Two very exciting fights with what many felt surprising outcomes this passed Friday night. With two fights scheduled for the night, the episode only had a small amount of pre recorded material from during the week. Domminick Cruz briefly spoke about his fighter James Vick and the serious amount of potential a lot of people don’t realize he has. Vick, who is tall with heavy hands could be in the finals according to Cruz, who feels he has a very bright future.
The remaining amount of pre recorded content revolved around Dana White talking to all the guys about Cruz’s ACL injury. He informed everyone that Cruz and Faber will not be fighting, and that Faber will fight an opponent to be determined for the interim title. White let’s everyone know that Cruz will continue to stay with his team over the next few weeks to work with them and support them. Cruz who blew out his knee while training, talked about how it breaks his heart not being able to fight, and how much he loves this sport. He assured everyone he would be back in 6-9 months(sooner he hopes) and he’ll give everyone the fight they wanted to see.
After seeing a brief training session with Proctor and Team Faber the show gets right into the first live fight of the night. The first fight up is Joe Proctor and James Vick. The fight starts out at a slow pace with both fighters sizing each other up. Vick throws some good combinations in the early part of the round, as Proctor seems to have some issues with his long reach. Proctor shoots and looks for a choke, but Vick is able to get away. As we get to the later part of round one Vick throws some solid knees, but Proctor answers back with some nice shots of his own, appearing to be more comfortable as the round progresses. Vick, doing a great job following direction from his corner looks strong to end the first round.
Proctor comes out much more aggressive in the second round, throwing some big shots causing Vick’s nose to bleed. Proctor is able to take Vick down. As they get back to their feet Proctor looks for a choke. Some how fighting for position Vick is able to get Proctor down and briefly get side control. Not looking to stay on the ground with Proctor, Vick gives up position and the two stand again. Vick sticks to his game plan and does a good jobs keeping the fight standing up. Vick lands more shots as Proctor gets more aggressive and even frustrated. Both fighters land some big shots to end the round. Although many thought the fight would go to a third round the judges score James Vick the winner by unanimous decision.
Leading up to the second fight we see a few more minutes pre recorded material. Chiesa talks about how he’s going to push Lawrence to his limit and finish him. Faber goes on to talk about Chiesa’s big reach over Lawrence and his ground game not being on the same level. Lawrence described the fight as striker vs. the grappler, and Lawrence needs to be able to sprawl and brawl. Not getting taken down is important for Lawrence in this fight.
That leads us into the fight between the two. Chiesa and Lawrence stand briefly but quickly Chiesa looks for a take down. Chiesa from the bottom is clearly the aggressor. He looks for an arm bar but Lawrence does a good job defensively. Chiesa continues to work from his back, looks for a triangle and a kimura. While looking for an arm bar Chiesa is able to lock Lawrence’s arm and trap him. He throws heavy elbows and some hard punches, leaving Lawrence only able to defend with one hand. Lawrence is able to hold on to end the round.
To start round two I felt like Lawrence’s body language wasn’t the same. The first round took a lot out of him. Chiesa who comes out a bit amped up and excited is told to calm down by Faber in his corner. After a quick exchange Chiesa looks for another take down but is unable to execute. The two continue to stand while Lawrence lands a few more shots. A big shot to the ribs drop Mike, and it appears Lawrence may be in control. He’s able to tie up with Lawrence on top of him and Lawrence is unable to finish him. The round ends with Chiesa once again looking for submissions and doing damage.
The judges rule the fight a draw and we go to a third sudden victory round. Both fighters look tired. Seconds into the round Lawrence is able to score a takedown. Chiesa quickly reverses and now has him in a full mount. Chiesa throws some heavy shots and Lawrence is unable to defend himself. The fight ends by referee stoppage and Mike Chiesa wins by TKO.
As we all ready know the show ends with Dana White announcing next weeks quarter final match ups. Vinc Pichel against Chris Saunders, and Al Iaquinta vs. Andy Ogle. Again be sure to check here all week for up to date news, videos, and interviews leading up to Al’s fight.