Season concludes June 1 at The Palms in Las Vegas
We’re just two days away from finding out who will meet to be crowned the next “Ultimate Fighter.”
But late Tuesday, UFC officials announced several bouts between cast members of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter LIVE.” The fights will take place as part of the TUF Live Finale on June 1 at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.
Friday’s live semifinals feature Urijah Faber‘s top pick, Al Iaquinta, against Dominick Cruz‘s No. 6 fighter, Vinc Pichel, and Cruz’s No. 5, James Vick, against Faber’s No. 5, Mike Chiesa. The winners of those two fights advance to the live finale a week later. Friday’s semifinals air live on the regular season finale of the show at 10 p.m. Eastern on the FX cable network.
On Tuesday, the UFC announced preliminary card fights for the show will incude: Justin Lawrence vs. John Cofer, Cristiano Marcello vs. Sam Sicilia, Myles Jury vs. Chris Saunders and Daron Cruickshank vs. Chris Tickle.
Lawrence was Cruz’s top pick and the No. 1 overall pick on the show. He was matched up quickly, taking on Faber’s No. 2 pick, Marcello, in just the third episode of the season, winning by second-round knockout. But in the quarterfinals, matched up against feel-good story Chiesa, Lawrence ran out of steam in the third sudden-victory round and lost by TKO. After winning a unanimous decision to get into the house, Cofer got to a sudden victory round against Pichel, but lost by submission in that third round.
Marcello and Sicilia were both No. 2 picks for their coaches, but couldn’t make it past the first round of the tournament. Marcello lost to Lawrence by knockout, while Sicilia dropped a split decision to the last overall pick in the house, Team Faber’s Saunders. Now the two high picks will meet at the live finale for a shot at redemption.
Jury had a good performance against Iaquinta, but lost a three-round split decision to get bounced from the tournament field in the first round. Now he faces Saunders, who lost to Pichel by majority decision in the quarterfinals after his upset win over Sicilia.
Tickle early on gained a reputation with Cruz for not working hard enough, and he was submitted in the first round of his round-of-16 fight against Joe Proctor. He’ll take on Faber’s No. 3 pick, Cruickshank, who also dropped his fight in the house in the first round, losing by submission to Vick.
The TUF Live Finale features a main event welterweight contenders bout between Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampmann, along with the TUF lightweight finals.