Tonight ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Live’ begins on FX and https://mmainsight.com will be covering the action live as it happens as the 32 contestants battle it out in an eliminator to establish who makes it into the house.
(Bear with us as this is an entirely new format and both the fights and the order of them won’t be announced until the show goes live so we’ll be doing this on the fly.)
– We’re live. The show begins with host Jon Anik and UFC president Dana White in the Octagon setting the scene.
– Onto a video package giving a quick rundown of what ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is about and introducing season coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.
– Now we move onto footage taken just a few days ago of the fighters being given their introduction to both the show and the coaches.
Dana reveals to them all (and us!) that each eliminator fight to get into the house tonight will be just one five minute round.
He also says that fans will be able to vote online for the Fight, KO and Submission of the season. The winners will get money and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Finally, everyone who wins by a finish tonight will earn a $5,000 bonus.
And we’re on to the fights from here on out. See all the results below…
Joe Proctor defeats Jordan Rinaldi by submission (guillotine choke) at 2.08mins.
Proctor and Rinaldi get the show started. No commentary so we just hear Faber, Cruz and Dana talking about the fighters as they perform.
After some healthy exchanges on the feet Proctor gets Rinaldi down and sinks in a guillotine choke from on top.
Cristiano Marcello defeats Jared Carlsten by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2.43mins
Two BJJ guys going up against each other here, but they start trading on the feet with some nasty kicks and knees. Eventually the fight hits the mat though with Marcello moving straight into ful mount where he lands some hard elbows before moving to his back, flattening Carlsten out and sinking in the rear-naked choke. Marcello looks pretty slick.
Two fights, two submissions. Impressive considering they only have five minutes to get it done, and a good way to start the show.
Sam Sicilia defeats Erin Beach by KO at 0.08mins
Wow, basically the first punch of the fight produces the finish as Sicilia cracks beach with a meaty overhand right, flooring him instantly. The referee swoops in immediately before he even has a chance to show whether he’s fit to continue or not. Beach seems dazed, but wasn’t completely out, but he did take a very big shot.
Dana gets overexcited and says “holy sh!t! a couple of times – probably not a great idea on live TV! Can’t blame him though, that was probably the quickest finish in TUF history, and that’s a very good thing for the first live broadcast on FX.
Chris Tickle defeats Austin Lyons by KO at 0.24mins
These two coming out swinging with Tickle in particular throwing heat and it doesn’t take him long to land with a three punch combo that buckles Lyons legs, sending him to his knees. Again the referee leaps in very early to stop the fight even though Lyons looked like he might have been able to continue and so we have yet another quick finish. Looked more like TKO than a KO to me, but a KO is what it’s called as.
Andy Ogle defeats Brendan Weafer by unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
Weafer looks bigger than UK fighter Ogle, but it’s Ogle who lands the early takedown. Inside his guard he looks to posture up and land strikes, but Weafer gets his legs up and looks for a triangle choke. He sort of gets it, but it’s not tight and it’s at an akward angle so Ogle is able to survive…but he’s not going anywhere. It’s clear Weafer is happy to just use the superior control the submission offers him to ride out the five minutes and he almost does, but with less than a minute remaining the referee stands them up for lack of action. When they get back to it Ogle knocks Weafer off-balance after a kick and he falls onto the mat. Ogle drops down looking for a guillotine choke, but the bell sounds before he can finish it.
So we have the first decision of the night after just one round of action and it’s Ogle who’s the winner. It seems the judges favored his early takedown, guillotine and I guess the fact that he was on top the whole round despite being stuck in a triangle choke. Definitely a controversial decision.
Vinc Pichel defeats Cody Pfister by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3.39mins
Pfister gets the early takedown. A series of fast and furious scrambles ensues and it’s fairly even and competitive stuff with both men being on top at various stages as they transition back and forth. Eventually it’s Pichel who takes top control and makes his mark, landing a nasty elbow strikes that opens up a big, bloody cut on Pfister’s face. That clearly concerns Pfister as he heads into defensive mode and Pichel doesn’t let him off the hook, landing more blows before spotting the opportunity to go for the rear-naked choke finish.
FX are probably relieved that the finish came when it did because this looked like it was going to turn into a bloodbath as the cut to Pfister was particularly nasty. Overall they must be pretty happy with how things are going given all the fast finishes we’re seeing tonight. Dana’s going to be paying out some healthy bonuses though as each finish = $5,000 for the winner.
John Cofer defeats Mark Glover by unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
This was a classic striker vs grappler match-up with Cofer managing to get the Brit down on several occasions and also controlling him in the clinch, though he never offered much in the way of damage. Glover was game when it came to the striking however, leading with head kicks and knees while motioning Cofer to come and fight him. He also dropped down for a guillotine choke at one stage, but never really had it locked up and so had to let it go, finding himself in bottom position again.
So it’s onto only the second decision of the night and it’s Cofer who gets the nod from all three judges.
Chris Saunders defeats Chase Hackett by unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
Hackett is the dude who was rocking the moustache in the trailers for the new season. He starts off well, dropping Saunders to the mat with a head kick, though Saunders looks ok and manages to scramble up to his feet and drops for a guillotine choke. He squeezes hard for a long time, but Hackett hangs in there and eventually Saunders has to let go. Back on the feet and it’s clear that Saunders burned a lot of energy going for that submission and he’s slowed down considerably. Hackett isn’t really pushing the pace though despite being fresher and the couple of shots he does land fairly clean were given back in return by Saunders who’s just gritting his teeth and giving it his all. In the final minute Saunders goes for another guillotine choke, but again Hackett survives and ends the round on top.
It’s down to the judges to pick a winner and they rightly opt for Saunders by unanimous decision.
A brief interlude with Dana and the coaches. Cruz makes a good point that it’s hard to judge the fighters given the fact that there’s been so many quick finishes and one round fights. Will make it tougher for the coaches to decide who they want to have on their side when it comes to team selections.
James Vick defeats Dakota Cochrane by split decision (10-9 x2, 9-10)
Vick is huge, a 6ft 3″ boxer. Cochrane wants none of that rangey striking though and immediately swoops in for a takedown. Vick is able to stuff the attempt though and looks for a headlock. He’s working for a submission, but can’t get it and they stand back up. It’s a bit of a stalemate as they work from the clinch with 90 seconds to go. With less than a minute left they are broken up, but there’s not too much urgency from either man. They go to ground again in the final seconds, but there’s nothing doing. Tough to pick a winner here, but there’s no doubt it’s the least exciting fight so far.
The judges aren’t too sure though, they are split on it, but two give the nod to Vick.
Michael Chiesa defeats Johnavan Vistante by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2.05mins
The shaggy-beareded Chiesa goes for a very quick takedown, lands it, but Vistante is back to his feet…only briefly though as Chiesa blasts him back down to the canvas. He takes Chiesa’s back and locks his legs under before raining down punches and elbows to his head and Chiesa doesn’t look like he can shake him off. Then Vistante flattens him out and sinks in the rear-naked choke, forcing the tap.
Faber and Cruz sound fairly impressed with Chiesa’s performance, and he certainly looked comfortable and in control out there, though Vistante’s ground game didn’t look to be the best.
Mike Rio defeats Ali Maclean by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3.32mins
Both men trade blows to begin the round and while they both land some nice shots it’s the Irishman Maclean who ends up with a bloody nose. To add to his woes Rio then lands a takedown. After landing a few punches Maclean tries to stand, but Rio grabs ahold of him and drops him back down to the mat. He’s got his back now and is dominating Maclean on the mat, switching from full mount and then to his back again before locking in a fight-ending rear-naked choke.
Justin Lawrence defeats James Krause by TKO at 1.25mins
Five fights left, starting with Krause Vs lawrence. Lawrence throwing a plethora of eye-catching karate kicks to start things off. He’s definitely the much more aggressive fighter and he keeps it going by getting Krause down and landing some big punches. Krause struggles back to his feet, but he’s hurt and Lawrence is right after him. A spinning kick just grazes Krause’s chin, but Lawrence follows up with punches and knees and they are landing hard. One final blow fells Krause…he’s out, but Lawrence has landed another couple of punches on the ground before the referee is able to get in and stop it.
For some reason this one gets declared as a TKO, but it looked like a KO to me more so than some of the ones earlier in the evening.
Daron Cruickshank defeats Drew Dober by unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
Cruickshank goes into beast mode from the start here and cracks Dober with a series of big punches and kicks to the head. Not slowing down he manages to get Dober down and moves straight into mount. Things are looking grim for Dober, but to his credit he manages to get back to his feet. He tries to return the favor by getting Cruickshank down, but he gets shutdown. He gets a breather in the clinch. Then Cruickshank lands an illegal knee shot to the groin and we get a brief break while Dober recovers. After that they go back to it and in the final moments Cruickshank seals what should be a comfortable win as he scores another takedown.
It’s down to the judges to confirm it and they do, Cruickshank advances to the TUF house with a unanimous decision victory. Good performance, he’s definitely one to watch as the show progresses.
Jeremy Larsen defeats Jeff Smith by unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
After a brief spell of stand-up there’s an early takedown from Smith and Larsen is already sporting a cut in his hairline. Not clear how that happened, might have been a clash of heads. Some scrambles ensue and eventually Smith goes for a knee bar. It looks like Larsen was close to tapping, but eventually Smith has to let go. Larsen on top though and gets to side control where he controls the bout for the remainder of the round.
Larsen wins by unanimous decision.
Al Iaquinta defeats Jon Tuck by unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
Tuck goes out fairly bold, it looks like he tried to jump up for a submission in the opening minute but misses it and lands on his back. From his back he looks to throw up a triangle choke, but doesn’t get it. They get to their feet and Tuck has his back, but he can’t get him back down and they break. Iaquinta looks more determined in the stand-up, and Tuck seems distracted. After a moment we begin to realize why – his toe is broken and is pointing the wrong way! To his credit he’s still fighting on though. Iaquinta is in the ascendency now though and gets a takedown and ends the round on top.
Onto the judges decision and they all see it in Iaquinta’s favor. In the replays we see that Iaquinta accidentally stood on Tuck’s foot and that’s what caused the nasty toe break.
Myles Jury defeats Akbarh Arreola by unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
Final fight of the show. Early takedown from Jury and he works some ground and pound in Arreola’s guard. Arreola tries to throw up a submission, but doesn’t get it and the ref stands them up. Not for long though as Jury lands another takedown and goes back to working from inside the guard. There’s not a whole lot of action though and the ref resets them again. Jury’s not going to budge from his gameplan though and secures another takedown and rides out the rest of the round with a little ground and pound.
No surprise about the winner here, Jury seals the last place in the TUF house.
Dana then gives the 16 fighters who made it through to the house a motivational speech to round out the show, followed by a brief video outlining what happens next, as the fighters get ready to train weekly with one eleminator fight being aired live each week on FX until after 13 weeks the cast is whittled down to two finalists.