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The Ultimate Figher Live on FX 4.27.12: Team Cruz vs Team Faber Episode 8 Report
Posted by Wyatt Beougher on 04.28.2012



The Ultimate Fighter Live: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber
Episode 8




Meet the Cast:

Coaches

TEAM CRUZ


Dominick Cruz
Phil Davis
Eric DelFierro
Ross Pearson
Shannon Slack
Wilson Reis
Lloyd Irvin
Doug Balzarin

TEAM FABER


Urijah Faber
Master Thong
Fabio Prado
Dustin Akbari
Justin Buccholz
Lance Palmer

Fighters

Lightweights

For your convenience, here are the teams as they stand now (color coded for easy reading):

TEAM CRUZ
Justin Lawrence (Villa Ridge, Mo.)
Sam Sicilia (Spokane Valley, Wash.)
Myles Jury (San Diego, Calif.)
Mike Rio (Miami, Fla.)
James Vick (Fort Worth, Texas)
Vinc Pichel (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Chris Tickle (Bloomington, Ill.)
Jeremy Larsen (Phoenix, Ariz.)



TEAM FABER
Al Iaquinta (Wantagh, N.Y.)
Cristiano Marcello (Curitiba, Brazil)
Daron Cruickshank (Wayne, Mich.)
Joe Proctor (Pembroke, Mass.)
Michael Chiesa (Spokane Valley, Wash.)
John Cofer (Hull, Ga.)
Andy Ogle (Tynemouth, England)
Chris Saunders (Long Beach, Calif.)



KEY: Fighters with name crossed out have been eliminated from the competition

Last week we saw Vinc Pichel and John Cofer have arguably the best fight of the season thus far, which ended in the sudden victory round when Pichel locked in a head and arm choke to pick up the submission victory. We also saw Andy Ogle talk himself up, psyche himself out, and get worked up over Sam Sicilia and Michael Chiesa's "Team Purple". This week, Sicilia, who was repeatedly frustrated during training last week, will take on Team Faber's Chris Saunders.

FADE IN: Saunders and Sicilia show up to the event center, and both guys look ready to fight. We get a recap of the guys fighting this week, showing Sicilia's 8-second knockout to get into the house, him getting picked second for Team Cruz, and how he's struggled of late, as well as Saunders being picked last overall and now looking like one of the best fighters on the show. We then see a recap of last week's fight, culminating in Pichel's fantastic win, and the fight pick for this week. Standard song/video intro, and we're a go!

As usual, we start after last week's fight in the winning locker room, where Pichel is elated and Cruz congratulates him for "getting brutal". Pichel says getting a tough win like that shows that he's there to fight and the other guys aren't going to push him over. Cruz says Pichel fought an awesome fight and it was an awesome feeling, while Cofer sits alone with his head down. Faber and his team team try to cheer Cofer up, but he's pretty inconsolable. He can't even give a post-fight interview, as he breaks down in tears. Cofer does say he'll be back, and he should fight at the Finale, for sure.

We see Sicilia working out with a heavy bag during a Team Cruz training session and Cruz says Sicilia is looking good and every punch he throws can end the fight. CRUZ HAS RONDA F'N ROUSEY to train judo with his team. Team Cruz doesn't seem to know who she is but they think she's hot. Rousey says she's lucky to be the first girl to appear on TUF because it's not just a reality tv show, it's a piece of history. Every member of Team Cruz is amazed with how "badass" (alternate: "beast") Rousey is. Vick makes a great point her technique is flawless and she's mastered using her body for leverage. Rousey says she was nervous but Team Cruz learned well and she was really impressed. They huddle up around Sicilia and then Cruz and Faber have a brief verbal altercation in the parking lot. Faber claims to be Rousey's friend, even though her arch-enemy, Miesha Tate, trains with him. Cruz says "go teach overhand rights and guillotines that's all you've got". Faber says he's teaching one-armed guillotines, which Cruz should know, but Cruz says "not last time I got the belt, buddy" and then gets in the car with Rousey and speeds out of the parking lot. Reckless behavior from Cruz, who really shouldn't be letting Faber get to him he's got the belt AND Ronda Rousey in his car Faber's got a buttcrack chin.

Back at the house, Tickle cooked a huge meal, and all the coaches (and Rousey) show up to the house for UFC 145. Rousey tries to talk to the guys and they all fall silent. Seriously the most awkward thing I've ever seen on the show. Finally, Tickle starts talking to Ronda, but then everyone falls silent again, at least towards Rousey.

Team Faber training session and he says Saunders is an underdog, but he can't wait for the upset. Saunders was born in Long Beach, but lived in Montreal, but moved back for school. His nickname is "SoCal Kid" because Faber is his idol. Faber says Saunders' only real drawback is believing in himself. Saunders looks very good sparring with Faber and he finally seems to be gaining some confidence. Faber preaches good footwork and good technique, telling Saunders to stick and move and avoid Sicilia's big punches. Saunders stand up looks really good, and he *should* be the more varied striker against Sicilia, based on what we've seen.

Anik hypes the fight as the guys get ready, and we get an exploitive social media pimp featuring Brittney Palmer (not that I'm complaining), and we're back to the house, as Tickle Saran wraps the sprayer on the sink and someone got their boxers put in the freezer. Cruickshank superglued Rio's Chap Stick to his nightstand. Rio says he's past pranks, but he will fight someone over his hair. Saunders is outside kicking a soccer ball around, and he says he can't believe he's there, he grew up poor, his mom wasn't there, he doesn't remember his dad, and he grew up in multiple foster homes. He doesn't feel like any kid should have to go through that, but he's somewhat glad he did because he's going to prove everyone wrong who told him he couldn't do it.

Sicilia says as an amateur, he fought five or six times and disappeared, and then he turned pro last year and fought eleven times, including three times in one month. Sicilia beat a close training partner of Cruz's to get into the house and Cruz is impressed because the guy Sicilia beat was a beast and a tough guy to fight and Sicilia just finished him. Cruz says Sicilia is constantly moving like the Tasmanian Devil and draws people into his tornado and beats them up. Cruz says it's going to be a technical striker against a "grimy, brawling wrestler". Sicilia says he has to be brutal and relentless and he has to leave Saunders "leaking in the cage".

Team Alpha Male take everything out of Cruz's locker room and move all of the equipment in, strip down to their skivvies, lube each other up, and work out in Team Cruz's locker room. No repressed homosexual tendencies there. Nope. None. None at all.

Time for the weigh-ins, and Sicilia is up first. Vick says Sicilia looks good, he's a game-time fighter, he's got power in his hands, he's a good wrestler, and he's got great cardio. Sicilia weighs in at 155. Ogle says Saunders is a little pit bull, he's very composed, and this should be the fight of the season. Saunders weighs in at 155. Chiesa says everytime he's watched Sam fight, he gets nervous and he'll probably be watching from behind his hands. Sicilia says he's has to be brutal and be ruthless and it's the biggest fight of his life. Saunders says he likes being the underdog and there's no way a man can break him because of everything he's been through.

Back live with Anik with less than five minutes to go. Cruz gives Sicilia advice for working on the ground and Sicilia looks ready. Saunders is getting taped up and Faber says use punches to set up kicks and keep the head out of the way. Anik pimps the Facebook and we go to commercial. Dana White is with Theo Rossi from "Sons of Anarchy". Sicilia looks calm and Saunders looks nervous. We get the Rules of the Octagon (three judges, two five-minute rounds with third sudden victory round if necessary, ten-point must, and the scoring criteria). Sicilia is out first, followed by Saunders, and we get the Miller Lite Tale of the Tape, with Saunders with a one-inch height and reach advantage. Brittney is our ring girl again, Herb Dean is the official, and we're ready to go!

Lightweight bout: Sam Sicilia (Team Cruz) vs Chris Saunders (Team Faber)

Round 1: Saunders feints a kick and Sicilia comes in swinging, then lands a kick. Saunders ties him up and Sicilia works a couple of knees. Saunders get a knee of his own and then pushes Sicilia against the cage, but Sicilia quickly gets his back towards the center of the cage again and gets free. Sicilia comes in swinging again but he misses a takedown, only for Saunders to get him down. Sicilia is immediately back up and they clinch against the cage and trade knees. Sicilia tries for another takedown but Saunders defends and gets a few knees while he's got Sicilia pressed against the cage. They separate, Saunders misses a Superman punch and lands a low leg kick. Saunders lands a head kick that drops Sicilia but he gets back up almost immediately and clinches. Sicilia hangs on until he recovers and he lets Saunders go and covers up while Saunders throws some punches and another head kick. Amazingly, Sicilia drops his hands and taunts Saunders before clinching again. They fight for position against the cage, with Sicilia nearly getting a trip takedown and a guillotine before they separate. Sicilia catches a kick, lands two hard shots and jumps into Saunders' guard. Saunders defends well and gets back to his feet, and Sicilia lands a couple more nice-looking punches before the round ends.

Scorecard: Very, very close round. I'm actually going 10-10, although I'll probably be able to pick a winner when I watch it again.

Round 2: Sicilia looks tired and he comes out with his hands down. He's daring Saunders to hit him. They trade on the feet, with neither guy really landing anything. Saunders with a leg kick and he blocks most of an overhand right. Saunders dancing away and making Sicilia chase him. He jumps in and eats a pair of punches from Sicilia. They clinch against the cage and Saunders lands some more knees. Sicilia ignores Cruz's repeated requests to drop to a single. Saunders standing in front of Sicilia now, and Sicilia is more than happy to land some punches. They clinch against the cage, Saunders with a takedown, but Sicilia reverses and lands some good knees before they separate. Clinch against the cage again and Sicilia looks for a takedown, but Saunders with an ankle pick and he ends up taking Sicilia's back. Sicilia turns into him though, gets free, and he tees off on Saunders as he gets up. Saunders returns the favor, but Sicilia drops Saunders with a big left hook. Sicilia looks for the guillotine to capitalize, but Saunders pops his head free and looks to work ground and pound from the guard. Sicilia avoiding well, but Saunders is landing a few shots. Sicilia gives up his back and reverses into Saunders guard but both men end up on their feet clinched against the cage. Saunders with a knee, they separate, and Sicilia answers with a knee of his own. Both guys are tired, Saunders lands a couple more knees of his own, and Sicilia is winging for the fences as the round ends.

Scorecard: Another close round, but I'm giving it to Sicilia 10-9.

Official Result - Winner: Chris Saunders, Split Decision

Saunders wishes his parents a happy anniversary (I thought he didn't have parents?) and he says the fight went exactly as he planned. Sicilia was the second picked and it was a tough fight, but he has a great team behind him. Sicilia says he didn't believe in his wrestling as much as he should've, but he made it a fight against a tough guy.

Dana says he gave the first round to Saunders and the second to Sicilia but he's not a judge. As I said, very close fight, and a third round would've likely been awesome. Dana says two great fights two weeks in a row. Faber says he's letting Cruz pick this fight (since it's the last fight), and we'll be seeing Andy Ogle take on Mike Rio in our last first-round fight.

NEXT WEEK ON TUF LIVE: Andy Ogle takes on Mike Rio!

For your convenience, here are the teams as they stand now (color coded for easy reading):

TEAM CRUZ
Justin Lawrence (Villa Ridge, Mo.)
Sam Sicilia (Spokane Valley, Wash.)
Myles Jury (San Diego, Calif.)
Mike Rio (Miami, Fla.)
James Vick (Fort Worth, Texas)
Vinc Pichel (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Chris Tickle (Bloomington, Ill.)
Jeremy Larsen (Phoenix, Ariz.)



TEAM FABER
Al Iaquinta (Wantagh, N.Y.)
Cristiano Marcello (Curitiba, Brazil)
Daron Cruickshank (Wayne, Mich.)
Joe Proctor (Pembroke, Mass.)
Michael Chiesa (Spokane Valley, Wash.)
John Cofer (Hull, Ga.)
Andy Ogle (Tynemouth, England)
Chris Saunders (Long Beach, Calif.)



KEY: Fighters with name crossed out have been eliminated from the competition





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