Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live featured two quarter-final bouts, but not before the week’s action in the TUF house was recapped.
Of course the major talking point of the week on the show was coach Dominick Cruz’s ACL injury and the contestants were shown being broken the news by Dana White who stated that Cruz will be out for at least nine months and so won’t be able to defend his bantamweight belt again rival Urijah Faber at the end of the season.
Naturally everybody’s disappointed by the development, but Team Cruz is given a boost when White confirms that the champion will be continuing to coach them for the rest of the season.
White also confirmed that Faber will now go on to fight for the interim title and Cruz makes it clear he hopes he wins because he still wants to fight him when he heals from his injury.
A disappointed but still mischievous Faber then looks to lighten the mood by saying he’s going to spread a rumor that it was female MMA superstar Ronda Rousey (who Cruz brought in as a guest coach last week) that caused his injury. He succeeded with that because a few media outlets did report that was the case!
Due to the fact there’s two live fights on this week’s show that’s the end of the highlights for this week and it’s straight into the quarter-final bouts.
First up it’s Joe Proctor Vs James Vick and it was Vick who emerged with the victory after two rounds in which he was mainly able to assert an advantage in the striking battle, aside from a scare in the second round when he had to survive a standing guillotine choke attempt.
Then it was time for Michael Chiesa’s fight with Justin Lawrence which would prove to be the most exciting of the night’s bouts.
Chiesa sealed the first round in his favor despite having to fight off his back thanks to an aggressive jiu-jitsu game that saw him threatening with multiple submission attempts. Lawrence was able to defend them, but despite being on top he didn’t offer much in the way of offensive output.
In the second round Lawrence was able to keep the fight standing and that paid dividends for him as he clearly had the edge in that department.
He hurt Chiesa with a two piece combination early in the round, but his best moment would come later in the round when he ripped to the body twice, dropping his opponent in the process. Back down to the mat they both went then and like in the first round Lawrence didn’t get his offense going and so gave Chiesa time to recover and make it to a ‘sudden victory’ round.
In the final round things are looking good for Lawrence when he secures a takedown, but he’s tired and Chiesa shows a mixture of heart and skill to sweep on top and then go for the ground and pound finish which his opponent is just too tired to do anything about and so the fight is brought to an end with just 1.02mins of the round gone.
The show concludes with a confirmation of next week’s live bouts which will see Vinc Pichel vs Chris Saunders and Al Iaquinta Vs Andy Ogle.