We're halfway home.
Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) reality television baby The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), is now in full swing with six episodes in the books and and the elimination fights inside the house already halfway through.
Last week's broadcast showcased the bad boy of the house, Chris Tickle, getting his comeuppance courtesy of Joe Proctor. That marks the third straight win for Team Urijah Faber after Team Dominick Cruz shot out to an early 2-0 lead.
Tonight's show will feature the undefeated Vinc Pichel attempting to turn the tide back in his team's favor against Southern folk potter and Team Faber's sixth pick, John Cofer. We haven't heard much from them throughout the season but that's going to change in a big way tonight.
MMAmania.com has a live blog of all the night's action, starting at 10 p.m. ET, after the jump.
ULTIMATE FIGHTER 15 EPISODE SEVEN LIVE BLOG:
Broadcast is live (so to speak).
We get the usual replay of last week's show. Cruz proclaiming Tickle could have won the first round last week but he failed to "heart through it." That's the same complaint "The Dominator" has had all along.
Proctor's win gives his team a 3-2 advantage. Faber picked a match-up he feels favors his squad because Cofer has good wrestling and Pichel has terrible takedown defense.
Or so they say. And that's why they fight.
The mood is nice and light in Faber's locker room while Cruz is busy blasting Tickle for not doing what he was told. The choke should have never happened because Tickle had the right defense for it and he simply didn't pay attention to what he was told to do.
While Cruz is lambasting Tickle, Faber shows up and tells him he's a great fighter and don't let anyone get his head down. This pisses Cruz off, who tells Faber he's irrelevant for his lack of success in big fights as of late.
Cruz and Tickle once again have it out and Tickle tells his coach it's bullshit he told him he doesn't have heart. Cruz apologizes for hurting his feelings.
Michael Chiesa tells the cameras he didn't like how Cruz handled the situation and nearly stepped in and said something himself.
But that's enough of everyone else. Time to finally get to learn about tonight's fighters. Cofer is along riding in the van back to the house and Team Faber is pumping him up.
Training time and Ogle is once again acting goofy. He hits the bathroom after a hard day and pukes. He tells Faber when coach comes to check on him that he can't breath. He's shown crying not long after, and admits to the cameras that he can't handle the constant pressure. Everyone back home will call him a little girl for breaking down and crying and he doesn't want that.
Faber gives him the day off and tells him if he's not feeling well, rest is what he needs. That's how they do things.
Training session for Team Cruz means we get to know Vinc Pichel. He had a rough childhood, apparently. Not uncommon for him to hear gunshots and all that. Well if that doesn't make you want to see him succeed, what will?
Pichel's prognosis for the fight -- if it's standing, I'll knock him out; if it's on the ground, I'll submit him.
Sam Sicilia is in the same role for Team Cruz as Ogle is in Faber's squad. He had a tough sparring session and looked really off in the whole way. He admits to cracking under the pressure a bit, mostly because he was an early pick for Cruz and he doesn't want to let anyone down.
Cruz tries to talk him up but he's kind of terrible at doing so. He strong arms everyone, which might work for him but these guys aren't responding well to it. Sicilia says it was awesome to get input from Cruz and that's a good way of looking at it.
We go back to the house and the Chiesa and Sicilia friendship starts to create a rift in the house. The boys aren't big on the idea of Chiesa giving Sicilia information he shouldn't have. They cut to shots of Chiesa and Sicilia speaking alone to play it up.
We're back with Cofer telling us wrestling helped build mental fortitude. Faber breaks down the gameplan for the fight. Avoid the knees and elbows Pichel will be bringing and shoot in for that oh so important takedown.
Ogle straight up goes to Chiesa and raises his concerns over Chiesa giving away training secrets. Chiesa assures him he's not giving anything away. Ogle admits to being all whacked out from the house.
Time to tip scales.
Vinc Pichel: 154-pounds
John Cofer: 156-pounds
Time for a Dana White speech. It's no "Do you want to be a f*cking fighter" but there are plenty of beeps and he basically just tried to pump everyone up about sticking around and staying motivated. Come next week, they will have spent the most time in the TUF house of anyone ever.
Yeah, it feels like it's been years on this show. We're only halfway done, too.
Final look in to the locker rooms and as usual, Faber and Cruz give their last pep talk. Kick butt, take names, yadda yadda.
Live fight upcoming.
Vinc Pichel vs. John Cofer (155-pound limit)
Round one: Very little action to start. Pichel throws a few weak punches and kicks. Cofer finally comes in and gets aggressive. The clinch looks awkward and they back out. Cofer misses a strong uppercut while Pichel narrowly misses a right hand. They're exchanging punches now and it's interesting that Cofer isn't more dedicated to the takedown. He seems content and stand and trade with Pichel. The clinch works much better for Cofer this time as he lands a knee on the way out. Strong inside shot from Pichel. Faber complimenting Cofer on his footwork and he's avoiding quite a few shots by moving around a lot. Nice right hand from Cofer. With 30 seconds left, Cofer shoots a double leg but bails on it quick. For all the talk of how good his wrestling is, he sure didn't show it in that first round. Still probably took it 10-9, though.
We get to see Brittney Palmer walking around between rounds and she just became the best part of this show.
Round two: Cofer gets a solid shot on Pichel and looks to have him hurt. It's not long before Pichel comes back with offense of his own. Uh-oh, flying mouthpiece. The fight stops to get it back in. They reset and Pichel is getting the better of the standing exchanges now. Hard uppercut. Cofer again attempts a takedown but Pichel defense is too strong. Cofer has his back standing and they're in a stalemate against the cage. Pichel reverses and grabs a single leg. He almost gets a takedown on it, too, but he couldn't turn the corner. This is a battle up against the fence and Pichel wins it by picking Cofer up and getting the takedown. That might give him the round. Cofer throws his legs over but Pichel snuffs out any submission attempt. Pichel is just sitting on top of Cofer now in a 69 position. Pichel's ass is directly in Cofer's face. They signal for 10 seconds with the hammer on the mat but the clock reads 20. They dump the clock and the round ends with Pichel on top. This one is probably going to him 10-9 and that means sudden victory.
Round three: They come out banging in the final frame, Pichel just unloading punches against the fence. Cofer tries to answer back but he's tired and not even looking where he's punching. Pichel puts him on the mat and it doesn't take long before he locks in an arm triangle choke and Cofer taps. He wanted out.
Final result: Vinc Pichel def. John Cofer via submission (arm triangle choke) in round three
Pichel tells Jon Anik in the post-fight interview he thought he was going to pick Cofer apart but never really got there. So he relied on heart and endurance to win the fight in the final round.
Cofer is upset, of course, but he can barely make his words out through his heavy breathing. Fighting is hard work, y'all.
Dana White puts over the fight as awesome because both guys went for broke. "They never stopped battling." He must have missed that part where Cofer kind of gave up on it.
Team Cruz evens the score at 3-3. He said, "That was a huge win. Kind of ties things up." Not kind of, Dominick.
Fight pick for next week:
Sam Sicilia vs. Chris Saunders.
See you in seven, Maniacs.