The Ultimate Fighter Live, Episode 5: Tickle me emo

Which ’80s comedy movie villain is Dominick Cruz? It’s driving me crazy because he really dials it up this week. He tries to get Sam Sicilia to narc on his good friend and training partner Michael Chiesa, figuring that a good betrayal on top of a guy’s dad passing away would be a good thing. Then he plays doctor, diagnosing Chris Tickle’s foot.

It’s really amazing how TUF coaches fancy themselves as doctors. More than once, a coach has said a guy is faking, only to find out later that something really serious has happened.

Chiesa apparently will be fighting one of his roommates. But he’s easygoing about it, as he is with nearly everything. “As long as you don’t reach out in your sleep and strangle me,” Chiesa tells Jeremy Larsen.

After Cruz gets on Tickle’s case again, possibly with some justification this time, he tells us he knew Larsen growing up. They drifted apart later, but they seem to have good rapport now.

Meet Jeremy Larsen! He got in street fights all the time. If he weren’t fighting MMA, he’d probably in jail or dead.

We follow Tickle to the doctor’s office. He doesn’t have gout. Good for him.

Hey, is Urijah Faber in this show? Oh, there he is at the weigh-in, taking a picture of Cruz’s shoes. Yes, this might be the least interesting feud in MMA history.

The staredown after the weigh-in lasts about 20 minutes. And we’re off to the live fight …

(A quick news flash from Urijah Faber’s Twitter feed — Al Iaquinta won last week despite needing stitches on this thumb. Accident in the kitchen. And we didn’t see it on camera?)

Chiesa has a huge reach advantage — 6.5 inches. Arianny does the walk. Steve Mazzagatti is the ref. They don’t touch gloves.

Round 1: Chiesa stands southpaw and shoots for a double-leg in the first 30 seconds. Switches to a single and finally gets Larsen down. He gets an arm isolated, then lands some elbows to Larsen’s head. Larsen is active, though, and he manages to stand after a minute. Then we do some cage clinching and knee exchanges before we get back to the center. That lasts a couple of seconds before Chiesa shoots for the takedown again. Again, Larsen defends gamely, but Chiesa ends up picking him up for a slam. Larsen establishes guard, then scrambles.  Chiesa foes for some unnecessarily complicated chokes, which allows Larsen to stand. Then Larsen goes back down to his knees, just in time for Chiesa to knee him in the head. That’s illegal. Mazzagatti breaks it up and gives Larsen time to recover. Larsen charges toward Chiesa late but nothing comes of it. 10-9 Chiesa, easily.

Dana White takes to Twitter to tells us Chiesa is a 4-1 favorite but that the 3-1 underdog won last week. I really wish I’d bet a ton of money last week. Those odds were wacky.

Round 2: Larsen tries to engage on the feet and ends up pressing Chiesa to the cage. They break away and get back to the center. Again, the stand-up is brief. Chiesa hardly even bothers to throw punches before shooting for the takedown and getting it after another 15 seconds of game defense from Larsen. But Larsen manages to stand after a couple of attempts, and he tags Chiesa on the feet. The Chiesa does a flying knee followed by a spinning back fist, connecting hard and …

No, I’m kidding. He shoots for another takedown. And Larsen does an even better job defending this one. But Chiesa takes his back and drags Larsen down on top of him. He gets an arm in for a rear naked choke attempt but runs out of time. Scoring for this round could be interesting. And Josh Gross says on Twitter that Mazzagatti deducted a point for the knee in the first round.

But there’s no suspense when we get back. Dana White simply says the winner by unanimous decision is Chiesa, who immediately gives the camera a “Love you, Mom.”

Larsen gets the math wrong. He tells Jon Anik he thought the ref took a point away from Chiesa in the first, so how could he have won it? Shouldn’t we have a third round? No — if Mazzagatti took a point in the first, there’s no way we have a third round unless the judges give a 10-8 or 10-10. Neither of those rounds was a 10-8, and 10-10s are as rare as six-leaf clovers. So without the penalty, it’s either 20-18 or 19-19. With the penalty, it’s 19-18 one way or the other. (Unless Larsen somehow won both rounds, making it 20-17.)

Fight pick — Faber makes a weird joke about Cruz’s shoes. Then he picks Tickle from Cruz’s team. Ouch! Joe Proctor gets the call to fight Cruz’s problem child.


2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Fighter Live, Episode 5: Tickle me emo

  1. I don’t know if the coaches fancy themselves as doctors as much as they simply don’t care. Are you hurt or are you injured? If you’re just hurt, quit whining and get back in the cage. If you’re injured quit whining and get off the show. Either way I don’t want to hear about your aches and pains.

  2. That’s certainly true to an extent, and it may be the case with Tickle. But then you have people like Tom Murphy in TUF 2 and Clayton McKinney in TUF 11 who turned out to be legitimately injured, and their coaches (Hughes, Ortiz) just didn’t want to hear it.

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