After the usual review of last week’s match (Iaquinta vs. Jury), we immediately see that the evening’s fight has put Sam Sicilia in an awkward position. He’s torn between helping his teammateJeremy Larsen and a “great friend” Michael Chiesa. Despite whatever friendship he has, Coach Cruz is upset with losing and wants any advantage he can get to make sure it doesn’t happen again. He asks Sam to give him a scouting report on Chiesa so he can help prepare Larsen better.
Watching this, I couldn’t help but think this whole exchange was like that guy at the bar who tries to get a girl to go home with him at closing time. Cruz tries all the usual routes to get someone to do something they don’t want: guilt, charm and even questions his dedication. I thought he was going to break him, but Sicilia stayed strong.
We then get a glimpse into Team Cruz’ strategy for the fight. Larsen thinks that Chiesa is one dimensional and can only grapple. Cruz tells him that while he may not have the best takedown defense, using the cage will be strategic.
In the Team Cruz training shots, our buddy Bad Tickle shows himself again. His excuse this time is that he has gout. I always thought that gout was one of those diseases like typhoid or dysentery that only exist anymore in Oregon Trail. Cruz confronts Tickle and tells him that being hurt is just part of being a professional fighter. You’re never going to be 100% so either you want it or you don’t. Feeling his masculinity being questioned,Tickle does what he does best -- get pissed. “I can’t even stand!” he cries.....then stands up and walks out.
The show cuts to the TUF house where Chiesa and Larsen are in the kitchen together. Will we finally see bodily fluids in someone’s food? Alas, no. Chiesa politely asks Larsen, “Do you still wanna share a room?” Personally, I don’t see the big deal. I’m always in a room with people that are about to fight each other. It’s called the Downes family reunion. Which reminds me, where’s all the booze this season?
Cut to the Team Faber training session and their strategy for the fight. Faber says that Chiesa has, “Some of the best MMA style takedowns,” and there is no doubt what he plans to do. Chiesa then talks about what’s been on everyone’s minds since the fight was made and opens up about the death of his father. He acknowledges that he has an easy out and could use it as an excuse for underperforming or even leaving the show altogether, but instead says that the tragedy has been a source of motivation.
Feeling kind of bummed now? Did you just reflect on the importance of family and think you should go call you own father and tell him you love him? In a seamless transition, we shift to Chris Tickle’s bowel troubles. Sparring with Larsen, he catches a good body shot that hurts him. He expertly deflects his defensive lapse with, “My stomach hurt before I started training,” and tries to run off to the bathroom. Cruz doesn’t let him and says, “I don’t care if you s#*t all over yourself!” If that doesn’t make it on the back of his next t-shirt, I’ll be greatly disappointed.
Jeremy Larsen then tells his story. He feels like an underdog and can’t wait to prove people wrong. He’s definitely determined, but he could use some lessons in salesmanship. He doesn’t do himself any favors when he says, “I don’t really have a strength in anything.” He says that he’d either be dead or in jail if it weren’t for MMA.
Tickle goes to the doctor and they tell him that the tests came back negative for gout. He credits the prescription antibiotics they gave him. According to my research, they usually give you nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are just fancy words for ibuprofen and Aleve. I wonder if he gets prescription water if he’s thirsty.
Weigh ins come and the only thing of interest is that Urijah Faber making fun of Dominick Cruz’ red shoes. To me they just looked like basic skateboarder shoes. I’m definitely not the one to ask about fashion, though. I still rock my kick ass chain wallet from the 90s.
The fight begins and Chiesa wastes no time trying to close the distance and get inside. He takes Larsen down in the first minute and then tries to advance position. Larsen does a good job of not getting put in a bad position and gets up. He soon overcommits on his strikes, Chiesa ties up and takes him down again. With about one minute left in the round, Chiesa goes for a darce, but can’t finish. Then, the controversy occurs. Larsen has his back on the cage and is hunched over on one knee. Chiesa is still standing over him going for the choke and then throws an illegal knee. There didn’t seem to be a lot behind it, but it’s obviously a foul. A point gets deducted, the round restarts and they clinch to the bell.
Round two is pretty much more of the same. Larsen gets put against the cage, taken down, gets up, overcommits on his strikes and then gets taken down again. He must not have watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians to learn the evils of committing too soon.
Chiesa wins the decision, but then the most amazing thing happens on this season -- the fighters actually answer Jon Anik’s questions. Chiesa gives a shout out to his mom and love to his departed father. Larsen feels cheated that there wasn’t a third round because of the point deduction in the first from the knee (He doesn't seem to realize that since he lost the round 10-9, the point deduction still makes it a 9-9 tie). He calls himself “a warrior” and then whines a little bit more. Read fight report
Team Faber has control of the pick. He says his first pick was the most "obnoxious and loud" member of Team Cruz, Dominick's shoes, but apparently they're at home today. So he goes with a consolation prize that gives us all what we want -- more Chris Tickle. That’s right, next week we get to see our buddy Bad Tickle fight Joe Proctor. Will Chris redeem himself from the detractors? Can Proctor take out the guy that Cruz said has the potential to win it all? Does a sudden bout of scurvy make the fight not happen at all? Find out next week!
In the meantime, be sure to follow me on twitter @dannyboydownes, my blog here, the show at @InsideTUF and leave some comments. Be forewarned, if there’s no article next week, it probably means the Downes family Easter Egg Hunt got out of hand again.
Team Cruz (2-2)
Myles Jury - (0-1) lost a split decision to Al Iaquinta in episode 4
Jeremy Larsen - (0-1) lost via unanimous decision to Mike Chiesa in episode 5
Justin Lawrence - (1-0) won via KO over Cristiano Marcello in episode 3
Chris Tickle - scheduled to fight Joe Proctor in episode 6
James Vick - (1-0) won via KO over Daron Cruickshank in episode 2
Team Faber (2-2)
Mike Chiesa - (1-0) won a unanimous decision over Jeremy Larsen in episode 5
Daron Cruickshank - (0-1) lost to James Vick in episode 2
Al Iaquinta - (1-0) won a split decision over Myles Jury in episode 4
Cristiano Marcello - (0-1) lost to Justin Lawrence in episode 3
Joe Proctor - scheduled to fight Chris Tickle in episode 6