At the end of last weeks episode James Vick’s win gave Team Cruz control to pick the next fight. After Cruz selected his number one pick Justin Lawrence, he threw Faber a curve ball and asked him to select who he wanted from his team to square off against Lawrence. You could tell Faber was thrown off by Cruz’s offer, and after a moment asked his team who was ready to go and take the next fight. Yet after several seconds of silence no one from Team Faber stood up.
Now I’m sure everyone from “Iaquinta Nation” knowing Al was expecting him to raise his hand, just because that’s the kind of person he is. We know Al as someone who never backs down from a challenge. What we all have to understand is this. This isn’t necessarily all about pride and this isn’t a bar fight. You have to treat this for what it is, a tournament. Just like a wrestling tournament you want to ideally have your number one seeded guy wrestle an unseeded, or lesser opponent to go deeper in the tournament. It’s the same concept here. You want to be able to get as deep as you can into the tournament, but have your tougher match ups your second or third fight in.
Justin Lawrence is considered one of the top fighters on the show. If Al or one of his teammates had stood up and fought him this week, the two could have had a tough fight possibly go to an extra round and then loose a close fight by decision. That’s not a risk you can take this early in the show. It’s a game that involves strategy and although your instincts tell you to stand up, sometimes you have to play the game. Read more about this topic HERE, a great article going deeper into this from UltimateFighter.com