TUF 26 Episode 4 Recap: Nicco Montano Upsets Lauren MurphyUnderrated prospect Nicco Montano scored the biggest win of her career during tonight’s fourth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 26: “A New World Champion.” The talented flyweight, representing Team Gaethje, upset the heavily favoured Lauren Murphy of Team Alvarez via Unanimous Decision.

Team Gaethje increased its lead to 3-1 over Team Alvarez with Montano’s victory. She controlled the striking battles in both rounds of the bout tonight and thwarted all but one of Murphy’s takedown attempts. Montano was rewarded for her efforts and advanced on to the next round with the win.

Montano (3-2-0, Ranked #14) countered early combinations from Murphy (9-3-0, Ranked #3) with powerful kicks to the body and the fighters clinched against the cage. Murphy punched her way free, but Montano continued to score with hard body kicks. Both women landed knees to the ribs in another clinch, but neither could secure a takedown. Montano closed out the round with two more body kicks and a flurry, and she appeared to be comfortably ahead after five minutes.

The second round began with Murphy shooting in for a takedown, and she was able to get Montano down to her knees against the base of the cage. Montano punished her with hammerfists and elbows to the sides of the head, however, and she scrambled back up to her feet soon after. Murphy continued to pursue takedowns as the round progressed, but Montano stayed on her feet and fired back with elbows and a knee to the face. Late in the round, Montano set off an exchange of strikes by landing a nice punch-kick combo, and both women tried unsuccessfully for takedowns before the final bell.

All three judges scored the two-round fight 20-18 for the underdog Montano, who impressed onlookers with her performance. Next week’s episode features a bout between Team Gaethje’s Maia Kahaunaele-Stevenson (6-4-0, Ranked #5) and Team Alvarez’s Sijara “Sarj” Eubanks (2-2-0, Ranked #12).