Team Faber picks up third straight win after starting 0-2
Urijah Faber's squad continued its comeback over Dominick Cruz's team Friday night on "The Ultimate Fighter LIVE" on FX. Joe Proctor submitted Chris Tickle with a first-round rear naked choke, and Faber's team went up 3-2 after starting the season with two straight losses.
Proctor, who trains in Massachusetts with UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, found himself trading with Tickle in the standup game through much of the first round and got off the better strikes early. But Tickle came around and was able to land some clean blows. He worked toward some high kicks, but did wind up eating several of Proctor's counters. Late in the first round, Proctor was able to score a takedown. He took advantage of the fight hitting the canvas and quickly took Tickle's back. Tickle fought the resulting rear naked choke as long as he could before Proctor was able to torque it one last time to force the tap at 4:42 of the opening frame.
With Proctor's victory, Faber retained control of the fight picks and picked John Cofer, his fifth overall pick, to face Team Cruz's Vinc Pichel, the bantamweight champion's sixth pick last month. Proctor moves into the quarterfinal round, joining teammates Michael Chiesa and Al Iaquinta, plus Team Cruz fighters Justin Lawrence and James Vick. Eliminated from the competition so far are Daron Cruickshank and Cristiano Marcello from Team Faber and Myles Jury, Jeremy Larsen and Tickle from Team Cruz.
Next week's seventh episode airs Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX and will be followed by the third and final installment of "UFC Primetime: Jones vs. Evans."
Here's a look at what the major players in Friday's sixth episode had to say after the show.
UFC president Dana White
"Great finish! In the first round, I actually had Tickle picking him apart. He hit Proctor with some big shots and Proctor ate some solid punches. Then, Tickle goes down and Proctor took his back, put his hooks in and secured that choke."
"I thought Joe looked good, but it looks like he’s going to need a lot of standup work. If he faces a guy in this competition that has better standup and better jiu-jitsu, he’s in trouble."
"Tickle’s tough. I didn’t want to come in and extend and get caught with something stupid. We had a good game plan to weather the storm for the first half and if a takedown was there, take it. I took it and I finished my fight."
"I’m excited. These guys have been working their butts off. The goal with Proctor was to weather the storm. Tickle comes out firing with big punches – we knew that going in. Reckless abandonment. Proctor is a little slower, more poised and is a stud. We told him he had to make it through the two-and-a-half minute mark, and after that it’s your fight."
"All these matchups coming up are going to be pretty tough. So we went with a matchup that pitted two guys with different styles. Pichel is a dangerous fighter for sure. He’s got a real strong mental game – I can tell by talking to him. Cofer’s really strong, also. He’s a southpaw and he’s a wrestler, and that’s Pichel’s weakness."
"I stuck to my game plan. I knew he was going to try and wrestle and take me down. I heard my corner telling me to get away from the cage. I thought I was far enough away, but I wasn’t. I made a mistake and didn’t listen to my corner well enough, and he capitalized on it. It sucks. I was winning the fight and working hard. I’m so sorry. I put all this work and this effort coming into this fight and I failed. I’m still learning and hopefully next time I’ll get the W."
"I’m pissed off because Tickle shouldn’t have lost that fight. He was winning. He was beating the hell out of the dude. It comes down to practice. It comes down to what you do in practice is what you do in a fight. When you take that 15 seconds off in practice, you take that 15 seconds off in a fight. That 15 seconds cost him the fight.
"That’s exactly the match I was going to choose after I thought we were going to win tonight. So I’m happy with it. Pichel is an animal. Pichel listens. Pichel never quits. He never gets tired and he’s got a huge opportunity in front of him, and he’s going to seize the opportunity."
"I can't wait for next week. I’m not taking this fight lightly at all. I want to go in there and get the win. I’m looking for Team Faber to keep winning."
"I’m pumped. I’m going to beat Cofer bad. You guys might feel sorry for him after what I am going to do to him. He is going to regret taking the fight. I’m going to do what I do best – kick his ass."