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Team Cruz vs. Team Faber
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Previous Episodes
March 9

Thirty-two of the world's deadliest men will compete against each other in a quest for a contract with the UFC and the title of the Ultimate Fighter. And for the first time in its history, it's all going down LIVE!

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host Jon Anik
Coaches Dominick Cruz
Urijah Faber
Mentor Dana White
Creator Frank Fertitta III
Lorenzo Fertitta
Dana White
EP Craig Piligian
Lorenzo Fertitta
Dana White
Packager Pilgrim Films & TV
Zuffa, LLC
Origins UFC Training Center; Las Vegas
Web theultimatefighter.com
Airs 10p Friday, FX

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Round of 16
March 16

(C-NOTE: the following program contains challenges that have been designed, choreographed, and supervised by professionals. They are extremely dangerous and should NEVER be attempted by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Viewer discretion is advised)

Last week, we started with 16 fights. Each one ended up with a winner. Now the 16 will choose up sides and fight to stay alive in what is being billed as the most exciting live sporting even in the history of television. We are 47 minutes away from Fight Night...

But first here's how we got there.

First of all... the sixteen people move into the house. After the drinks and how do you dos, we get down to business.

The next day begins at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas, where teams are picked. Winner of the coin toss picks the first fighter or the first fight. The winner... Faber. He picks the first fight, so Cruz will pick the first fighter.

Justin Lawrence
Sam Sicilia
Myles Jury
Mike Rio
James Vick
Vinc Pichel
Chris Tickle
Jeremy Larsen
Al Iaquinta
Cristiano Marcello
Daron Cruickshank
Joe Proctor
Michael Chiesa
John Cofer
Andy Ogle
Chris Saunders

Faber wants to create a mentality that will carry the fighters for the rest of their careers. Saunders counts Faber as one of his idols. Remember, Faber will control the first fight.

Over on Team Cruz, he's looking at each fighter and seeing who's the most well-rounded and who'll react in any situation. His main focus was Tickle, though. He loves being on Cruz's team. Jury remembers training with Cruz in San Diego. He likes where their brain is at. Looks like we're in for a good season.

Half an hour away from the live fight, and it's time for the Fight Announcement. And before that, Cruz and Faber start it up with a good old fashioned smack talk about family issues. Neither is trying to badmouth each others' families. But it's not about them. It's not even about the coaches. It's about these 16. So which of the 16 are going to fight in 30 minutes time?

It'll be JAMES VICK from Team Cruz vs. DARON CRUICKSHANK from Team Faber. Vick has an extended arm advantage, but Cruickshank has a toughness. Which will win out in the Friday fight? We'll find out, but for now, training continues.

Meanwhile, Chiesa is pulled from practice to take a personal call. His father has passed away, and needless to say, he is destroyed about it. But he promised his father that he would not give up the fight should the worst happen. Well, welcome to the worst.

Sam is the first of the fighters to receive the news of Chiesa's father passing, since they have a history together. The rest of the fighters are quick to rally to his side during this time, but at the end of the day, Chiesa is torn between his dream and his family. In the end, Dana does grant Chiesa some time away from training to be with his family. Then come back and finishes the job. His father would want it that way.

Back in training, we learn about our two featured fighters. Vick grew up poor, so he grew up fast. He's an underdog in his coach's eyes, but he can win it if he keeps himself down. He lands solid, Cruickshank going down. On the other side, you have Daron, who says that he was both born and raised to be a fighter. His mom has a 3rd degree blackbelt in tae kwon do. Daron is in great shape, but he needs to work on submission defense. He says that Vick is one-dimensional; while he's a boxer, Daron's an MMA fighter. He turns into a complete animal in the Octagon, and he says that his skills are unmatched.

Chiesa returns from Spokane to join the rest of the fighters. His father toughed it out to see the season premiere. Now that he's back, it's time to get to work.


James Vick (4-0)
154 lbs
76.5" reach
Needs to utilize reach advantage and keep back off of the fence
Daron Cruickshank (10-2)
Wayne, MI
155.5 lbs
70" reach
Needs to control the center of the cage while pushing the pace

Now the LEGAL....

- Three judges score the bout
- Each fight is two five minute rounds. In the event of a draw, an additional third round will be fought.
- Winner gets 10 points, his opponent 9 or less based on effective striking, grappling, aggression, and octagon control

FIGHT 1: James Vick (Dallas) vs. Daron Cruickshank (Wayne, MI)

ROUND 1: Cruickshank is the first to connect with a roundhouse to the head. He is cearly the aggressor 2 minutes in. Vick pins him to the fences early, though. But then Vick knees him to the ground, and... Cruickshank is not getting up. The decision... WINNER: VICK (KO, 2:16 in the 1st round)

So James Vick wins $5000 and Team Cruz wins the pick for Fight #2... Next week, it'll be ... James Lawrence from Team Cruz vs. someone from Team Faber... No volunteers, so Faber grants Cruz the pick... Lawrence will fight... Cristiano Marcello. Stay tuned...

To view extras and blogs, go to ultimatefighter.com