So far, this season Michael Chiesa will be remembered for the emotional pain he was dealt upon entering The Ultimate Fighter 15 house. Chiesa, following his win in the competition’s initial elimination round, found out his father passed away just mere hours after seeing him win.
The UFC granted Chiesa the opportunity to head home, attend the funeral, and return to training. That’s just what he did, and this past Friday night, the bearded grappler showed them the decision was a right one when he went up against Jeremy Larsen.
Chiesa seemed like a man on a mission right from the start, as Urijah Faber‘s pick used strong takedowns and some excellent ground-and-pound with elbows to dominate the opening round. The only thing he did wrong was connect with an illegal knee to Larsen, costing himself a point and a 10-9 lead after the first five minutes of action against the Dominick Cruz‘s competitor.
In the second, it was all Chiesa, scoring with a double-leg takedown and nearly finishing the fight with a Rear-Naked Choke after locking in hooks late in the round. The bell saved Larsen, but Chiesa had easily done enough in the minds of the judges to pick up a decision victory.
Next week’s fight will consist of Chris Tickle going up against Joe Proctor.
As far as non-fight action from last night’s episode, Tickle’s heart was questioned by Cruz after complaining of gout-like symptoms on an affected foot and ducking out of practice early a few times while repeatedly claiming to need to use the restroom. Cruz didn’t take kindly to what he perceived as weakness in his team-member and let Tickle know.
Also worth noting, Cruz attempted to have Chiesa’s longtime friend/teammate (and Team Cruz member) Sam Sicilia rat out his techniques to which Sicilia refused. He and Cheisa joked that they’ve combined the colors of the respective teams’ jerseys to form Team Purple, showing true unity between the fighters.
TUF 15 Season Summary:
Cruz’s Team: Justin Lawrence, Sam Sicilia, Myles Jury, Mike Rio, James Vick, Vinc Pichel, Chris Tickle, Jeremy Larsen
Faber’s Team: Al Iaquinta, Cristiano Marcello, Daron Cruickshank, Joe Proctor, Michael Chiesa, John Cofer, Andy Ogle, Chris Saunders
Team Records: Cruz 2, Faber 2
Advancing to Semifinal: James Vick, Justin Lawrence, Al Iaquinta, Michael Chiesa
Eliminated: Daron Cruickshank, Cristiano Marcello, Myles Jury, Jeremy Larsen
Next Week’s Fight: Chris Tickle vs. Joe Proctor