Friday’s live fight: John Cofer vs. Vinc Pichel
"The Ultimate Fighter LIVE" Episode 7 is set to air Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX, and Heavy.com has you covered.
Tune in for a live running recap of the episode and live coverage of the sixth of eight first-round bouts in the tournament of 16 fighters coached by UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and top contender Urijah Faber. Team Faber, after dropping its first two fights of the season, won its third straight last week when Joe Proctor beat Chris Tickle from Team Cruz. Retaining control of the fight picks, Faber went with his sixth overall pick, John Cofer, to take on Cruz's sixth pick, Vinc Pichel, in Friday night's live fight.
Episode seven is underway, as Cofer and Pichel are shown entering their respective locker rooms in preparation for this evening's live fight. The coaches and Dana White reflect on last week's contest briefly, as Cruz explains that his fighter just stopped listening. Faber, meanwhile, is excited to be getting in Cruz's head.
Cruz is now shown in the locker room after last week's fight, explaining to Tickle that he lost because he didn't listen. Cruz says they should have won that fight and that, if he listened, they would have. Tickle is frustrated with the criticism, and Cruz just tells him to stop talking. Cruz says he is "here to (expletive) win."
Faber and Cruz are then shown in the hallway, and Faber is looking for trouble. They go back and forth for a while, but Cruz seems to have the last laugh with his statement about Faber's numerous title shots that he failed to capitalize on.
Back in the locker room, Tickle comes back at Cruz, telling him that he does have heart. Cruz apologizes for being hard on Tickle, but explains that he, too, is frustrated that the fight didn't go their way.
In the van heading to the house, Team Faber bashes Cruz's post-fight tactics. That doesn't last long, however, as they all immediately turn their attention to Cofer and his upcoming fight.
Back at the house, Sam Sicilia predicts that people are going to start breaking down mentally. Andy Ogle explains that he had a bad nightmare the night before, dreaming that his girlfriend had been murdered. The nightmare seems to have affected him.
The episode moves back to the gym, as Faber and his team get ready for a training session. He explains his strategy to the team, and they get to work. Faber chooses to focus on Ogle, who he believes gets frustrated very easily. However, Faber does believe that he has tremendous heart, but just is not used to training with this type of talent.
Ogle is then shown vomiting in the bathroom. Faber checks on him, and Ogle comes out and is visibly upset. Faber gives him a moment. Ogle says that he is breaking down physically and mentally, as he breaks down in front of the camera. Faber waits just under a half an hour before talking with him, and Faber gives him the rest of the day off. It seems as though Ogle desperately needed the break in action.
Back from break, Pichel describes his childhood and the numerous fights he was involved in. He says his neighborhood was bad and got arrested numerous times in his youth. He describes his family as a "tough love family," and was thrilled with his mother's reaction to his involvement in mixed martial arts.
In the cage, Pichel is shown grappling with Cruz, who is giving pointers. Cruz explains that Pichel needs to avoid the ground game and that he could pick up the win if he stays on his feet. Pichel says he is looking for the knockout and ready to introduce himself to the world.
Sicilia is then shown sparring and he is struggling mightily. Cruz pulls him aside after practice, trying to figure out if there is a problem or not. Sicilia says he has pressure because he was the number two pick. Cruz tells him not to worry about that and instead focus on getting better during his time in the house. Sicilia says he is thrilled that Cruz spoke with him.
A few members of Team Faber are shown back at the house expressing frustration that Mike Chiesa is so close with Sicilia. Ogle says he trusts his teammate, but knows he could get stabbed in the back due to Chiesa's emotional investment in his friendship with Sicilia.
The episode moves to Wednesday of this week, and Cofer explains his background in wrestling heading into this contest. Faber explains what his opponent is going to attempt to do against him in order to counter wrestling. Faber says that Cofer is a solid fighter who is well-rounded. Faber then explains what Cofer needs to do to win, which basically can be boiled down to taking the fight to the ground and looking for a submission or ground and pound.
Meanwhile, Ogle pulls Chiesa aside to discuss his friendship with Sicilia. Ogle questions why he is thinking about this, as he is making a huge deal out of it. Chiesa says that he is not going to betray his team, and Ogle realizes that he is being a bit ridiculous with his speculation.
At the weigh-ins, Pichel hits the scales at 154 lbs., while Cofer lands at the 156 lb. mark. Cofer says he plans to finish the fight, while Pichel says that he does not anticipate his opponent looking to fight a stand up contest.
Dana White is then shown addressing the guys, telling them to remember why they are here. White cites Rashad Evans as the example for how enormous "The Ultimate Fighter" is in terms of potential benefits. In proper White fashion, his speech is laced with profanity, but we wouldn't have it any other way. The guys seem to truly appreciate the pep talk, which could very well have been exactly what guys like Ogle and others getting antsy in the house needed to refocus.
In the locker room, Cruz and Faber are shown separately addressing their fighters. Cofer is getting all taped up, and Jon Anik is in the center of the cage, ready to get the live fight underway here in a minute.
Anik breaks down the "Rules of the Octagon" beautifully, as always, and the fighters head out to the cage. Pichel is the first to walk out, while Cofer comes out just moments later. Here we go.
John Cofer vs. Vinc Pichel
Round 1: Touch of gloves to start this contest, and Pichel throws the first strike, but misses. He thinks kick, but decides against it. Cofer lands a nice kick to the body and clinches. They separate, and Cofer continues to put on pressure. Head kick from Pichel is blocked. Cruz yells to his fighter to fire, and Pichel almost immediately lands a nice straight right. He misses with a head kick. Faber shouts instructions to Cofer, telling him to "stay on him." Nice uppercut from Pichel lands, but Cofer comes back. The latter is holding his own on the feet. Two minutes down in round one. Pichel comes forward with a combination, but misses, as Cofer comes back with a knee during a brief clinch. Pichel lands again, but Cofer evades any further damage. Close round so far, but Pichel has the edge. Nice shots from Cofer. Pichel comes up short on a straight right. Cofer's head kick is blocked, but he lands flush with a straight left and a second head kick. He looks takedown and has Pichel up against the cage. Pichel avoids it. One minute left in the round. Knee comes up short for Pichel. Cofer looks for another takedown, but once again Pichel avoids it. Pichel throws a kick to the body, and Cofer catches it. Pichel with a vicious combination at the end of the round. He likely did enough to earn the judges' nods. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Pichel.
Round 2: The pair throwing heavy at the start of the round. Cofer lands a left that floors Pichel for a moment. He recovers. Pichel comes back with a vicious shot of his own, followed by a flying knee. Pichel seems to have Cofer in trouble, but the latter recovers. Intense first 30 seconds. Cofer lunges forward with a combination, only to eat a few punches, courtesy of Pichel. Hook lands for Cofer, but nothing follows. Cofer again moves forward, eating another hook in the process. He looks takedown. Pichel avoids, but, in the process, gives up his back. They are standing against the cage, and Pichel is taking knees to the leg, while throwing elbows. The former strike is doing much more damage. They separate, and Pichel lands, before looking for a takedown of his own. He tries to pull Cofer off the cage and onto the mat, but Cofer counters nicely. Pichel still looking for the takedown. He lifts Cofer up and slams him to the mat, though hardly in a violent manner. Cofer rolls for an arm and almost has it, but Pichel slips out. Cofer ties his legs behind Pichel's back, trapping an arm in the process. Pichel pushes the legs aside and finds himself in a reverse mount. Basically, he is in a very high north-south position. 30 seconds left in the round, and Pichel is pounding Cofer's body. Cofer is helpless in this position, and the round comes to a close with a few more strong punches to the body. Faber sits Cofer down, preparing for a third round, but Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Pichel, meaning no third round would be necessary. Let's see what Dana White has to say when he reads the judges' scorecards.
Round 3: We have a third round, and the two fighters come out with a sense of urgency. Pichel almost immediately takes the fight to the ground after the flurries from either fighter. He moves to side control and appears to be looking for an arm triangle. He has it. Cofer is forced to tap to the choke. Pichel wasted no time getting to work in the final round, earning the submission win.
Official Decision: Pichel def. Cofer via submission (arm triangle choke) at 0:44 of Round 3
Anik interviews the winner just after the fight, and Pichel is happy with his takedown defense and gives a shout-out to his coaches on the reality show and his coaches back home.
Meanwhile, Cofer expresses his frustration, but is a good sport about it. He says that Pichel caught him on the feet to earn the last takedown, but gives Pichel his due in earning the big victory.
Anik heads out of the cage and speaks with Dana White. White says he loves guys who fight like they want it and was extremely impressed with both fighters. White says he loves guys that fight like Pichel and Cofer.
Onto the pick for next week, Cruz selects Sam Sicilia to take on Chris Saunders. The latter has the "Junie Browning hand grenade" tattoo. We'll see how that works out next week.
Thanks for joining HeavyMMA.com for the latest installment of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live." We'll see you next week for episode eight.