The Ultimate Fighter: Live Episode No. 2 Recap: Cruz Takes Early Lead

March 17, 2012

TUF Live Coaches Logo Dominick Cruz and Urijah FaberIn the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live, the 16 lightweights who fought their way onto the cast moved into The Ultimate Fighter house, a sprawling Las Vegas mansion.

Coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber selected their teams.  Faber won the coin toss but opted to allow Cruz to choose the first fighter allowing him matchmaking powers to determine the first match-up.

Cruz selected Justin Lawrence as his first pick. Faber decided on Al Laquinta.

Team Cruz consists of Justin Lawrence, Sam Sicilia, Myles Jury, Mike Rio, James Vick, Vinc Pichel, Chris Tickle, and Jeremy Larsen.

Team Faber is made up of Al Iaquinta, Cristiano Marcello, Daron Cruickshank, Joe Proctor, Mike Chiesa, John Cofer, Andy Ogle, and Chris Saunders.

During the first team training session, Team Faber’s Mike Chiesa received news that his father had passed away.  Prior to the show, Chiesa’s dad made his son promise if this happened that he would remain on the show and continue to chase his dream of fighting in the UFC.  In light of the circumstance, UFC president Dana White allowed Chiesa to fly home and attend his father’s funeral.  He returned to Las Vegas the following day.

With team selections in the books, it was time for Faber to pick the first team match-up.  Faber chose Daron Cruickshank to take on Team Cruz’s James Vick.  Heading into the match-up, Vick was considered the underdog facing lifelong martial artist Cruickshank.

The episode’s taped portion was over and it was time for the live fight.

Cruickshank looked to be the more comfortable fighter.  He was setting the pace and dictating the action.  Just as he appeared to be finding his range, he dropped down for a takedown and Vick landed a perfectly timed knee, rendering Cruickshank immediately unconscious.

The official time of the knockout came at the 2:16 mark of the opening round.

“Dom (Dominick Cruz) and them were telling me to throw a two, three, and right high kick.  I went for the kick and I seen him shoot.  I threw it kind of low and it hit him with the knee.  It was meant to be a kick, but the knee landed, so it was all good,” said Vick about the knockout win.

With the win, Vick became the first quarterfinalist and Cruz gained matchmaking control.

In deciding next week’s live match-up, Cruz called on his first team pick, Justin Lawrence.  Cruz didn’t pick Lawrence’s opponent right away.  He gave Faber the opportunity to decide who would face Lawrence. Faber was unable to make a choice on the spot, so Cruz decided Lawrence would face Cristiano Marcello.

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