This week’s episode of TUF: Live featured a fight between Team Faber’s John Cofer and Team Cruz’s Vince Pichel, but before that we got to see the action from inside the house this past week.
Firstly we got to see a rather irate team captain Dominick Cruz berating Chris Tickle after his loss on last week’s show for not listening to his coaches and training hard enough.
Cruz says he’s showing tough love and is only annoyed because he feels Tickle should have won, but others see it differently, with some other team members feeling that it was unfair of him to kick Tickle while he was down, while the fighter himself tells Cruz he doesn’t appreciate him questioning his heart.
Rival coach Urijah Faber also overheard part of the conversation and he tells Tickle he did well and not to pay attention to what Cruz is telling him. That leads to a verbal confrontation between the two coaches, with Cruz telling Faber that he’s “a bum” and is “irrelevant” at this stage in his career after losing a string of title fights, though Faber reminds him that in total he’s had 21 title fights.
Back at the TUF house there’s signs that the fighters are starting to find it difficult to cope with the pressures of constantly being in the spotlight.
Andy Ogle confesses to his team-mates that he’s been having nightmares, and in training after having a tough time in sparring he appears to have something akin to a panic attack and appears to be emotionally distraught which causes Faber to have a talk with him and suggest that he takes a day off to relax and get his mind right.
Meanwhile over on Team Cruz, Sam Sicilia also has issues in practice and admits that he was close to breaking point after feeling under pressure to perform as the team’s No.2 pick. Cruz has a talk with him and tells him not to burden himself by worrying about things that are outwith his control, and just to focus on using his team in TUF to improve as a fighter.
Later Dana White speaks to all the fighters and reminds them why they are here and assures them that though they are being pushed to their limits both physically and mentally right now, it’ll all pay off in the long-run. The rallying speech appears to have the desired effect with the fighters seeming to be re-invigorated by his words.
And so we move onto the fight and after two close rounds the judges declare it a draw and that means they head to a ‘sudden victory’ round.
It’s Pichel who seizes the initiative early in this round, using strikes to get in a position to take Cofer down against the cage in side control and then taking time to set himself before setting up an arm triangle choke and forcing the tap with 0.44mins of the third round gone.
The victory brings the two TUF teams level again at 3-3 and hands Cruz back control of the next fight pick and he chooses Sam Sicilia to face Chris Saunders live on next week’s show.