In this week's episode of UFC's The Ultimate Fighter Live, Team Faber #1 picked Al Iaquinta faced Myles Jury from Team Cruz. The fight was set up by Dominick Cruz, who was looking to keep his 2-0 win streak going, and at the same time, take out another one of the top picks for Urijah Faber. Unfortunately for Cruz, that was not how things played out, and Iaquinta took the fight via split decision after an extension round.
The first two round were incredibly close, with both men having success on the feet. Jury used more kicks and counter-strikes, while Iaquinta stayed focused more on his hands and his power. At the end of the first, they were close, though I gave Jury the advantage in round 1.
Round 2 was the best back and forth round of action we've seen yet this season. At times, both men were rocked, only to come back swinging. Midway through the round, Jury looked to be fading away, but he came on strong at the end, looking to steal the round with a last second takedown. I still gave it to Iaquinta due to more damaging shots connected.
After 2 rounds, the judges ruled it a draw and the fight went to a sudden death 3rd round. After both men gave it their all in round 2, the 3rd round was a bit slower paced. Iaquinta clearly seemed to control the action, and though one judge did give Jury round 3, Iaquinta walked away with the split decision.
Despite the slower pace in the final round, this was a great fight, and an early contender for the fight of the season bonus. Team Faber gets on the board, taking out one of the big names on Team Cruz, and regaining control of the matchmaking.
Next week: Mike Chiesa from Team Faber vs. Jeremy Larsen from Team Cruz.