The fighters settled in this week on the show including Chris Tickle who became the man behind the first prank for this season of The Ultimate Fighter, as Tickle tried to get under the skin of Urijah Faber.
Tickle removed Faber’s parking sign, placing it inside the UFC Training Center. However, the prank didn’t amuse Tickle’s coach, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who decided his student needs a little one-on-one coaching on the side based on that and some other issues with laziness. Tickle seemed upset by what Cruz had to say, possibly leading to some problems down the road.
Team Faber got back at Cruz by placing black tape on a large poster of Cruz, making him resemble Eddie Munster. The joke didn’t seem to faze Cruz, but his team decided to do a little work on Faber’s poster, making use of his butt-chin with some strategically placed string a la thong-style.
While showing the fighters warming up, footage rolled from the past week with Marcello talking about receiving his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Royler Gracie while a poster of Royce Gracie is shown hanging above the Octagon. Each fighter weighed in at 156 pounds for their bout, making things official. Marcello, who holds a five-inch reach advantage and is 13 years the elder of Lawrence, brought a U.S. flag to the Octagon in a nice gesture from the Brazilian.
Neither fighter found much in terms of power strikes in the opening round, rather trying to find the exact range with which to strike. Marcello finally got upset at one point, chasing Lawrence around the Octagon but was unable to land anything worth noting. Lawrence fired back with a combination that rocked Marcello but he couldn’t capitalize on it and the round ended with Marcello not landing much of anything.
In the second, Marcello tried to get a takedown but Lawrence proved he was the stronger fighter and fended off the attack. Lawrence, taking advantage of his skills in the stand-up department, connected a stiff jab to the chin of Marcello. Another landed from Lawrence and Marcello hits the canvas. Lawrence remained on the attack, dropping the Brazilian with a nasty left to seal th e deal. Lawrence walked away and the fight was over as the referee stepped in, ending things at 3:16 of the second round.
“Feels amazing,” Lawrence said after the fight. “We worked that all week long. There’s some added pressure (being the No. 1 pick for Team Cruz), but it’s something I have to get used to. I’m excited, bro.”
The next episode will feature a fight Myles Jury from Team Cruz against Al Iaquinta of Team Faber. Jury was the third pick by Cruz, while Iaquinta was the top pick from Faber.
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 0
Advancing to Semifinal: James Vick, Justin Lawrence
Eliminated: Daron Cruickshank, Cristiano Marcello
Next Week’s Fight: Myles Jury vs. Al Iaquinta
MMATraining Take: Jury and Iaquinta will be another match up of top selections, as each coach seems to want to put their best against the other team’s best. Lawrence looked strong against Marcello, displaying excellent striking and an ability to finish when the opportunity came. Also, it’s a damn shame Faber didn’t encourage Marcello to utilize his specialty from Day 1 instead of fostering his desire to strike against the superior stand-up artist.