TUF 15 Episode 10 Recap: The quarter-finals beginPosted on May 12, 2012, 01:08 AM by Evan Holober
Storylines for the contestants take a bit of a back seat for the tenth episode, as news has run rampant all week about Dominick Cruz injuring his knee. The show wastes no time getting into the drama, as Dana shows up to break the unfortunate situation to both teams (which did seem a bit odd with Cruz sitting right there). Cruz's guys get behind him right away, and Dominick for his part speaks about putting all his energy into rehabbing. White also confirms he will announce Urijah's opponent replacing Cruz this coming week. When speaking to Cruz Faber offers a little compassion, but then jokes about starting a rumor that Ronda Rousey is the one who hurt Dominick's knee. Whether he did it or not, that rumor has been circulating the Internet for a few days already. Rumors are also around that Urijah's fight will be for an interim title.
Back in the TUF world we see a lot of training this week. With two fights on the show not much is shown outside of the training, and there is next to know house time. The first fight is between Joe Proctor from Urijah's blue men, and James Vick from Team Cruz. Vick's training sequence is up first, and the coaches rave about his improvement. His takedown defense has gotten much better which pairs with his considerable striking skills quite well. Cruz and coach Lloyd Irvin are shown at one point feeling very confident that James will make it to the finals. Faber and his crew seem just as confident in Joe. They want him to stay technical, and close that gap in reach whenever an opening presents itself. Joe is seen taking down standout wrestler TJ Dillashaw at the end of their workouts which is kind of impressive.
The fight goes two rounds and it really is a closely contested battle. James does well to rebuff Joe's takedown attempts for the most part, and is able to dictate most of the striking exchanges. He lands a good body shot with the left hook in the first, some good kicks through out both rounds, and counters with the uppercut will. Joe does well by countering the 6'3 Vick's jab, and even does some good work with combinations when closing the distance. Both rounds were close (with the second being a bit more clear for James with a takedown scored), and I thought they were even after going into the third. Sadly, the judges did not agree and awarded James the win. Each round was extremely close, but it appears Vick's work rate won him the judges good graces.
James Vick defeats Joe Proctor by Unanimous Decision
Justin Lawrence and Michael Chiesa's lead up is shown next. Chiesa is quietly confident going into the match as he feels Justin will not be able to hang with him on the ground. He also looks forward to knocking off the considered #1 guy on the show, and take that spot for himself. Urijah goes over the game-plan that everybody knows is coming, be careful on the feet and take Justin down. Lawrence speaks on the work he's put forth in his career, and how hard it was to get where he's at skill wise today. Dominick works on a few technique's with Justin, and as you would think their blue-print for the fight is the complete opposite of Team Blue's.
I could see Dominick Cruz pulling his hair out during the last scrap this week. From the beginning of the fight Justin decided to fight on the ground with Chiesa. After an early trip Lawrence actually got back to his feet rather quickly, but for some reason immediately decided to go to the ground with Michael. He then decided to stay their with him for the remainder of the round, even when he had chances to get up and Chiesa was obviously getting the best of him. "Long hair don't care" had a tight triangle in the final seconds of the first, but the bell sounded which saved Lawrence. Round 2 was a little bit better for the man in red, and Justin even dropped Chiesa hard with a body shot at one point. The problem is he seemed to be so tired from grappling that he didn't swarm on the hurt fighter, and decided to rest on top of him until the bell sounded. Round 3 was a culmination of everything that happened. During a scramble, Justin again goes against logic and takes top position on Chiesa. Michael sweeps Lawrence beautifully, and rains down punishment until the official puts a halt to the action. You have to chalk this fight up to Lawrence's youth, but even when doing that it's still a bit of a head scratcher.
Michael Chiesa defeats Justin Lawrence by TKO (strikes on the ground) in Round 3 (1:02)
Dana announces the final match ups for next week's quarter-final round. The last remaining member of Team Cruz left to fight is Vinc Pichel, and he will be fighting Chris Saunders. The only two guys left in the competition are on Team Faber. Andy Ogle will be taking on Al Iaquinta starting off the teammate vs. teammate action.