Welcome everyone, to the official MMASucka TUF report. Team Faber is back in it, so we’ll have to see how Team Cruz responds.
It’s time to go to Higher Ground with this weekend’s Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the Red Hot Chili Peppers! Don’t get me started on how disappointed I am that Axl Rose is no-showing the ceremony.
We start with Michael Cheisa dedicating his victory to his deceased father. It’s always nice to see the human side.
We transition to Dominick Cruz telling his fighter Chris Tickle to keep his mouth shut and focus. Tickle responds by telling Cruz to “push him”. “Good advice, Tickle” is Cruz’s response.
Tickle is telling his opponent how great of shape he’s in while eating. That’s something. Tickle’s team seem unconvinced of his commitment, and hope he can bear down and actually listen to Cruz and his coaches.
Mike Rio is struggling with his knee. Justin Lawrence seems unconvinced of the sincerity of it. Oh, to have the certainty of life that the 21 year old Justin does again.
Cruz is trying to talk up Tickle now, and saying all the right things in his sit-down segments about supporting him. It doesn’t seem to have the usual Cruz confidence though.
Now we have Rio and Lawrence sparring together. Lawrence is accused of going too hard, and they end up jawing. Lawrence walks away fuming, to the delight of Cruz, which to him means that he’s “doing his job”. Cruz wants to make sure a young’in like Lawrence can survive deep water.
The focus shifts to Joe Proctor, who in his Boston accent talks about reconnecting with his alcoholic father. Proctor considers himself a BJJ guy, but loves to bang.
Faber touts Proctor’s technical nature as the key to beating Tickle. Faber’s training with Proctor seems to focus on evading Tickle’s brawling style. Proctor’s Boston accent is the key to winning this fight in my opinion.
Tickle decides to prank Team Faber by doing the old water-drop on the front door trick. It nails Proctor, of course. Team Faber acknowledges that it’s an oldie but a goodie.
Jon Anik makes sure we know that Vitor Belfort is in attendance for tonight’s fight.
Tickle has decided that since it’s easter, he’s cooking turkey. Justin Lawrence laments the loss of his annual easter basket. Team Faber is seriously in to the homemade slip n’ slide scene.
Tickle credits MMA for saving his life from drinking and a racist community. He claims he learned jiu-jitsu from watching youtube. He accuses the rest of the house of being guys that live with their parents and that don’t know about sacrifice. He seems to want to paint himself as the good guy but really doesn’t realize how unlikeable he comes across.
Cruz admits he has no idea if Tickle’s mentally in the state to pull off the win. Cruz realizes that stopping Proctor’s takedowns will be a key. He’s working with Tickle on his sprawl n’ brawl to be as explosive and efficient as possible.
At the weigh-ins, Cruz tries to rile Faber. Faber plays it cool and plays sarcastic about how intimidating Cruz is. Everyone’s on weight and it’s ready to go. Tickle gets in a good line about his own bad breath as they’re nose to nose for the staredown.
Faber and Cruz give each other more jive before Jon Anik takes us back to the LIVE locker rooms for the coaches and their pre-fight advice. Faber wants Proctor to keep it on the ground where Tickle is weakest.
For anyone who still isn’t sure, we are explained the rules of the octagon. I am sad that Dana will never again explain to me how sudden victory works.
Herb Dean signals the beginning of our fight tonight. After the obligatory feeling out, Tickle connects with a leg kick. Tickle charges but finds nothing. Proctor lands a combination and goes to the clinch where Tickle spins him. Tickle lands as they break away. Tickle putting a lot behind everything he throws. Cruz says relax. Tickle lands again. Proctor clinches again and gets spun again. Proctor may be trying to let Tickle wear himself out. Proctor with a takedown right into a rear naked choke. Tickle tries to bounce up but gets pulled down again. Tickle taps and we’re out.
Proctor dedicates the victory to his father on his birthday. Faber’s genuinely excited. The official time is 4:42 in round one.
Proctor sounds wicked Bawston and drops an F-bomb in the post-fight interview, I would expect nothing less.
Anik interviews Dana, who thought Tickle was winning the fight until the takedown. Faber announces the next fight as as his own southern boy John Cofer against Cruz’s Italian product Vince Pacel. We have our obligatory staredown and will wait in suspense until next time!