Friday’s live fight pairs Myles Jury vs. Al Iaquinta
“The Ultimate Fighter LIVE” Episode 4 is set to air Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX, and Heavy.com has you covered.
Tune in for a recap of the episode and live coverage of the third of eight first-round bouts in the tournament of 16 fighters coached by UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and top contender Urijah Faber.
We start with highlights of last week’s fight, Justin Lawrence’s second-round knockout win over Cristiano Marcello. That fight made Team Cruz 2-0 so far, and retaining control over the fight picks. UFC president Dana White says Lawrence is definitely a contender to reach the finals. “Getting that win at such a young age is such a phenomenal feeling,” Lawrence said. “I’m not even satisfied being ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ winner. I won’t be satisfied till I have that title around my waist.” Marcello says: “He did it better than me today.” Faber says Marcello fought with heart. Faber says as a coach, he’s an optimist. Cruz brings his team together and says they’re doing this as a team.
We head back to the TUF house. Andy Ogle, from Team Faber, says being down 0-2 is a “tough situation to deal with.” Iaquinta is shown in a confessional and says he doesn’t believe Jury, his opponent, has ever been in a war.
In a Team Cruz training session, Mike Rio says, “Cruz trains intense, and Cruz coaches intense. There’s no 50 percent for him.” Cruz asks a team member, “How bad do you want it?” In a sparring session, Rio falls funny on his knee. Initially believing his knee is blown, he ultimately says he’s going to be here for three months, “bum knee or not.”
Ogle says there are good days and bad days in the house. Daron Cruickshank says he finds himself eating a lot “because there’s nothing else to do.” Jury says he likes to get some alone time. Some of the house members are shown playing a type of charades. Ogle says all the time to think in the house “tests your character.”
At a Team Faber training session, Iaquinta reminds us he was supposed to be on Season 12 of TUF, but broke his hand two weeks before the show started taping. The Matt Serra-Ray Longo student talks to Faber on the side and says he doesn’t want to focus on defense – he wants to bring the offense against Jury. Faber says, “I’m very confident in Al. He’s one of our best guys all-around, and he’s the strongest when it comes to mentality. … We’re just afraid Jury may try to grind out a boring decision like his sensei (Cruz).” Faber says in Iaquinta, “We’ve got a star on our hands.”
Coach Faber shows up at the TUF house to hang out a little bit, helps himself to some peanut butter and banana. Then he brings in Jim Peterson, Faber’s “life coach” and “mind coach,” to talk to all the fighters. Ogle says it’s helping him already to be more mentally strong. Tickle, from Team Cruz, mocks Faber’s life coach in a private confessional. Faber admits that “it’s probably not going to happen for everyone” in terms of getting Peterson – or wanting to get him.
Jury, in a confessional, says he relates to Rio’s injury. Rio says that when he’s around Faber’s team and coaches, he tries his best to not show anything of his injury. At a Team Cruz training session, Rio gets taped up around his injured knee, then has a grappling session. Rio winces visibly and checks out his knee. Cruz privately says Rio needs to decide how bad he wants it in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Jury talks about the wrong path his life was heading down until he found mixed martial arts. Cruz says he knows Iaquinta is going to want to shoot for single-leg takedowns. “The key is going to be keeping Iaquinta on his heels and keep him guessing with feints,” Cruz says. “I’m excited to go out there and wipe the silly smirk off Faber’s face once and for all.”
Cruickshank is shown talking to teammates and saying that Rio is old and always seems to be beat up. Ogle says he’d like a shot at Rio since Rio beat his friend Ali Maclean to get into the house. That is, if Team Faber takes control of the fight pick.
At the weigh-in for the Jury-Iaquinta fight, Jury comes in at 154 pounds. Iaquinta weighs 155. Iaquinta says his work ethic is the No. 1 reason he’ll win the fight. Jury says this is his dream and he just wants to go have some fun.
Jury walks to the cage first for our live fight. Next up is Iaquinta. Brittney Palmer gets round card duties. And here we go, live.
Myles Jury vs. Al Iaquinta
Round 1: Jury has a 5.5-inch reach advantage. They touch gloves, and Jury opens with a kick, then another. Iaquinta, as he said he would do, seems to push forward early. They trade combos, then go back to the center. Jury lands a nice right, then blocks an Iaquinta kick. Front kick from Jury misses, but he connects with one to the body. Faber cautions Iaquinta to keep his hands up. Jury lands a pair of body kicks. Iaquinta is doing the pushing, but it’s Jury who is landing the more prominent strikes as Iaquinta moves in each time. Iaquinta blocks a high kick from Jury. Flying knee from Jury misses, and Iaquinta lands a nice counter. Another high kick from Jury is just off the mark. They briefly clinch, but then break. Jury ducks away from an Iaquinta right hand. Again Jury tries a flying knee. They scramble and Iaquinta looks for an arm as they go to the ground. They’re all pretzled up on the ground, but finally Jury takes Iaquinta’s back and lands a decent slam. It’s a 10-9 first round for Jury, the Team Faber member, as he finishes the frame on Iaquinta’s back.
Round 2: Jury lands a low kick seconds into the round. Iaquinta gets a moment to recover, but he’s ready to go pretty quickly. Superman punch is faked by Jury. Faber shouts to his fighter that Jury is running, and “Where’s he going?” And Iaquinta lands a couple big shots that have his teammates responding favorably. He seems to be marching Jury down, and Jury for sure is doing plenty of backing up this round. It’s all Iaquinta so far. But as he misses a kick, Jury takes advantage and takes his back. Iaquinta defends the takedown, though, and they split with 90 seconds left in the round. Jury misses an uppercut, then eats a jab. High kick from Iaquinta just misses. Jury uppercut sneaks through, and then a knee. Good right from Iaquinta. But with 10 seconds, Jury explodes forward and lands a big takedown. It’s not enough to steal the round on the HeavyMMA card – we’ll go with Iaquinta 10-9, and this thing could be going to a third.
Round 3 (Sudden Victory): Iaquinta comes out on fire and lands some big shots. It doesn’t look like gas tank is an issue for him. And Jury looks pretty fresh, too. Iaquinta counters nicely off a blocked Jury kick. Cruz yells to Jury that he’s got to be first to attack and urges him to come forward. He fakes a flying knee that Iaquinta easily stays away from. Good left from Iaquinta, who then blocks a Jury high kick. Flying knee can’t hit the mark from Jury, and Iaquinta just misses a Superman punch, but then lands with a left. Iaquinta misses with a pair of left uppercuts around the 1 minute mark. Jury looks for a takedown, but it’s not there. There’s a short flurry in the last 10 seconds. Neither fighter did a ton in that last round, but HeavyMMA thinks Iaquinta is the one who did enough. We have the third for him, 10-9, and the fight for him 29-28.
Result: Al Iaquinta (Team Faber) def. Myles Jury (Team Cruz), split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Dana White says he’s not happy with the long period in between the second round and the sudden victory round. We move on to the fight pick, and Faber picks Michael Chiesa to face Jeremy Larsen from Team Cruz. That fight takes place next Friday.