Urijah Faber gained a lot of fans from Long Island NY last night by making a great move and selecting Al Iaquinta with his first team pick. After Cruz selected top ranked Justin Lawrence with the number one overall pick, Faber countered by drafting one of the toughest, hardest working guys in the house, Al Iaquinta. Many believed Faber would pick Mike Rio first, and while Al’s pick may have been unexpected it’s a move that Faber will undoubtedly not regret. Faber went on to say that he felt Al had “a lot of potential, and a lot of room for growth.” He also based his pick on the fact that Al has had great coaching from Ray Longo and Matt Serra. Both coaches went on to select their respected teams. Although both teams are very solid many believe Team Faber has the advantage. What are your thoughts?
Team Faber and Iaquinta, who was seen sporting his wrestling head gear, got right back into it and started training together only one day after their fights. The team at first look seems to be getting along well and training hard together. It looks like Faber as well as Cruz both run a tough practice. During the fight selection the following day Faber selected James Vick from Team Cruz to fight Daron Cruickshank.
The episode quickly took a dramatic turn as Team Faber’s Mike Chiesa got terrible news that his father passed away. I’ve been watching TUF for awhile and as Dana White said earlier in the week it without a doubt was one of the most emotional episodes I’ve ever seen. Chiesa’s father who was struggling from cancer (AML), was able to hold on to watch his son fight live on national TV. Unfortunately after the fight he took a turn for the worst and passed away the next day. Chiesa talked about how “ life is tough sometimes.” He went on to say “he owed it all to his father, and now he knew he would be with him every day.” Dana White respectfully allowed Chiesa to fly home and be with his friends and family for the funeral. Chiesa returned the following day to stay on track and accomplish the goal his father wanted him to achieve.
After being caught up on the past six days the show concluded with the live fight between James Vick and Daron Cruickshank. Cruickshank is a great wrestler and comes from a martial arts background. His parents are both martial artists, his mother a third degree black belt. Vick considered the underdog in the fight, is a good boxer with a big reach. He stands at 6’3 and had a 6.5” reach over Cruickshank. Cruickshank who possibly came into the fight a little cocky, showed dominating striking in the early parts of the round. After landing a solid body kick, Daron went in to take a shot and was caught with a big knee, shockingly knocking him out, leaving Team Faber in disbelief. A big upset win for Team Cruz.
With a final change in the format Cruz who now had control of the next fight had to pick the upcoming match up to conclude the episode. After choosing his number one pick Justin Lawrence to fight he threw Faber a curve ball and asked him to select his next opponent. After a moment of awkward silence Faber asked his team “who was ready to go?” With no initial response from his team who was put on the spot just like him, Cruz selected Cristiano Marcello to set up a huge fight for next Friday.
If this episode was any indication of how the season is going to be, everyone better get ready because it’s going to be one of the most exciting, dramatic seasons of TUF yet. Be sure to tune into TUF to see Al in next week’s episode and check back here for more news throughout the week.