Chris Saunders and Vinc Pichel prepared to face each other in the first of two fights on the episode. Both coaches believed they had the better fighter heading into the bout.
Saunders’ game plan was to keep it standing and put Pichel away with strikes. Pichel planned to close the distance, eliminating the space needed for Saunders to throw kicks, and get the fight to the ground where he expected to have an advantage.
Chris Saunders vs. Vinc Pichel:
Pichel closed the distance and got to the clinch position early in the round, but it was Saunders who secured the takedown. Pichel worked his way back to his feet and began to apply pressure. The first round was competitive but Pichel did enough in the clinch to take the round on two of the three judges’ scorecards.
Pichel controlled the pace and action through the second round. He was able to get inside and work from the clinch position, pressing Saunders against the cage. On the feet, Pichel landed more strikes. After two rounds of action, the judges scored Pichel the winner by majority decision. The scorecards read: 20-18, 20-18, 19-19.
Pichel praised Saunders’ toughness following the fight and hoped there would have been a third round.
“I was kind of hoping I was (going to a third round). It’s my first decision. It’s only a two round fight. I’m happy, but I wanted that third round so I could get the finish,” said Pichel following the fight.
Saunders felt he won the first round and Pichel won the second. He expected a third round when the decision was read.
“I thought we were going to sudden victory for sure,” said Saunders. “I got the first round. He got the second round clearly. It sucks we’re not going to a third round.”
Team Faber teammates Al Iaquinta and Andy Ogle fought to determine the final spot in the semifinals. Ogle planned to stick and move while Iaquinta’s game plan was to “go with the flow” and react to what happens.
Al Iaquinta vs. Andy Ogle:
In the early going, Ogle did exactly what he wanted to. He moved in and out and made Iaquinta chase him. Late in the first round, Iaquinta caught Ogle with a right hand as he moved in, knocking Ogle to the canvas. Ogle worked his way back to his feet only to be knocked down with another right hand. Iaquinta swooped in with a pair of hammer fists forcing the referee to call a stop to the action. The official time of the technical knockout was 4:44 of the first round.
Iaquinta talked about how odd it was to have to fight a teammate after the win.
“We’ve sparred the whole time here so we kind of knew each other. It was just weird,” said Iaquinta.
Ogle took defeat like a true sportsman and had an optimistic outlook.
“Each dog has his day. It really hurts, but everybody loses. Everybody wins and it’s what you do after the loss. You’ve got to come back and show everybody what I’m made of,” he said. “It’s a competition. There’s only going to be one winner. I’m good that it’s not me. What can I say?”
UFC president Dana White announced the semifinal match ups. James Vick will face Michael Chiesa while Al Iaquinta will meet Vinc Pichel to determine the finalists.