Team Faber’s pick submits Cruz’s No. 4
Urijah Faber‘s squad finished the opening round on a high note, finishing with five of his eight fighters in the quarterfinals after Friday night on “The Ultimate Fighter LIVE” on FX. Dominick Cruz‘s team went 3-5 in the opening round.
Andy Ogle, a heavy Vegas underdog, and just Faber’s sixth pick in the team selection two months ago, upset Cruz’s No. 4 pick, Mike Rio, with a second-round rear naked choke. That win gave Faber’s team a 5-3 edge in the quarterifnals, meaning he’ll have fighters who will have to face each other.
Ogle outstruck Rio in the first round, though Rio was able to land a pair of takedowns. And in the second, Ogle again was the more effective striker. But after defending against a Rio takedown, Ogle was able to turn things around and wound up taking his opponent’s back to get the eventual finish.
Ogle moves into the quarterfinals, joining teammates Al Iaquinta, Michael Chiesa, Joe Proctor and Chris Saunders, plus Team Cruz’s Justin Lawrence, James Vick and Vinc Pichel.
After the fight, UFC president Dana White announced via satellite that the May 11 quarterfinals will James Vick (Cruz’s No. 3) vs. Joe Proctor (Faber’s No. 2) and Justin Lawrence (Cruz’s No. 1) vs. Michael Chiesa (Faber’s No. 4).
Here’s a look at what the major players in Friday’s eighth episode had to say after the show.
UFC president Dana White
“It’s an interesting fight (between Vick and Proctor) because Vick is seen as this guy who’s kind of one-dimensional. He has the standup, and decent takedown defense. He’s not known as a great wrestler, but he actually shut down a wrestler to get into the House and to make it to the quarterfinals. People are having trouble with how long he is and how strong he is. He has just enough skill to get by and I think he’s the dark horse in this thing.”
“The crazy thing about this fight is that Proctor comes out of Joe Lauzon’s camp, and is highly regarded from that camp. The first time I saw him, his standup didn’t look good to me at all. So I think this is one of those fights, with Vick’s length, reach, takedown defense and striking abilities, where I think Proctor needs to get this thing to the ground as fast as he possibly can.”
“Chiesa has this really heartfelt story of what happened to him when he was here. His dad wanted him to be here and then passes away when he makes it on the show. He’s now here to win this thing, not only for himself, but for his dad. But, as much as I love the kid he looked very one-dimensional in his last fight. He was depending on the wrestling the whole time. I think there have been some pretty crazy odds on the fights so far. I would actually say that I have Lawrence as a huge favorite in this fight. You never know, anything can happen. But this is a tough fight for Chiesa.”
“I think this season has been awesome! I love the new format. I love that you can watch the fights live every Friday. I’m more engaged in this season then I have been in years.”
“No such thing as an underdog in MMA. Each dog has its day! Woof woof.”
“Ogle has been a fun project ever since he stepped foot into the house. He has a great attitude and works hard. In this fight he showed a lot of the stuff we’ve been working on, and that he has gotten better every day.”
“You can be 99 percent perfect, but at this level it takes just one mistake to lose a fight. I went in for it. I felt like I needed to do something to win the round. Andy was winning with his striking so I tried to force the takedown.”
“Rio had that fight in the bag, he was doing everything right until the last three minutes of the second round, he pretty much “gassed out” as he said in his own words, and that was it. Ogle took half guard, landed some punches until Rio gave his back. From there Ogle threw in his hooks, stretched him out and got the finish.”