over on Amanda Nunes again.

While the stakes weren’t quite as high as their UFC 269 championship fight, which saw Pena upset Nunes to win the bantamweight title, Pena can claim her share of the bragging rights after the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 30 concluded with her fighter Zac Pauga (5-0) defeating Team Nunes’ Nyle Bartling (6-0)* via unanimous decision.

Pauga was Pena’s second heavyweight selection and he didn’t disappoint, showing off his well-rounded game — Pauga is a training partner of Curtis Blaydes at Elevation Fight Team in Denver — by out-striking Bartling and stuffing his takedowns for the duration of the two-round bout. Bartling was successful with his heavy left hand, and did some damage to the floor early in the second. However, Pauga managed to escape from bad situations and punched Bartling on both the ground and feet for the win.

It was an entertaining fight to kick off the 30th season of the UFC’s long-running reality show, which features eight heavyweights and eight flyweights competing to win a tournament title and a contract with the UFC.

Earlier in the episode the coaches selected their rivals. Nunes took flyweight Claire Guthrie off the board and heavyweight Eduardo Perez was taken off the boards first. Pena picked Helen Peralta, Mohammed Usman and Kamaru Usman’s brother, as Pena’s fighter choices.

See the full team selections below (Nunes went first, coaches alternated between picking flyweights and heavyweights):

Team Nunes

  1. Claire Guthrie (3-1)
  2. Eduardo Perez (4-1)
  3. Brogan Walker (7-2)
  4. Chandler Cole (8-3)
  5. Kaytlin Neil (5-4)
  6. Mitchell Sipe (5-2)
  7. Kathryn Paprocki (3-2)
  8. Nyle Bartling (6-0)

Team Pena

  1. Helen Peralta (5-2)
  2. Mohammed Usman (7-2)
  3. Juliana Miller (2-1)
  4. Zac Pauga (5-0)
  5. Hannah Guy (4-1)
  6. Jordan Heiderman (5-0)
  7. Chantel Coates (2-1)
  8. Bobby Maximus (5-4)

All women participating in this season’s competition have fought for Invicta FC. Guy is the only exception. Guy — an alternate for Melissa Parker, who withdrew for undisclosed reasons — recently fought for the BKFC and is best known for a decision win over Valeria Loureda in Bellator.

Of note on the men’s side, last pick Bobby Maximus is participating in his second TUF season. The Canadian was also a contestant on TUF 2, back when he was billed as Rob MacDonald.

Following the result of the first fight, host Forrest Griffin announced that Pena would also pick the next fight and she chose her top pick Peralta to fight Nunes’ third flyweight pick Neil.

The first round results are :

Zac Pauga def. Nyle Bartling via unanimous decision

Team Pena’s Helen Peralta will be fighting Team Nunes’ Kaytlin Nail in a flyweight fight next week.

(*TUF fights are treated as exhibitions. The )

results do not affect fighters’ records.

Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter is being coached by UFC bantamweight champion Julianna Pena and UFC featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. The two are expected to meet in a rematch on a date to be announced following the airing of TUF 30.

The finalists of the TUF 30 heavwyeight and flyweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract at a finale event with a date still to be announced.

Exclusively on ESPN+, every Monday at midnight new episodes air.

Here is the TUF 30 roster divided by team:

Team Nunes

Nyle Bartling
Chandler Cole
Eduardo Perez
Mitchell Sipe

Claire Guthrie
Kaytlin Neil
Kathryn Paprocki
Brogan Walker

Team Pena

Jordan Heiderman
Bobby Maximus
Zac Pauga
Mohammed Usman

Chantel Coates
Hannah Guy
Juliana Miller
Helen Peralta

Advancing to Round 2: Pauga

Eliminated: Bartling