The drama just keeps escalating in the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) as Dominick Cruz (L) and Urijah Faber (R) hope that one of their fighters will emerge as the champion and winner of the six-figure UFC contract.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kept the good times rolling, as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 episode nine took place last night (May 4, 2012). In the episode, the preliminary match up round concluded with a bout between "Team Cruz's" Mike Rio and "Team Faber's" Andy Ogle.
The match up pitted two of the lesser known fighters on the show, as well as the two gentlemen who have toiled at or near the bottom of our power rankings all season long.
Based on the rankings and some of the behavior we've witnessed from both fighters this season, the viewers may have been justified in assuming that this fight would leave something to be desired as far as fireworks.
That prediction would be incorrect, however, as Ogle proved that he's more than just the cast member most likely to be mistaken for a hobbit or a melancholy leprechaun. He's got some real power in his hands, and now Rio can testify to that first hand.
After the jump, we'll talk more about episode nine, as well as the up-to-date TUF 15 power rankings:
In this week's episode, fans got to witness the seasonal "Coaches Challenge," as coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber went toe-to-toe in an obstacle course that included some fitness challenges, as well as the firing of explosive weapons.
After getting out to an early lead, Cruz got hung up on the grenade launcher leg of the race, when he had quite a bit of trouble hitting his second target. The slip up was all Faber needed to take the lead and never look back.
The victory gave Faber and his team the opportunity to not just enjoy a few extra bucks, but also to rub it in and celebrate as ungraciously as possible. Par for the course, really.
After nine wild episodes of TUF 15, we're finally down to the final eight. Here's how I have the fighters currently ranked:
(Note: The numbers in parenthesis indicate each fighter's ranking from the previous week.)
Mike Rio (RIP)
The first two quarterfinal match ups were announced, as UFC President Dana White that the following bouts would be taking place next week in episode 10:
- Joe Proctor vs. James Vick
- Justin Lawrence vs. Michael Chiesa
It should make for a very interesting night of fights as the competition continues to build to a crescendo of violence. Make sure to tune in next week and catch MMAmania.com's LIVE coverage of TUF 15 episode 10.
If you weren't able to catch all the LIVE action, no worries. Read a complete recap of TUF 15: "Live" Episode 9 right here.