Las Vegas, Nevada – The Ultimate Fighter® Live episode 11 – ‘Like a Spartan’ – aired Friday evening and saw favorites Vinc Pichel and Al Iaquinta win their quarterfinal bouts and move into the semifinals alongside James Vick and Michael Chiesa.
Sherman Oaks, California, resident Pichel won by majority decision, defeating Long Beach, California native, Chris Saunders. This was followed by a win for Iaquinta, of Wantagh, New York, who came into the Octagon® focused and ready to dominate and did so in stunning fashion, recording a big TKO win over Andy Ogle, of Newcastle, England, at 4:44 of the 1st round.
UFC President Dana White closed out the episode by announcing the two semifinal match ups, which will air next Friday, May 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
First, James Vick (#5 Cruz) will face-off against Michael Chiesa (#5 Faber) while Pichel (#6 Cruz) will meet Al Iaquinta (#1 Faber).
UFC President Dana White:
“Pichel vs Saunders was a grinder match. It was a close first round. It could have gone either way. Then in the second round, Pichel just took over. There was no doubt he won that round and deserved the win.”
“I didn’t know what to expect of Iaquinta vs Ogle. There’s no doubt Ogle came to fight, he’s got a great chin and a big heart. But Iaquinta looked good. He looked as good as anyone has ever looked on the Ultimate Fighter.”
“So now, we’re going into the semifinals and it’s dead-even. I have to tell you, I think Pichel’s a tough guy but we just saw what Iaquinta can do. And then there’s Vick, the incredible underdog and Chiesa, the guy who has gone through more than anyone in this house. You won’t want to miss these fights.”
“I knew to expect a lot of hard leg kicks, just thinking CHECK THAT SHIT AND FIRE! I practiced a lot of movement in this week’s training to keep him on his heels so he couldn’t throw them as often. Certain combinations worked really well for me, and I was able to take him out of his comfort zone.”
Team Cruz Coach – Dominick Cruz:
“Pichel listened perfectly to the game plan, which was to keep Saunders on his heels, throwing heavy shots, which takes away Saunders’ kicking ability and forces him to box. This allowed Pichel to dirty box and clinch and grind out the win.”
Thoughts on Barao fighting for the Interim belt: “It’s a tough thing to chew on to pass up a spot I’ve worked so, so hard for. It’s testing my heart and determination in this situation. This will prove and test to myself the integrity I have and make me a stronger champion.”
“I fought smart, I knew if I fought smart I could beat just about anybody.”
Team Faber Coach – Urijah Faber:
“I’m not surprised by the outcomes. Things went as predicted. Saunders losing the first round was a big surprise. I thought he won hands down. Al looked awesome he stalked Ogle down.”
Thoughts on his new opponent: “I’m just excited to have a new opponent. Now that I have someone to focus on and game plan, for it gets me motivated. [My training] will definitely change. [Cruz and Barao] are polaropposites. Barao is a guy that starts hard, and looks for the finish right away, but seems to fade a little bit as the fight goes on. Dominick is really tricky, has great conditioning and is always looking to out point in a longfight. I’m a good combination of those two put together, I’m dangerous and I thrive in long fights.”
Don’t miss the opportunity to catch behind the scenes action by following the fighters on Facebook and Twitter. Find all these links andmore on www.ultimatefighter.com.
Photo credits: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
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Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 liveevents annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX networkannually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programmingbroadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which now air on FX in an exciting new live format.
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