The latest episode, of season 15 of the Ultimate Fighter, started off with a small recap of last weeks episode (including another look at the broken toe suffered last week, pretty gnarly). After that the fighters all ran to pick their beds and there was a first look into the TUF house for this season.
Next up is Dana White ready to officiate Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz for picking their teams. The coin toss is up and it’s blue so Urijah Faber chooses first fight or first fighter. Urijah chooses first fight leaving Dominick the choice of first fighter. The teams are chosen and this is the outcome:
Urijah Faber picked: Al Iaquenta, Christiano Marcello, Daron Cruickshank, Joe Proctor, Michael Chiesa, John Cofer, Andy Ogle, and Chris Saunders all make up team blue
Dominick Cruz chose: Justin Lawrence, Sam Sicilia, Myles Jury, Mike Rio, James Vick, Vince Pichel, Chris Tickle, and Jeremy Larsen for team red.
It looked as if there was some surprise in Fabers camp when Cruz picked Chris Tickle. Faber at one point actually made it a point to apologize to Chris Tickle saying that he did not believe Cruz was going to pick him.
Next up is a training session for both teams. The fighters were all spread around and a sense of a ‘feeling out’ training session ensued. The coaches made it a point to spot the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and gave their teams a little sense of what they are about.
The fight announcements were next but it appeared that Faber had something he needed to get off of his chest before they could be made. He turned to Cruz and inquired about a recent interview he had where he stated that Faber had either been helped by his parents in getting his first gym or that they had flat-out provided it for him. Cruz stated that he may have told the interviewer that he had help from his parents and Faber stated that he needed to check his facts first as this was not the case. Tensions swelled a little but Cruz apologized for the statement and stated he did not intend to upset anyone in Fabers family and the announcements were made.
For team red James Vick was chosen and Daron Cruickshank was chosen for blue. Both coaches seemed confident for the fight.
Next up was another training session that was interrupted for one fighter when Michael Chiesa received a phone call that his father passed, from cancer, the night before. It was a touching affair but Michael Chiesa seemed to genuinely want to continue with the tournament. Dana White met with the fighter the next day when he told Michael that he would fly out to his home town to see his family and return the following day. Michael agreed and was off to catch his flight.
Cruz and his team looked to prepare Vick for a submission attempt on Cruickshank and Fabers camp seemed to be preparing Cruickshank to defend exactly that type of submission.
Michael Chiesa came back from his home town and stated that his father held on just long enough to see his fight that qualified him to move into the TUF house. It looked to be a very motivating visit.
Next up was fight time. Both fighters made their way into the octagon and looked ready to go. The first round is off to a slow pace where both fighters are being rather timid. Cruickshank seems to be somewhat more active throwing some spinning kicks and backfists. About halfway through the round Cruickshank throws a spinning heel-kick and immediately shoots in on the taller James Vick who catches him with a well placed knee and the lights go out for Cruickshank. The official announcement is a 1st round knockout for the winner James Vick.
Team Cruz announced the next matchup for next week where he picked Justin Lawrence and gave Faber the ability to choose his challenger. When Faber asked who was ready to fight nobody replied. Faber then gave Cruz the option to choose his fighter and Cruz picked Christiano Marcello to represent team blue.
That was it for this weeks TUF. It’s looking like it will be an intense season. Be sure to check out The MMA Beatdown if you miss an episode or just want a recap.