Bekhzod Usmonov (C) (@bkhzod_usmonov/Instagram page)

The Ultimate Fighter 32’s Bekhzod Usmonov: Behind the Scenes

One good run from a UFC contract, The Ultimate Fighter 32 contestant Bekhzod Usmonov shared about the backstage scene from his time filming TUF 32.

Filming has wrapped for the new season of Dana White’s reality show, which first airs tonight. This time, the two coaches are former UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and current flyweight champion Alexa Grasso. Combat Press writer Vladimir Gornostaev spoke with the Jackson-Winkeljohn athlete about his time on the show.

You recently appeared on The Ultimate Fighter. How did you end up there?


I’ve been there twice. The first time, I came as a replacement, I thought that someone would get injured, and I would perform. Thanks to my management and my fights, they noticed me and offered me to take part in TUF 32. Of course, I got ready and went.

We lived in a hotel for a week, without phones. There was a selection, and they talked to us every day. Not everyone made it into the show. Then we were placed in a house.

I performed very well there – everyone liked it. I had a great time training next to [Justin] Gaethje. Now I’m waiting for a contract with the UFC. Dana White said that in August-September, I will be given this opportunity.

Who exactly contributed to you getting into this reality show?

This is my general manager, Jeffrey. Also, my coach wanted to help me get into the UFC directly, but there were difficulties, and it didn’t work out. Now, we have made a statement, and I am number one in my category. Now I’m ready to fight at 57 kg and 61 kg.

What’s the difference between TUF, Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC?

Great question. TUF is more interesting and global than the Dana White show. TUF will be shown on television all over the world, and this show is much more popular than others. And, most importantly, this is a step towards the UFC.

Everyday there was filming, and we trained with experienced fighters. And then they promote you as an athlete and sign a contract.

Do the fighters in this show compete under the flag of their country?

I went out under the flag of Tajikistan. Funny story. The coach was holding my flag upside down, I saw it late and told him to turn it over.

There were other interesting moments. When we were assigned to teams, I heard the wrong name and went to another coach. I think it will be a great story, although I can’t tell you everything yet.

How long did the entire filming process take?

It took five weeks to film. A week was spent in the hotel during the selection stage, and four in the house where we lived during the project.

You all lived there with other athletes. How was your communication?

At first, we were very friendly, but then we were assigned to different teams and put on different T-shirts. Competition arose, and quarrels began.

I lived on the second floor with another team. There was a guy sleeping next to me who snored all the time. One night, I couldn’t stand it anymore, I went up to the third floor and connected two sofas in the living room, basically making a separate room for myself. This will also be shown.

What did you find most interesting during these five weeks?

There were a lot of funny moments. But, I really liked how the coaching staff treated us. For example, we had such a great conversation with Deiveson Figueiredo through a translator. And I realized that I am no worse than these guys, despite the fact that they are TOP. I’m losing a little, but I’m confident that I’ll put in more effort and get bigger fights.

How would you describe Dana White himself?

As a businessman, he moves incredibly, he has so many assistants who competently provide him with information. But I liked what he does for fighters and not only. There are things he does quietly that no one knows about.

And he also created great conditions for his team. A competent leader.