I can't believe we've come so far.
Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) reality television baby The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), is deep into season 15 with eight episodes in the books and and the elimination fights inside the house almost completely done with.
In fact, just one more remains.
Last week's broadcast showcased a hell of a scrap pitting Team Dominick Cruz's Sam Sicilia taking on Team Urijah Faber's Chris Saunders, who was a heavy underdog coming into the bout. No matter, though, he gutted his way to a gritty victory and knocked out one of the early favorites to win the entire competition.
Tonight's show will feature the final elimination match-up between Andy Ogle, who still can't seem to get comfortable in his new digs at the TUF house and Mike Rio, who we know next to nothing about. We'll learn all about both tonight.
Before one of them gets sent packing from the competition.
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 EIGHT RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG:
Broadcast is live (so to speak).
Replays of prior episodes show us Rio having suffered a knee injury and Ogle bursting out in tears from the pressure of living and training in the TUF house.
As with every single freaking episode of this damn show, we're shown highlights of both the winning locker room from last week, which was Team Faber and Chris Saunders, and the losing locker room, which was Team Cruz and Sam Sicilia.
Ogle says his fight against Rio will be "the most attractive fight" of the season because both guys are really sexy.
This episode marks the Coach's Challenge. It's Dana White's favorite part of the season, as he tells us. This challenge is brought by the United States Marine Corps.
They've got a few Marines out there and the challenge will be marksmenship. Four shooting stations. The coaches will climb a rope and ring a bell before dropping down and heading to the first station. They have to hit five targets with an M-9 pistol.
Then they flip tires to station two, where an M-4 rifle awaits. A 12-inch target at 50 yards and a 12-inch target at 70 yards.
Next, a training dummy zig zagging through to station three. Then an M-279 to hit long range.
Finally, they get to fire an M-32 grenade launcher and the first coach to hit their targets successfully wins.
Off they go and Cruz took the ropes like it wasn't a damn thing. He straight out destroyed once he picked the pistol up, too. They move on to the next station and Cruz beats Faber on the tire flip, as well.
Basically, Cruz is owning this course.
He finally slows down once he gets to the heavy machine gun. In fact, Faber catches up and surpasses him at this point. With $20,000 and $1,500 for the team's winners, this was a big deal.
Faber hits his first target on the final station. Cruz follows and hits his. One more left for both sides.
BOOM! Faber clears his and he wins the Coach's Challenge.
Well, that was fun.
We get the training montages at the gym with a strong focus on both fighters, Ogle and Rio. The gist of it is Ogle needs to prepare for Rio's wrestling and Rio needs to make sure his knee can hold up to the rigors of an actual live fight.
He sure looks up to the task in practice.
Rio tells Ogle he wants to have the "Fight of the Night."
Dana White, Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber get together to talk about the quarterfinal deliberations. We see some agreement, some dissension, but nothing announced.
Mike Rio: 156-pounds
Andy Ogle: 155-pounds
Final preparations are made, which means Cruz and Faber talking to the boys and giving them one last pep talk. One more break and it's time for the live fight.
Andy Ogle vs. Mike Rio (155-pound limit)
Round one: Rio's hair is proving to be the most entertaining aspect in the early going. He's struggling to keep it out of his face from little moves like jumping back to avoid a punch. Ogle is tentative and refusing to full engage. He's throwing punches, sure, but he's not committing to what he's doing. At the very least, he's not letting Rio get his wrestling game off. In fact, Rio looks terrible here. He's taken the center of the cage but he's just eating punches and then bailing out. Ah, finally Rio shoots and gets a scoop slam takedown. Ogle uses the fence to get back to his feet and he lands a few short shots while they clinch up against the cage. Finally, they reset and Ogle pushes forward much more. Rio slips, which could have been a concern for his knee but he appears to be okay. This is a terribly boring fight, thanks to both guys tendency to throw one punch and then go back to squaring up. Ogle is moving around a lot but Rio finally found his distance. Rio gets a last second takedown, his second of the round. That might win it for him but Ogle was doing better for a lot of that round.
Round two: They trade punches to get the second round started. Both guys land clean shots but they don't look to have done much damage. Rio misses. And he misses again. He ducks under a punch this time and gets another takedown. This is a terrible fight. Ogle looks for a kimura from bottom but Rio gets his arm out. He uses said arm to pummel Ogle and open him up. Ogle is bleeding from somewhere, looks like his mouth. Rio jumps his back now and locks both hooks in. Now he's got the body triangle but Ogle still somehow manages to turn around on it to top position. Ogle lands some solid shots to Rio's head. He passes to side control. Once Rio postures up, Ogle jumps his back and puts his hooks in. He's trying to flatten him out and he does so. Punches rain down. With just 40 seconds left, Rio succumbs to a rear-naked choke. Maybe it was just me but Rio looked like he was tapping before the choke was even locked in. He might have wanted out there.
Final result: Andy Ogle def. Mike Rio via submission (rear-naked choke) in round two
Ogle celebrates by running out of the cage and hugging everyone he sees, including Ross Pearson, he who got busted for DUI recently who coaches for Dominick Cruz's team.
Ogle puts Rio over in the post-fight interview, talking about how much he respects him.
Rio does the same, saying Ogle fought a great fight and beat him to the punch. He also gassed Rio out by making him chase him down.
Since this thing is live, Dana White is on video from the IZOD Center in New Jersey where UFC on FOX 3 is taking place.
Here are the quarterfinal fights for next week:
That first fight looks like a mismatch but the second one looks like money, my friends.
See you in seven, Maniacs.