It's been a good seven-day stretch for Team Faber. Last week, the team's last pick earned a hard-fought decision win. Over the weekend, coach Urijah Faber came from behind to earn $20,000 cash in the Coaches Challenge. And today, the second-to-last pick scored yet another upset victory. Newcastle, England’s Andy Ogle tapped out Miami product Mike Rio at 4:19 of the second, bringing the preliminary round of the season to an end with five wins for Team Faber and three for Team Cruz.
Though he eventually won on the ground, Ogle’s stand-up was his key to victory, and he used footwork and boxing throughout the first round. Ogle stayed light on his feet and circled the wrestler Rio, who staked out the middle of the cage early on. Though two inches shorter, the Brit boasted a one-inch reach advantage and put it to good use, cracking Rio several times with left jabs, low punches and overhand rights. Still, the round could have gone either way, as Rio scored a double-leg mid-round and another takedown toward the end of the round, and backed up Ogle a few times on the feet with strikes.
Ogle came out more aggressively to start the second round, and Rio responded in kind, chasing Ogle across the mat and clinching on the cage. Ogle spun away, only to be taken down in the center of the Octagon. As he moved to the cage to work his way up, Rio achieved top position, pinned one of Ogle’s arms underneath him and delivered damaging ground and pound. Rio then took his back and worked for a rear-naked, but Ogle managed to reverse and wound up in Rio’s guard. Ogle moved to side control before taking Rio’s back. This time it was Ogle who reached for the rear-naked, earning the tapout and the fourth submission win of his 9-1 record.
The ecstatic Ogle ran out of the cage after his win, embracing his teammates and his countryman Ross Pearson, TUF 9 winner and fellow boxer who's been an assistant coach to Dominick Cruz throughout the season. “I knew if I could stop Mike from taking me down that I’d be a happy man,” he said, once he was convinced to return to the Octagon. “I really like Mike, he’s the nicest guy on their team and if I was gonna lose, I was gonna lose to someone I really respect.”
“Andy O. fought a great fight,” said the equally gracious Rio. “He was doing great defensive takedowns and he just made me chase him the whole time, and just ran my gas tank empty.”