One of the most emotionally stirring moments in TUF history occurred earlier this season when contestant Michael Chiesa learned his father had died within hours of him qualifying for a spot in the house with an elimination round win. After being given an opportunity to go home for a day to mourn with his family, Chiesa came back with a new sense of purpose and exhibited such last night by taking out Jeremy Larsen by way of decision.
Chiesa’s success on the scorecards came as the result of his wrestling, a key aspect of coach Urijah Faber’s thought process when making the match-up last week. Chiesa was able to take Larsen down and control him throughout the bulk of their two-round tilt with the only real moment of suspense coming when he landed an illegal knee costing him a point.
“This is dedicated to my mom, Teresa Chiesa,” said the Spokane-area fighter after his win. “It definitely wasn’t my best performance but I know what things I need to change and do better. Most importantly, I need to manage my weight better and be more confident in all my skills. I promise I’ll be putting someone to sleep next time.”
Next week’s fight will feature Chris Tickle (Team Cruz) against Joe Proctor (Team Faber).
“I knew that that was the match-up they would make and I feel very confident in the match-up and will be victorious. For the last four weeks, Dom and the staff busted our ass to get us in shape and I feel 100% confident in my coaches and my cardio for this fight,” said Tickle of Dominick Cruz and company. “I’m ready to bang and get a W. I’m 100% healthy and injury free and can’t wait for next week.”
The statement from Tickle is particularly interesting, as this week’s episode featured him expressing concern over gout-like symptoms on his toe and ducking out of training while claiming to need to use the restroom.
TUF 15 Season Summary:
Cruz’s Team: Justin Lawrence, Sam Sicilia, Myles Jury, Mike Rio, James Vick, Vinc Pichel, Chris Tickle, Jeremy Larsen
Faber’s Team: Al Iaquinta, Cristiano Marcello, Daron Cruickshank, Joe Proctor, Michael Chiesa, John Cofer, Andy Ogle, Chris Saunders
Team Records: Cruz 2, Faber 2
Advancing to Semifinal: James Vick, Justin Lawrence, Al Iaquinta, Michael Chiesa
Eliminated: Daron Cruickshank, Cristiano Marcello, Myles Jury, Jeremy Larsen
Next Week’s Fight: Chris Tickle vs. Joe Proctor