The second episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Live,” entitled “Embrace the War,” saw the show’s 16 lightweights move into the TUF house and begin their quest for a six-figure UFC contract. Opposing coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber also selected their teams to officially kick off the competition.
After winning the coin toss, Faber got the option of choosing the first bout or making the first draft pick. He opted for the former, leaving Cruz with the initial fighter selection.
Cruz’s choices (In order): Justin Lawrence (4-0), Sam Sicilia (11-0), Myles Jury (10-0), Mike Rio (9-1), James Vick (5-0), Vinc Pichel (8-0), Chris Tickle (8-4) and Jeremy Larsen (9-2).
Faber’s choices (In order): Al Iaquinta (6-1-1), Cristiano Marcello (13-3),Daron Cruickshank (10-2), Joe Proctor (8-1), Michael Chiesa (8-0), John Cofer (8-1), Andy Ogle (9-1), and Chris Saunders (10-2).
During a practice session, Chiesa received a heartbreaking telephone call from his mother informing him of his father’s passing. Mark Chiesa had been ill for some time, but had insisted his son pursue his dream of becoming the next Ultimate Fighter.
UFC president Dana white allowed Michael to leave the house to attend his father’s funeral. He returned immediately after the ceremony to honor his dad’s wishes and remain on the show.
Friday night’s episode saw Vick knockout Cruickshank with a vicious knee to the face at 2:16 of the 1stRound.
“I’m just so happy and feel so satisfied,” said Vick. “Team Cruz had a great game plan for me. It was the exact combination that we worked on all week and I landed it.”
With the win, Team Cruz selected next Friday’s contest, which will pit Justin Lawrence against Cristiano Marcello.
Oddly, Cruz allowed Faber to choose which member from his squad could face Lawrence. When “The California Kid” asked his team who wanted to step up, he was met with complete silence. Faber then allowed Cruz to make the selection.