LAS VEGAS – Bryan Battle was looking forward to finally locking horns with Tresean Gore, but it wasn’t meant to be.

They were on each other’s radars prior to Season 29 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and Battle (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Gore made it to the middleweight final. But Gore was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Instead, Battle will take on Gilbert Urbina (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and while he’s happy for Urbina, there’s a nice backstory with Gore.

“It was kind of a bummer because I really wanted to fight Tresean,” Battle told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Wednesday’s media day at the UFC Apex. “Me and Tresean, we’ve almost gotten booked to fight each other multiple times even before this show. We almost fought each other for $300 to show, $300 to win in Myrtle Beach (S.C.) last year right before COVID started, and so it was just going to be a really cool thing. But unfortunately, Tre is out, Gilbert’s in.

“I couldn’t be happier for Gil. Gil’s a cool dude. Obviously, we spent a lot of time together in the house. (He has a) totally different fighting style, completely different fighting style. But fortunately, I just feel incredibly sharp right now, just overall. We were game-planning for Tresean. We were preparing ourselves for his skill set. But I just feel so sharp overall. It doesn’t matter who’s stepping in right now, I feel like I can handle the business.”

To see the full interview with Battle, check out the video above.


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