We're more than halfway home.
Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) reality television baby The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), is now in full swing with seven episodes in the books and and the elimination fights inside the house already more than halfway through.
Last week's broadcast showcased a hell of a scrap pitting Team Dominick Cruz's Vinc Pichel taking on Team Urijah Faber's John Cofer. They needed an extra round to get a finish but it came by way of submission with Pichel giving "The Dominator" control of the competition once again.
Tonight's show will feature a match-up between Sam Sicilia, who is feeling heavy pressure to live up to his high billing, and Chris Saunders, a relative unknown with enough skill to give Sicilia everything he can handle and more.
Oh and Ronda Rousey is dropping by the house. What fun that should be.
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 LIVE BLOG
We get the usual recap from last week's episode.
Vinc Pichel likes that he went through a war to get his first win in the house because it shows everyone he can do that to win if he needs to.
Cofer is really upset, crying and getting consoled by his teammates.
Ronda Rousey stops by to train with Team Cruz. She shows the boys a trick or two and they're grateful. As Cruz leaves the building, Urijah Faber shows up and says a few words to Rousey. This prompts Cruz to lip off and they exchange a few words before Cruz cruises off with Rousey riding shotgun.
Back at the house, and Rousey is still around. She might be the first woman ever to be in the TUF house. Everyone crowded around her but she was avoided "like the plague." The guys all make excuses for not approaching her more often.
This is the most uncomfortable episode ever. A bunch of men starved for attention from a woman and little Urijah Faber is calling them out for being so stand offish and too scared to talk to her.
She looked like she would have rather been anywhere else.
This show has now almost literally screwed up a wet dream.
Back to the training rooms where boys can be boys and Faber is sparring with Saunders to introduce us a little more to the kid's game.
I miss some shenanigans in the house but from the sounds of it, no biggie. A failed prank or something.
Cut to Saunders and Ogle outside and Saunders is talking about his hard upbringing, in and out of foster homes. In a way he's glad he went through that because it helped make him who he is today.
Time to get to know more about Sicilia. Cruz says Sam beat one of his teammates and that's when he was really impressed by him. He's like a Tazmania devil, he says. He knows how to pull you in and beat you up in his little tornado.
"We gotta freak him out with power right off the bat. That first round has to be a ridiculously stupid pace," Cruz tells him.
Pressure with hands and wrestling is the name of the game and that's how they're preparing. One thing becomes very clear -- Sicilia has a ton of power and he's got speed to go with it.
"If I leave him leaking in the cage, so be it," Sicilia comments. That was solid shit talk, folks.
Faber and his team strip down to their skivvies and workout in Team Cruz's training room. They act like a pack of dogs and scream and yell while spraying water all over each other.
Man, this is great TV I tell ya.
Finally, time for the weigh-ins.
Sam Sicilia: 155-pounds
Chris Saunders: 155-pounds
Sicilia admits to this being the biggest fight of his life while Saunders says he relishes the underdog role.
Time to scrap.
Sam Sicilia vs. Chris Saunders (155-pound limit)
Round one: Here we go. Sicilia pressuring like he was told to do. They clinch after a few missed punches. Saunders lands a nice knee on the inside before reversing Sicilia against the cage. Now they're just going back and forth, pummeling for position. They reset and Sicilia has his hands down. He swings wild when he powers in, though, and ends up falling down on two separate occasions. None of his big shots found their mark, either. He does get a takedown but Saunders shoots back to his feet. More clinching against the cage. They reset and Sicilia is decidedly less aggressive. Saunders pushing forward and he lands a nice outside leg kick. Whoa, big head kick and Sicilia was out cold. He woke back up before Herb Dean could get to him to stop the fight and it continues on. Saunders keeps up with the assault. He can't finish the job and now Sicilia is walking forward like a fucking zombie, throwing bombs the whole way. Holy hell, how did he survive that? They're back up against the fence clinching and buying time. They reset again, this time with just 45 seconds left in the round. Sicilia catches a kick and tries to capitalize with punches but misses. He follows Saunders down, though, and tries a guillotine. That fails too. The round ends with Sicilia landing a hard shot. Whew. Hell of a round of action. Not even going to try to score it. Too much fun.
Round two: Sicilia pushes with punches to start the second frame. He's got his hands up now, at least more than before. Saunders lands a nice uppercut just before Sicilia can get in one of his own. It isn't long before they're clinched up against the cage again. Once they get there, Cruz starts yelling for Sicilia to drop for a single. He doesn't listen to his coach, though, and this pisses Cruz off. They reset and Sicilia goes back to head hunting. He ends up getting taken down after another clinch for his efforts. Not for long, as they get back up and resume throwing bombs. These boys are throwing wild when they're getting their punches off. Saunders reverses against the fence and gets what's probably going to count as a takedown, which could be crucial at this point in the fight. He takes Sicilia's back and gets both hooks in. Sam manages to reverse out of that and they go back to standing. What a crazy ass fight. OH, big shot from Sicilia drops Saunders. He recovers quick, though, and grabs a leg. Dear god, he's got Sicilia down and he's in Sam's full guard. It's open but he's content to sit there and land short punches to the body. Sicilia is tired and Saunders is taking advantage. He tries to get Sicilia's back but Sam gets out again and, once again, they go back to standing. Huge punches from Sicilia missing. He lands a big knee. Grazing right hand. Saunders misses a spinning back fist. The horn sounds and that was fucking awesome.
Final result: Chris Saunders def. Sam Sicilia via split decision
I'm not arguing with that.
Saunders says he knew it would go this way but he's got a great team behind him and he was confident. That's all he needed.
Sicilia, meanwhile, says he didn't believe in his wrestling but he made it a fight and lost a close decision to a tough guy. Not much to say beyond that.
UFC President Dana White says he thought Sicilia won but whatever.
The fight pick isn't a fight pick cause there are only two guys left.
Andy Ogle vs. Mike Rio is up next.
See you in seven, Maniacs.