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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: LIVE
MAY 11, 2012
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
-About 12 minutes behind the live show here after Bellator, so will get caught up through commercials throughout the night. Two fights tonight as the quarterfinals are underway with James Vick vs. Joe Proctor and Justin Lawrence vs. Mike Chiesa.
-After a recap of last week, James Vick is the first fighter profiled tonight. This will be a less "reality" filled episode with two fights scheduled. Dominick Cruz said Vick absorbs a lot and they believe he's got a bright future despite being green.
-Dana White comes in to announce to the fighters Cruz's injury. Cruz explained he blew it out in sparring. He was hoping for the best, but found out he needed to get surgery. Faber was disappointed. Dana said he'd have a fight for Faber "next week", which will likely be early next week as this news broke early this past week. Cruz staying on the show is the right move at this point for his team and the UFC. He'll be less effective from a hands on standpoint, but he's built a connection with them.
-Cruz joked that the doctors said 6-9 months, but he said four. Faber joked that he was starting the rumor that Ronda Rousey blew the knee out.
-Next up is a profile on Proctor with some training clips. Faber believes the Proctor-Vick fight is a good matchup for them. Faber says the gameplan is to get close to Vick, land punches, take him down, and submit him.
FIGHT ONE: JAMES VICK VS. JOE PROCTOR
ROUND ONE: The action was very tentative early as Vick walked Proctor down. He threw a high kick that was blocked and tried to press the pace. He backed Proctor up and landed a hard punch to the body. He landed a nice outside leg kick. Proctor missed a big overhand right. Vick landed a good hook to the body. Proctor finally shot in but Vick held him off. He tried to grab a neck but Vick shoved him away. Proctor then landed a hard right to the chin. Vick grabbed a clinch and landed a couple knees to the body. They traded strikes in close. Proctor connected on a couple strikes. Vick came right back at him. Proctor landed the right again. Vick landed a couple of hard kicks to the body. Proctor got in a kick and ate a counter punch. Proctor landed a short punch. Vick landed a hard uppercut. He connected on a couple more punches as Proctor came in. He landed a straight right. Proctor landed a good counter right. That may have broken Vick's nose. They each missed a strike as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Vick. Solid start to the fight. Vick was more aggressive and had a higher output, but Proctor began connecting on a few strikes himself down the stretch.
ROUND TWO: Proctor landed a nice right early on. He popped in with a couple more. Vick's nose immediately began bleeding. Vick landed a hard leg kick. Proctor landed a leg kick. Vick landed a jab. Proctor landed a hard jab in close. He shot in and grabbed a double leg. He picked Vick up and slammed him. Vick popped to his feet. Proctor grabbed a tight headlock choke, but Vick then took him down into side control. Vick finally stood. Proctor got to his feet and they traded strikes. Vick landed a few hard knees as he grabbed a clinch. He pressed in and landed a body kick. Proctor tried to walk him down. They traded punches. Proctor landed a leg kick. Vick landed an even harder one shortly thereafter. They traded strikes again. Vick landed a left. Proctor closed the distance, but Vick turned him around on the cage. Vick then separated. They traded strikes again. Proctor swung some wild and ugly strikes that didn't hit the mark. Vick landed a nice two punch combo. Proctor landed a hard right. He tried to rush in, but Vick kept him at bay as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Vick. Proctor started strong, but Vick turned up the attack late and Proctor simply couldn't get in with the reach. I don't think that went according to plan for Team Faber.
WINNER: Vick via unanimous decision (20-18 x3)
-That was a solid TUF bout. Nothing special, but it wasn't awful either. Good win for Vick, he definitely seems to be benefitting from his time spent with Cruz and Co.
-Back to the training sessions, it's a look back at Michael Chiesa's week in the gym prepping for tonight. Faber believes this fight is also a good matchup for them. That didn't go so well the first time around tonight.
-Lawrence's training session focused on how he will battle the reach advantage of Chiesa. Cruz sees it as a tough fight for Lawrence, and gives Chiesa credit for being a difficult opponent.
FIGHT TWO: JUSTIN LAWRENCE VS. MICHAEL CHIESA
ROUND ONE: Chiesa caught a kick early and Lawrence slipped. Chiesa grabbed a body lock, then got Lawrence's back standing. He got to the ground and looked to set up an armbar. Lawrence defended the first attack, then got out of a triangle attempt. Chiesa attempted to attack for a kimura but Lawrence again popped out. Chiesa regained guard. He landed a few hard elbows from the bottom. He went after Lawrence's left arm, but Lawrence again got out. Chiesa landed elbows from his back again. Chiesa continued to work from his back. He tried to again use the kimura to sweep. Lawrence held top position. Lawrence popped up with a few strikes. Chiesa got the triangle locked on and started throwing elbows. He didn't have it in tight. Lawrence's arm was still in and Chiesa couldn't finish the hold as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Chiesa. Lawrence was on top almost the entire round, but was defending for almost all of it and nearly got finished at the end.
ROUND TWO: Chiesa landed a right and ate a body kick. Chiesa landed a body kick. They traded punches. Lawrence landed a straight kick to the body. Chiesa landed a high kick and a right behind it. Lawrence landed a couple of strikes. Chiesa caught a leg and tried for a takedown. Lawrence held him off on the cage. He backed off. Chiesa tried to rush in with a really bad looking punch. He landed a jab. He missed a spinning back elbow and ate a left. Lawrence landed a knee. Chiesa got in with a jumping knee. Both fighters were tired. Faber was pleading with Chiesa to work, but he was really struggling. Lawrence landed a few strikes against the cage. Chiesa landed a left. Lawrence landed a combo. Lawrence got in another big combo on the cage. He knocked Chiesa down with a body strike. Chiesa went for a kimura but it just forced Lawrence to stand. Chiesa landed some strikes from the bottom. He landed a few big elbows as Lawrence just held on. Lawrence postured up and landed a couple of strikes to end the round. That was just ugly, ugly, ugly.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Lawrence. Chiesa looked awful on his feet that round. Awful. He was still able to attack on the ground, but his takedowns weren't good and his striking was ugly. I think we'll see a third round, but with Lawrence on top in the first I'm kind of expecting him to get the win.
ROUND THREE: Nevermind. Here we go with round three. Lawrence pressed in. He scored a takedown and Chiesa immediately attacked for a triangle. He swept and got into mount. He landed a few big strikes and he had Lawrence hurt. Lawrence was forced to cover up and couldn't do anything more forcing the ref to step in to stop it. Huge turnaround from an awful second round for Chiesa.
WINNER: Chiesa via TKO at 1:02 of the third round.
-The first round was a lot of fun, with Chiesa actually winning a round from his back. The second was terrible, and Chiesa looked absolutely horrid in his striking game. However, he had the energy in the third to hit that reversal and unleash the fight ending flurry. Good for him and there's a fighter from each team thus far in the semis.
-Chiesa said Lawrence pushed him to the limit and hurt him in the second. He said it was all he had to survive. He said it was the hardest fight he'd ever had.
-Dana White thinks James Vick is going to be very talented when he comes in his own. He added that Lawrence essentially gave the fight away.
-Onto the picks for next week: Vinc Pichel fights Chris Saunders, leaving Team Faber's Al Iaquinta and Andy Ogle to square off. Team Faber will have at least two fighters in the semifinals.
-That's all for tonight. We'll be back next Friday with another night of coverage of TUF: Live, and earlier in the week on Tuesday with live coverage of UFC on Fuel 3 from Fairfax, Va.!
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
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