The twelfth episode now marks the end of the “The Ultimate Fighter: Live” as the semi-final bouts close out the season.
Tonight’s semi-final includes Team Cruz’s James Vick against Team Faber’s Mike Chiesa and Al Iaquinta of Team Faber facing Vinc Pichel representing Team Cruz.
Starting out the episode, the coaches and semi-finalists take a trip to Red Rock Harley-Davidson, looking at the possible bikes that the winning coach and cast member could win. Meanwhile, at the house, Chris Tickle attempted to have some fun with Daron Cruickshank, which proved to be detrimental.
Cruickshank jumped up and unloaded a punch, kick combination that was sure to land him in some trouble, but UFC president, Dana White makes no mention of it when he pays a visit to the to the UFC Training Center. While there, White announces that all cast members will have a bout with the organization at next week’s finale.
During the training sessions, Chiesa was showing signs of difficulty in training as he was getting caught during sparring. As Faber tries talking to Chiesa, he breaks down into tears; obviously still shaken by his father’s death. Faber tells him to forget about the bad practice and to focus on a good fight.
The first live fight of the night is Vick against Chiesa, and it doesn’t take long before they start to employ their game plan. The fighters fight for position in the cage, but Team Cruz member, Vick, is controlling the Octagon and getting the better of the exchanges. Near the end of the second round, Vick stuns Chiesa, dropping him to his knees and locks on a guillotine choke until the end of the round.
Coming out for the second round, Chiesa is aggressive and looking to make up from a possible lost first round. Chiesa shoots for the takedown and moves straight into full mount position. It was just a matter of time before the referee had to call a stop to the fight as Team Faber’s Chiesa rained down unanswered punches on Vick.
Chiesa defeats Vick via knockout, 1:55 into the second round.
For the second bout of the evening, Team Cruz’s Pichel was slated up against Team Faber’s Iaquinta.
Iaquinta immediately came out looking to get in the face of Pichel, but takes a punch for his efforts. Eventually, Iaquinta drags Pichel to mat and takes his opponents back. Pichel defends the choke attempt and gets the bout back to their feet. Iaquinta is beating Pichel to the punch and manages to take him down again, finishing the first round in a dominant position.
Both fighters come out in the second, aggressive and exchanging blows, but Iaquinta is more controlled and is landing the more damaging strikes. Both fighters are starting to show the wear of their punches and Pichel manages to fight off one more takedown attempt by Iaquinta near the end of the second round.
As a third round may have been expected, the judge’s didn’t require one. They saw the fight unanimously in favor for Iaquinta.
The finale is now set for next week with an all Team Faber final as Mike Chiesa is set to face Al Iaquinta.