We're down to four!
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 15, episode 11, showcased the last two quarterfinal match ups, as well as the revealing of who will fill the shoes of injured TUF coach and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz in the UFC 148 co-main event versus Urijah Faber.
The first quarterfinal bout saw Vinc Pichel of "Team Cruz" win a very close decision victory over "Team Faber's" Chris Saunders. The decision was somewhat controversial, as everyone in the building seemed to think a third, sudden-death round was coming, before UFC President Dana White entered the Octagon to make it know that the fight was done.
In the last quarterfinal pairing, two members of "Team Faber" went to war, as Al Iaquinta was simply too much for Andy Ogle, en route to a first round KO victory that proved he is deserving of being "The California Kid's" first overall pick.
After the jump, we'll take a look at the ramifications of this latest offering of TUF 15, as well as the post-episode 11 power rankings:
The big news of the episode hinged on Urijah Faber's new opponent for UFC 148. It was announced by Dana White that Renan Barao will step in and fill the void and will take on Faber for the newly minted interim bantamweight title belt.
As far as the rankings go, I don't want to toot my own horn, but "beep, beep." The rankings held up, and the bottom two fighters on the totem pole were eliminated.
With that said, everything essentially stayed the same. The only change being that Saunders and Ogle have dropped off from the bottom.
It will be interesting to see if that's a statement that can be made after next week. There is no great disparity in talent between any of the final four.
If you think it sounds like I'm setting up an excuse, I can neither confirm nor deny that sentiment.
At any rate, here are the TUF 15 power rankings as they currently stand:
(Note: The numbers in parenthesis indicate each fighter's ranking from the previous week.)
The semifinal match ups were announced by Dana White. The pairings make for some intriguing stylistic bouts. They also allow for the possibility of our #1 and #2 ranked fighters to see each other in the final.
Here are the fights that we can look forward to for next week:
- Michael Chiesa vs. James Vick
- Al Iaquinta vs. Vinc Pinchel
It should end up being a dynamic night of MMA combat as the final four battle it out for the right to fight for the UFC six-figure contract.
If you weren't able to catch all the LIVE action, no worries. Read a complete recap of TUF 15: "Live" episode 11 right here.