The Ultimate Fighter: Live Episode 3 Recap: Team Cruz Continues To Roll

March 23, 2012
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TUF Live Coaches Logo Dominick Cruz and Urijah FaberAnother fighter advanced to the quarterfinals.  Tensions between teams began to heat up, and next week’s match up was set in the third episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live.

Personalities are beginning to emerge in the house.  Chris Tickle of Team Cruz teased Team Faber members for not stepping up and volunteering to face Justin Lawrence during last week’s fight announcement.  He also started the practical jokes of the season by removing Urijah Faber’s parking sign in the parking lot of the UFC gym.

Tensions heated up between cast members Tickle and John Cofer.  The two had a verbal altercation at the gym as Team Faber was beginning to work out and Team Cruz was leaving the facility.  It was mild, but enough to cause Cofer to request a fight with Tickle.

This week’s matchup between Justin Lawrence and Cristiano Marcello was a contrast in age and style.  It pitted the oldest cast member, Marcello, against the youngest.  It pitted a striker against an elite level jiu-jitsu practitioner.

“It’s going to be old school vs. new school,” said Marcello about the match up.

Both fighters prepared game plans and each weighed in at 156-pounds.

In the fight, Lawrence used his footwork and movement to keep Marcello on the outside.  Marcello did not look comfortable on his feet against the younger, quicker striker.  Lawrence won the first round with effective striking and controlling the action.

In the second round, Lawrence began to find his range.  Marcello tried to be more aggressive but paid the price when he was knocked down by a left hook.  The writing was on the wall after that point.  At the 3:16 mark of the round, Lawrence landed a lunging left hook that knocked Marcello out.

“It felt amazing.  We worked that all week during the training camp.  The left hook, my hands and movement were going to key in this fight.  It worked out.  It worked out great,” said Lawrence following the knockout win.

Lawrence had nothing but praise for his opponent.

“He’s a legend.  He’s got the most experience in the house,” he said.  “He’s a champion inside.  He’s a legend.”

Marcello took defeat gracefully and complimented Lawrence.  “He’s a great kid and has a great future,” said Marcello.

“I hope to fight in the UFC because that’s my dream,” he added.  He pleaded for the opportunity to fight in the UFC in his home country of Brazil, saying it would be an ‘honor.’

Dominic Cruz and team retained matchmaking control and the next bout was announced.  Cruz chose Myles Jury to face Team Faber’s Al Iaquinta.

  • Surprised Marcello didnt make it past the first round of fights. I didn’t like his game plan at all. “He’s expecting me to do what I’m good at, so instead I’ll do what he’s good at.” Really?

    • Anthony

      Agreed, stupid game plan by Faber—had he played to Marcellos strength in BJJ , he would have had a much bettter chance to win–I think the guy attepted one offensive take- down the whole fight. On the other side , Lawerence looked great, Id pick him as one of the guys in the finale.

      • phrankthetank

        I completely agree that marcello came in with the dumbest gameplan possible, but I also disagree that lawrence looked great. He didn’t seem confident, marcello played into his strength and controlled the cage. I still think lawrence can win the whole thing, but I was very surprised with how he fought.

  • bajafox

    Is it me or am I the only one that gets fkn annoyed when a fighter turns his back to his opponent? Not trying to degrade Lawrence’s win but when I saw him literally turn his back and run to get clear, almost running into the ref in the process, to me, that’s fkn gay as hell.

    The KO wasn’t even that spectacular, he just happened to land his wrist on his temple and got caught, but then again like everyone else has already said, it was a stupid game plan to begin with.

    Hope TUF gets better, so far I’m not a big fan of the live format. I hated the drama that came with the house but now I kind of miss it, lol

    • phrankthetank

      While I agree it’s not my favorite strategy, but he got out of danger and won the fight by knockout. As sloppy as the final punch may have been, Lawrence took marcello’s legs out before that with crisp shots.

  • adam1848

    I agree Lawrence is probably the best guy in the house, but this last fight looked very sloppy to me. Still good by first round tuf standards though. And I personally like the new live format. I think they have done a good job putting together the previously recorded stuff with the live event. In the past I would dvr tuf and watch it a few days later, but now I like to watch it live, if I can, which is exactly what they wanted. Don’t miss the lost few minutes of reality show antics one bit.

  • Anthony

    You know in hind sight Lawerence did run a little and didnt take the center as the dominent fighter, but when he swooped in to throw 3-4 punch combos you could see the kids speed, he strikes like a cobra its so damn fast. Super quick hands.I think all hes missing is a lil more confidence and thats probably because of his age. Im really impressed with him, and as I said before, hes my pick for the finals–I cant remember his name , but the kid who got caught and knock out in the 1st fight had a pretty tight game too. If he wouldnt have gotten caught w/ that lucky knee (kick), he would have been hard to stop–Maybe thell have the wild card or if somebody gets hurt ,we will see him again–Id love to see him fight Lawerence.