The quarterfinalists were locked in during the ninth episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live, one coach banked $20,000 during the coaches’ challenge and next week’s bouts were revealed.
Team Faber celebrated their tiebreaking win from last week’s episode while Team Cruz was determined to get the competition back to even heading into the quarterfinals.
Team Faber’ Andy Ogle and Team Cruz’ Mike Rio fought to determine the final slot in the quarterfinals but not before the opposing coaches went head-to-head in a coaches challenge that resembled an episode of the History Channel’s “Top Shot.”
The coaches’ challenge was sponsored by the United States Marines and consisted of an obstacle course with various shooting stations. It was a challenge of marksmanship.
Cruz took an early lead and seemed to be in control, but Faber closed the gap when Cruz had difficulty hitting his second target with an automatic weapon. Faber surpassed him and never looked back, bagging the cash for himself and $1,500 for his team members.
Ogle and Rio prepared for their showdown. Ogle wanted to keep the fight standing and use his striking to secure a victory. Rio’s game plan was to draw on his wrestling experience and get the fight to the ground and finish from there.
At the weigh-ins, Ogle tipped the scales at 156 pounds while Rio weighed in at 155.
Ogle circled on the outside landing punches in the early going. He made Rio chase him. Rio got a takedown at the midway mark but was unable to keep the Brit on the canvas. Ogle quickly worked his way back to his feet and back to where he wanted the fight to take place.
Rio was able to get the fight to the ground and take Ogle’s back in the second round, but Ogle turned into him, obtaining top position. From there, Ogle passed his guard and took his back. After flattening Rio out and softened him up with punches, Ogle locked on a rear naked choke that forced Rio to tap out.
Ogle worked his game plan perfectly.
“I knew that if I could stop Mike from taking me down that I’d be a happy man and the fight could be mine. But this MMA, anything can happen,” said Ogle after the win. “I really like Mike. Mike’s the nicest guy on their team. It was a pleasure to beat him and if I was going to lose, it was going to great to lose to somebody that I really respect.”
“You can be 99 percent perfect, but at this level it takes just one mistake to lose a fight. I went in for it. I felt like I needed to do something to win the round. Andy was winning with his striking so I tried to force the takedown,” said Rio following the loss.
The season now shifts into the quarterfinals, with four of the final eight fighters squaring-off on May 11th for a spot in the semis. UFC President Dana White announced the match-ups at the end of the episode: James Vick vs. Joe Proctor and Justin Lawrence vs. Michael Chiesa.