Four down, eight to go.
Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) reality television baby The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), is now in full swing with four episodes in the books and and the elimination fights inside the house well underway.
Last week's broadcast showcased a heavy favorite and Dominick Cruz training partner, Myles Jury, finding himself on the business end of a decision loss to Urijah Faber's top pick, Al Iaquinta. Get up to date on all that by clicking here and here.
Tonight's show will feature the first fight chosen by "The California Kid," as he attempts to take out who he perceives to be the weakest link on Cruz's team, Jeremy Larsen, using the undefeated Michael Chiesa. Remember, Chiesa lost his father during the first week of the show, so expect that storyline to rear its head tonight.
MMAmania.com has a live blog of all the night's action, starting at 10 p.m. ET, after the jump.
TUF 15 EPISODE FIVE LIVE BLOG AND RESULTS
Broadcast is live.
We open with replays of the previous few episodes. Naturally, they want to remind us of the personal turmoil Chiesa is suffering through having just lost his father while at the show. In fact, he briefly left to bury him before immediately returning.
Back to the traditional replay of last week's episode and Al Iaquinta's ballsy win over Myles Jury. Dominick Cruz explains what went wrong with his guy, Jury, in the later rounds. Simply put, he's never been out of the second round. It showed.
Urijah Faber is really happy having finally won a fight in the house and he shows it by nearly crying in the post-fight celebration. They quickly move to getting Chiesa prepared for Larsen, though.
Jury says his loss is nothing but a learning experience. He had never been in a war like that before. Now he knows and he'll be a lot better going forward.
Larsen tells us he'll be knocking Chiesa's beard off his face. I'd love to see that.
Uh-oh, a big issue has cropped up. Sam Sicilia is a member of Team Cruz while also being a training partner and close friend of Chiesa. Now Cruz is telling Sicilia he needs to fess up the secrets. Sicilia isn't pleased with this idea, despite Cruz's best efforts to convince him otherwise.
Nevertheless, Sicilia tells Chiesa he won't give up the information. They both agree they have to play the game, though.
It isn't long before Cruz shows up and asks Sicilia to tell him what Chiesa is going to bring to the table. Sicilia says he doesn't want to say and Cruz explains that being the best in the world means "taking out your boys, homie."
Tell that to Rashad Evans, guy.
Training montage! Cruz tells us the cage is what's going to keep Larsen in this fight. He shows Larsen a few moves to help him through the fight in the event that said few moves happen, which they're counting on.
Back to the training room where we'll told Chris Tickle may have gout. So the doctor shows up and tells Cruz about the situation. Cruz brings Tickle in and gives him the old what for. Either get through it and stop bitching or go home.
Tickle says he was pissed but he's all smiles in front of Cruz. He continues to tell us how bad gout is and I'll believe him because I just don't know any better. Cruz, though, has zero sympathy.
In the TUF house, Larsen and Chiesa come to an agreement that they're okay with being in the same room with each other because fighting is just business.
To the training room with Chiesa and Faber is trumpeting his abilities. Essentially, he's utterly and completely sure Chiesa will win the fight. He's just too good for any other outcome.
Of course, Chiesa's father comes up in conversation and he explains that he would be here no matter what because it's all he can do. He just wants to made the Chiesa name proud.
We're shown a "live look-in" at the TUF gym. They actually have #TeamCruz and #TeamFaber hashtags on the Octagon.
Training again and Tickle is complaining about his stomach hurting. Cruz is sick and tired of it. Some new excuse every week. Cruz tells Tickle to suck it up and keep going.
Tickle spars with Larsen and then immediately runs off to the bathroom. Cruz just shakes his head and says, "At least he made it to the last round."
Larsen gets some one-on-one time and he's mad about not getting the proper respect. Well, not made, necessarily, but he really wants the respect he feels as though he's not getting.
Not sure what he expects out of the TUF house.
He then outright admits that he would be in jail or dead right now if it weren't for MMA. He's just thankful to be here, y'all. Oh, and he's not going to touch gloves because he doesn't believe in that. What he does believe in are bloody wars and testing himself as a man.
"Mike, I hope your chin's not made of glass, buddy, cause I'm going to test it," Larsen says.
Tickle goes to the doctor again with test results for his gout. Which, it turns out, he doesn't have. He says his toe is feeling a lot better and they've got him on anti-inflammatory medicine just in case.
Chiesa - 155-pounds
Larsen - 154-pounds
Sam Sicilia chips in with one last word, saying he wants to make it to the finals to take on Chiesa. Brother vs. Brother.
But first, Chiesa has to get by Larsen.
Final words from Cruz: Busy to the body, work to the head, be wary of the clinch.
Final words from Faber: He's going to be pushing forward, grab a takedown. He gets close to the cage, pull him back.
Time to rock.
Michael Chiesa vs. Jeremy Larsen (155-pound limit)
Round one: Soft low leg kick from Chiesa to start. Didn't even come close to connecting. Just a feeler. He ducks under the first punch from Larsen as he closed distance and shot into the cage for the takedown. This is exactly what Cruz was saying would happen. Larsen does what he was told but it doesn't work like he was told it would. Despite Larsen's best efforts, Chiesa completes the takedown. Immediately, Larsen is doing his best to get to the cage. He can't get there at first because Chiesa is raining down elbows. Once he stops, Larsen gets there. Cruz is extremely quiet so far. Odd. Larsen gets to the cage and wall walks back to his feet. Now he's got Chiesa pushed up against the fence in the clinch. It's a stalemate. They break and Chiesa falls down attempting a high kick. Larsen tries to capitalize but finds himself defending another single leg takedown. Chiesa completes it when he grabs a double and turns it into a slam. That was sweet. Chiesa works from top in Larsen's full guard. Still, Cruz remains silent. Chiesa jumps a guillotine but he's not in the right position and it allows Larsen to get up. Faber calls for knees while Chiesa is toeing the line between the mat and unfortunately, Chiesa finally throws one when Larsen's knee was down. The illegal move means Chiesa loses a point. That's crucial here, especially considering the fact that he's winning the round. A brief exchange leads to a clinch against the cage to end the round. 9-9 after the point deduction.
Round two: They get after it quick to start the second frame and it's not long until Chiesa is working for all the takedowns Cruz warned Larsen about. No one gets the edge as Larsen manages to get himself out of takedown trouble and reset in the center of the cage. Again, though, it's not long before Chiesa is bull rushing him, working hard for the single leg. And, just as before, he completes the takedown when he turns it into a double. Once again, Chiesa goes after the head but Larsen gets back to guard before pushing off with his legs and standing back up. Chiesa is relentless in his pressure, though, and once again drags him back down. With two minutes to go, this looks like it's Chiesa's fight. Larsen gets it back to standing and he's far more comfortable there. But he's failing to land anything to do enough damage to give him a definitive edge. Meanwhile, Chiesa is just pushing, pushing, and pushing some more of these takedowns. With one minute to go, Chiesa again works a single leg. This time he's able to take Larsen's back and gets the takedown falling backwards. He's got both hooks in and working for the rear-naked choke submission. With 10 seconds left, Larsen fights to keep from being finished but he lost this decision. 10-9 Chiesa.
Final result: Michael Chiesa def. Jeremy Larsen via unanimous decision
Chiesa speaks through the camera and tells his mother he loves her. Awww. He tells Jon Anik in the post-fight interview that this was really tough because of the loss of his father. But he pushes through for him and he's moving along to the quarterfinals.
Larsen is upset because he thinks he should have won the first round after Chiesa's point deduction for the illegal knee. He says he was dazed but he's a warrior and he got back up to fight. He lost anyway. "But hey, I guess that's what happens when you're a warrior."
That doesn't even make sense, sir.
UFC President Dana White calls the fight interesting and reminds folks that you can't illegal knee people. Could cost you. Even though it didn't cost Chiesa.
Time to pick the next fight.
Chris Tickle vs. Joe Proctor is the fight chosen by Faber and Tickle acts like a douche during the staredown, sticking his arms out wide. They've been building towards the first Tickle fight, so there's actually something to look forward to next week.
See you in seven, Maniacs.