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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: LIVE
APRIL 6, 2012
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
-Tonight's broadcast opens with shots of Jeremy Larsen and Michael Chiesa walking into the UFC training center before a recap of the events of the first four weeks.
-Dana White narrated through the first two rounds of action for last week's fight, where he gave Myles Jury round one and Al Iaquinta round two. Dominick Cruz talked through round three highlights and said it was something Jury needed to experience as a fighter.
-Cruz said everyone on Faber's team was tough, as is everyone on his team, and thinks we'll continue to see a crazy season.
-"Higher Ground" is such a perfect song for this intro. As I said last week, love the new open.
-With Faber's team celebrating, Jury talked about how he had never been through a fight like that before. Larsen says he's going to knock Chiesa's beard off his face. Real-life training partners Chiesa and Sam Sicilia have a bit of a conundrum here, as they're on opposite teams on the show, and Cruz wants Sicilia to assist Larsen in the gameplan this week for Chiesa.
-Sicilia said he isn't going to be giving inside information to either Larsen or Chiesa about what they do, respectively. After Sicilia tells Chiesa about that, Chiesa says he wants to cut his leg off to get to 135 to throw Cruz around.
-Back in the training session, Cruz addresses Sicilia about his relationship with Chiesa. Cruz tried to break down Sicilia's affiliation by letting him know, ultimately, he may need to take out his boy to accomplish his dreams.
-Larsen wants to keep the fight standing this week. Cruz works with him inside of the cage to work on his takedown defense.
-Cruz continues to come off as an excellent coach on this show. He knows what he's talking about, and he knows how to convey his knowledge effectively to his guys, and that's really coming across in the training segments.
-Chris Tickle's battling a number of issues, and Cruz isn't really a fan of the issues. He questions him on his desire to be on the show, and Tickle isn't happy to be questioned here. He has something resembling gout, according to the doctor, and that's certainly affecting his training.
-Urijah Faber gets a little airtime, and says the three keys for Chiesa this week are controlling the cage, getting the fight to the ground, and finishing on the ground. Faber compares Chiesa to a spider on his opponents on the ground.
-Chiesa's keeping himself motivated with the memory of his father, who passed away after the opening round fights, and he makes it clear he's not using that as an out despite the fact that everyone would understand that.
-Back to Cruz's camp, and something was hurting with Tickle again, and Cruz is getting sick of his complaints. After another round of sparring, Tickle walked out. Cruz said what frustrates him the most is Tickle has the potential to win the show, but he's hurting himself.
-Cruz reveals that he and Larsen used to be childhood friends before going separate ways in life and being brought back together on this show. For how big the planet is, the world is quite small.
-Larsen said he doesn't have a strong background in anything, but he's been fighting essentially his whole life, from the street to the pros. He said he'd probably be in jail or dead right now were it not for MMA, as he was not heading down the right path.
-Tickle went to the doctor and got test results, and does not have gout. He's on anti-inflammatory meds for his toes.
-Onto the weigh-ins, Larsen is in at 154 1bs. Chiesa was in at 155.5. Sam Sicilia says he and Chiesa in the finale would be best case scenario for him. Larsen and Chiesa get in their final comments prior to the live fight tonight.
-The final coaches comments backstage are a little less staged this week, but still a bit awkward.
FIGHT: MICHAEL CHIESA VS. JEREMY LARSEN
ROUND ONE: Chiesa closed the distance early and went for a takedown. He grabbed a single leg on the cage but Larsen initially held him off. Chiesa stayed on him, lifted him off the ground, and completed the takedown into half guard. Larsen tried to tie him up, but Chiesa unleased several elbows to get some space. Larsen tried to scramble to the cage, but Chiesa stayed on him. Larsen kicked him off and got to his feet, but Chiesa stayed on him in the clinch. They traded knees in the clinch and separated. Chiesa shot in again and Larsen held off the single leg attempt. Chiesa lifted him up again and slammed him hard into the center of the cage. Larsen got him into guard. Chiesa picked him up again and dropped him down and moved into half guard. Chiesa grabbed for a choke in half guard but Larsen got free. Chiesa landed a knee with a choke on and Larsen put his hand down. Larsen put his knee down as Chiesa threw another knee and the action was stopped for the illegal blow. Chiesa missed that Larsen's knee was down. No deduction there. Chiesa landed a short combo and Larsen clinched. He grinded out the round on the cage.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Chiesa. Easy round for Chiesa. Larsen's not letting him do a ton on the ground, but he doesn't have much of an answer yet for the takedowns and ground game.
ROUND TWO: FX's feed is having some real issues here as the second round begins, but both fighters exchange strikes early. Chiesa shoots and drags Larsen briefly to the ground. Larsen got to his feet quickly, though. They jockeyed for position on the cage and Chiesa finally backed away. Chiesa landed a left. Larsen landed a couple of strikes and Chiesa grabbed a clinch on the cage again. He went for a takedown again and completed it after a second effort. Faber implored Chiesa to move Larsen away from the cage, but Larsen kicked him off and stood up. Chiesa took him right back down. He tried to take Larsen's back but let him up again. Larsen landed a couple of punches before Chiesa shot in again. Larsen landed a few elbows, but Chiesa stayed on him and scored another brief takedown before Larsen got up. They traded knees in the clinch. Larsen landed a couple of punches and Chiesa again shot in. He grabbed a body lock and got Larsen's back. He dragged him down and kept position. He went for the rear naked choke but Larsen defended until the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Chiesa. Larsen had some effective offense on the feet, but he had no answer for the constant takedown threat of Chiesa.
WINNER: Chiesa via unanimous decision
-Larsen said he thought a point was taken in the first because of the illegal knee, but he still lost both rounds for a 19-18 loss. (I missed the point deduction in round one as it was being applied out of a replay)
-Dana White commented on the fight cageside with Jon Anik before the fight pick for next week. Teams are tied with two wins apiece now. Faber picks Chris Tickle vs. Joe Proctor for next week after a bad joke.
-Thanks for joining us again this week, we'll be back next Friday for episode six!
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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