Last night’s episode of the Ultimate Fighter 15 rounded out the first half of the reality show’s ongoing tournament’s quarterfinals with a fourth competitor notching his second straight victory on live television. The winning performance came from Team Faber’s Michael Chiesa who outpointed Jeremy Larsen despite a near-disaster in the opening frame of action.
Chiesa dominated Larsen from start to finish with wrestling but landed a blatantly illegal knee a few minutes into the fight, resulting in a point deduction. However, Chiesa avoided any additional stumbles throughout the remainder of the rumble to ultimately earn an easy decision victory, honoring his father in the process who passed away shortly after the bearded brawler successfully fought his way into the house in the elimination round.
In non-fight action, Tickle drew heat from Cruz after some lackluster effort in the training room. Cruz also put the spotlight on Sam Sicilia, Chiesa’s good friend and teammate back home, to offer up intimate knowledge of his housemate’s skillset but Sicilia refused, opting to remain true to himself rather than obsess on his loyalty to a TUF team.
TUF 15 Season Summary:
Cruz’s Team: Justin Lawrence, Sam Sicilia, Myles Jury, Mike Rio, James Vick, Vinc Pichel, Chris Tickle, Jeremy Larsen
Faber’s Team: Al Iaquinta, Cristiano Marcello, Daron Cruickshank, Joe Proctor, Michael Chiesa, John Cofer, Andy Ogle, Chris Saunders
Team Records: Cruz 2, Faber 2
Advancing to Semifinal: James Vick, Justin Lawrence, Al Iaquinta, Michael Chiesa
Eliminated: Daron Cruickshank, Cristiano Marcello, Myles Jury, Jeremy Larsen
Next Week’s Fight: Chris Tickle vs. Joe Proctor
MMATraining Take: A decent episode but certainly nothing to boost the somewhat disappointing ratings. I’m not sure what it will take for TUF to regain the momentum it once had if the “live” format hasn’t. Maybe a season involving veterans with a title-shot on the line?