Things were looking dire for Urijah Faber’s squad on the current season of the Ultimate Fighter until they got things turned around three weeks ago and haven’t looked back since. Team Faber picked up a third consecutive victory this weekend thanks to the polished grappling of Joe Proctor to take the series lead against Team Cruz for the first time.
Proctor’s success came after weathering an early storm from opponent Chris Tickle, then scoring a takedown late in the opening round where he was able to maneuver into position for a fight-ending Rear-Naked Choke.
After the fight Faber selected John Cofer from his group and pitted him against Vinc Pichel in next week’s live match-up.
“All these match-ups coming up are going to be pretty tough. So we went with a match-up that pitted two guys with different styles. Pichel is a dangerous fighter for sure. He’s got a real strong mental game, I can tell by talking to him. Cofer’s really strong also. He’s a south paw and he’s a wrestler and that’s Pichel’s weakness,” said Faber of his decision.
Outside of the Octagon, Tickle was shown to have two sides to his personality including an immature, fun-loving prankster as well as a humble competitor out to provide for his family. In fact, Tickle even made Easter dinner for his housemates in a show of good faith.
Also, Mike Rio and Justin Lawrence got into a heated exchange about how coach Dominick Cruz was training them. Rio felt Cruz was a little too rough in his work ethic while Lawrence appreciated the challenges presented by the bantamweight champion’s training. Ultimately, Cruz decided to pair them against each other in training to let their frustration serve as fuel.
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: Faber 3, Cruz 2
Advancing to Semifinal: James Vick, Justin Lawrence, Al Iaquinta, Michael Chiesa, Joe Proctor
Eliminated: Daron Cruickshank, Cristiano Marcello, Myles Jury, Jeremy Larsen, Chris Tickle