TUF 15 Episode 8 Recap: Technique vs. PowerPosted on April 28, 2012, 09:28 AM by Evan Holober
This week's show starts off with a quick look at the fighters competing this week, Chris Saunders and Sam Sicilia. Sam was the second pick of the season by Dominick Cruz, and Saunders was the last overall pick for both coaches. Saunders has looked good in training so far, but Sicilia has taken a bit of a back step. Both are strikers with Sam being more of a brawler, and Chris bringing a lot of technique to the situation. If I had to pick a winner right now, based on prior episodes it'd be Saunders. He looks a lot more polished.
As we move forward, we get to see the reaction from both fighters last week. John Cofer is visibly distraught because he feels he let himself down in the third round. Vinc Pichel is understandable elated, and Dominick along with the rest of the team love how he turned the match in to a "street fight" in the deciding round. Cofer plans to come back stronger, Pichel promises to give anybody he sees across the cage problems in the future. I'd say neither are kidding.
When training starts next week the guys from Team Cruz are given quite the surprise in the form of the very beautiful/dangerous Ronda Rousey showing up to give out some Judo pointers. She walks in with skin tight jeans, stiletto heels, and looks like a woman you'd be lucky enough to get the time of day from. 5 minutes later Ronda has transformed into a teacher that leaves the guys saying things like "beast", "bad-ass", and my favorite from Tickle "she almost broke my damn ribs". All the guys from the house get a chance to hang out with her later in the show, and let me just say this: ALL FAILED MISERABLY (sorry for the caps, but that had to be done). Miss Rousey came over to the house for the Jones vs. Evans event, and the guys barely said a word to her. Apparently their time in the house made them incapable of speaking to a hot woman. Tickle (the man, the myth, the legend), gets in a short conversation about salted nuts with the Strikeforce 135 lb champ so all is not totally lost.
A few pranks go on with this week's installment. Mike Rio's chapstick gets pasted to his night stand. Tickle Saran-wrapped the hose on the faucet so it sprayed a couple of his house mates (which Al Iaquinta takes far too seriously), but the winner of the show is Coach Faber. He decides to take a comment Cruz made a few weeks back about just oiling himself up and working it out to heart. Team Alpha Male (Justin Buchholz, Danny Castillo, Lance Palmer, Tj Dillashaw, and Mr. Faber himself) move multiple pieces of work out equipment in to Team Cruz's training room. They oil themselves up then get down to their underwear, and proceed to work out hard until both teams show up. When Cruz shows up he can do nothing but laugh, and there's really nothing else to do about it. It was damn funny.
Round 1 plays out with Sam looking to pressure Chris with hard punches and takedowns. Cruz repeatedly asks for takedowns and clinch work, and most of it is ineffective. Chris starts to find his range, and nearly decapitates Sicilia with a head kick. Sam recovers though, and they go back to clinch work and throwing bombs. Chris continually lands inside knees, and gets the better of inside fighting. It's a hard fought round, but Chris is the clear winner with his technique holding up.
Round 2 plays out a bit differently with Sam's power starting to give Chris problems. Sam continually lands hard shots against Chris which makes him get on his bike a little more, and not able to land as many kicks. Every time they get into a striking exchange Sam gets the better. The problem is Cruz doesn't know how to coach Sam effectively. He keeps asking for clinch work, and single-leg takedowns which Chris is stopping. He also uses these times to recover, and take top positions of his own which helps out tremendously on the score cards. Sam does his best to reverse position, and drops Chris hard with a left hook after a scramble. Chris takes top position on Sam after an ill-fated guillotine attempt, but does nothing with it. The end of the round plays out with both being on their feet, and Sam wading forward not caring at all about Chris landing. It's a close second stanza, but Sam clearly takes this round 10-9.
Of course judges getting paid to watch this fight disagree, and again fail fans and their positions with the NSAC. We miss out on what was sure to be a great deciding round because of judges to incompetent to do their jobs effectively (not to mention a dismal job coaching by Dominick Cruz).
Chris Saunders defeats Sam Sicilia by Split-decision
With only two fighters left in the competition yet to fight Urijah Faber's Andy Ogle takes on Mike Rio from Team Cruz.