With Urijah Faber's team getting their first win on the board last week, they'll look to even the score Friday night as sentimental favorite Michael Chiesa fights Jeremy Larsen of Dominick Cruz's on the fourth episode of UFC's The Ultimate Fighter Live.
In an earlier episode, Chiesa's father passed away and he was allowed to go home to attend the funeral. Along the way, he told the story of how his father survived long enough to see him win his way into the TUF house. An emotional favorite, he enters the house at 7-0 with five submission victories.
He fights Larsen (8-2) who comes into Friday on a two-fight win streak. His one notable loss was to former TUF winner Efrain Escudero in January 2011.
Catch all the action from the show here on Bloody Elbow starting at 10 PM EST and discuss the happenings in our comment section as the episode unravels, followed by the debut of UFC Primetime: Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans at 11 PM EST.
Team Faber is all pumped up after the Iaquinta win from last week. Myles Jury is upbeat despite the loss. Jeremy Larsen says he's going to knock the beard off Michael Chiesa's face.
Cruz says he'll need Sam Sicilia's help, one of Chiesa's teammates and best friends at home. Sicilia's not feeling it though and isn't going to help. Chiesa hears that from Sicilia and says he wants to drop to 135 and fight Cruz. The two are calling themselves Team Purple.
Later on, Cruz is asking him about submissions and such. Sicilia is politely refusing, but Cruz is giving him a talk about life in the UFC. This is the first type of internal strife we've seen from Cruz's team and even this is pretty minor. What if the two do have to fight each other though?
Chris Tickle has the gout, keeping up the theme from last week that Tickle isn't going through full practices. Cruz and the doctor talk to him and Cruz said it's put up or shut up time. Tickle said he's been dealing with it for eight months and wants to stay on the show, so Cruz will be putting him through the paces.
Chiesa and Larsen actually sleep in the same room, which is interesting. Chiesa reflects on his father's passing and is working through it. He's a really likable guy and one of the more standout personalities from the past few seasons.
Catch what happened during the rest of the episode and the fight itself after the jump!
More Tickle drama as he goes through a hard sparring session and wants to take a break. Cruz demands he puts his headgear and gloves back on. "I don't care if you have to sh*t yourself," Cruz tells the camera. After sparring more with Larsen, Tickle heads to the bathroom. Cruz is going crazy working with him.
Cruz and Larsen have a past and used to play with each other as kids as their mothers knew each other. Odd coincidence, eh? Larsen is a street fighter with no real admitted strength. He tells the 'I'd be dead or in jail' story that we've heard several hundred times.
Tickle apparently doesn't have gout, so rest easy at home if you were concerned. Faber asks Cruz if he has a new pair of shoes and takes a picture of them. Rampage/Rashad, this isn't. Jeremy weighs in at 154, while Mike is at 155.5. We're at our last commercial break before the fight. Dana White is at cageside, but Olivia Munn is nowhere to be found.
Jeremy Larsen (Cruz) vs. Michael Chiesa (Faber)
Chiesa has a near seven inch reach advantage. MC works Larsen up against the cage and eventually gets the takedown. He starts dropping right elbows. Larsen eventually works his way up and presses MC against the cage, but Chiesa started throwing knees to the head. MC works for another big takedown via a slam. Larsen looks overmatched. Chiesa throws a knee at Larsen's nose while he was on the ground kneeling and Steve Mazzagatti deducts a point. You can feel White's rage immediately.
Chiesa won the round, but with the deduction, that's a 9-9.
After Larsen finally threw a few punches, Chiesa works again for the takedown. Larsen has it standing, but can't get any separation to throw shots. Chiesa is throwing standing knees and with his long limbs, he's connecting. Chiesa working for a takedown and Larsen was blocking, but finally succumbed. Chiesa is having no issue controlling Larsen on the ground, but isn't doing a ton of damage. Larsen finally gets some space and lands a few shots but the two end up close again. Chiesa gets another takedown with 40 seconds to go and gets his back for a rear naked choke attempts at 20 seconds.
Chiesa won that round as well, but we'll find out if we're going to the third after the break. Let's see if they figured things out from last week.
We're back. Chiesa wins by unanimous decision. Good call. Cruz/Faber are now tied at two fights a piece. Larsen thinks he won the first round, so he's not sure what happened with the point deduction. Faber gets a dig at Cruz's "obnoxious" red shiny shoes before making the fight announcement.
Next week's fight: Chris Tickle (Cruz) vs. Joe Proctor (Faber)