Friday’s live fight: Michael Chiesa vs. Jeremy Larsen
"The Ultimate Fighter LIVE" Episode 5 is set to air Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX, and Heavy.com has you covered.
Tune in for a recap of the episode and live coverage of the fourth of eight first-round bouts in the tournament of 16 fighters coached by UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and top contender Urijah Faber. After Team Faber's first victory last week with Al Iaquinta's decision win over Myles Jury, Faber picked Michael Chiesa to face Jeremy Larsen from Team Cruz. That fight will take place in the live portion of tonight's show.
Larsen says that Faber is underestimating him. Chiesa talks about his friendship with Sam Cicilia – who is opposite him on Team Cruz. Sam says he's not going to share secrets with Chiesa and play both sides. Cicilia says he won't pretend that the "teammate stuff means more to me than his friendship." Cruz tries to get some info out of Cicilia and says it's not his job to keep people friends. He tells Cicilia that after this, there's a real possibility he'll have to fight his friend in the UFC. Larsen says Chiesa is one-dimensional and he plans on making the fight a standup war.
Cruz is told about a foot injury to Chris Tickle. Cruz tells him he better tough it out, and Tickle says he's not there to complain – he just wants to get healed. Chiesa and Larsen actually share a room, but both say it's just business. Faber says Chiesa will need to control the cage and get the fight to the ground – and when it gets the mat, he has to finish with a submission or ground-and-pound. He believes Chiesa will win the fight. Chiesa, whose father died early in the show, said he has an easy out if he wanted – that his dad died and he just wants to be with his family. But he's not going that route – he's going to use it as motivation.
Once again, in training, Tickle is complaining about being injured. Cruz won't hear it. Says he's tired of hearing Tickle's excuses. And Tickle goes off to the bathroom. Cruz says he has the potential to win the show if he'd just put it together. Cruz talks about a past with Larsen – that their mothers were friends when they were little and they actually used to play together as kids before going their separate ways. Interesting little back story. Larsen says MMA saved him from going down the wrong path and he's thankful to be here. He says he doesn't touch gloves, and he likes bloody wars to test himself as a man.
At the official weigh-in event Thursday, Faber asks if Cruz has a new pair of shoes and takes a photo of them. Lawrence weighs in at 154 pounds. Chiesa is also on weight, 155.5. The best staredown of the season so far has both fighters right up against each other, and Faber says it's going to be a good scrap.
Michael Chiesa vs. Jeremy Larsen
Round 1: Larsen walks first, followed by Chiesa. Remember, Lawrence said he's not touching gloves. Chiesa has a nearly 7-inch reach advantage. Arianny Celeste tells us it's the first round, and Steve Mazzagatti gets things started. Chiesa shoots, but Lawrence defends. Chiesa stays with it and eventually gets a nice takedown. He moves into half guard and looks for ground and pound. He works some good elbows. Lawrence finally gets back to his feet and stays clinched up, looking for knees. Finally they break, but before long Chiesa is looking for another takedown – and he picks Lawrence up and gets another big one. He looks to pass from half guard, but settles back into full guard. Chiesa works his way to half guard, but Lawrence gets up. Faber yells to Chiesa to throw knees. Lawrence hears him – and makes sure to ground himself ... and Chiesa throws the knee anyway. It looks like it does no damage and barely glances, but Mazzagatti takes a point away, regardless. Chiesa owned the round for a 10-9, but the point deduction makes it a 9-9 frame on the HeavyMMA card.
Round 2: High kick from Chiesa just misses, and he shoots for another takedown. He fairly easily powers Lawrence to the floor, but Lawrence gets right up. Lawrence looks for knees, but Chiesa reverses it. They break, and Lawrence looks to land some shots standing. Chiesa gets a choke in, but can't hold it as they go back to the floor. Lawrence again powers out. With 90 seconds left, Lawrence isn't doing much of anything offensively. He's spending a lot of time defending against Chiesa's takedowns. Chiesa tries to lock up a rear naked choke with 18 seconds left, but e won't get it. HeavyMMA sees the round for Chiesa 10-9 and the fight for him 19-18.
Result: Michael Chiesa def. Jeremy Larsen, unanimous decision
"Jeremy Larsen's a tough guy, and I expected it to go the distance," Chiesa says. "It was tough for me, but (going on after my dad died) was an easy choice to make."
Faber retains control of the fight selections after making it 2-2. He picks Tickle from Team Cruz, and Joe Proctor from his squad. Those two will fight at this time next week. See ya then.