In first live fight of TUF 15, I was not expecting James Vick to win against well-rounded Daron Cruickshank, but Vick timed a perfect knee as Cruickshank shot in for a takedown. Tall fighters have the advantage with their long knee strikes. Cruickshank dropped to the mat, earning a KO for Vick.
It was a sweet KO confirmed by @JamesVickMMA on Twitter, "OK, that was the best knockout I've ever had in my career! Thanks to everyone who has helped me get to this point, I love you all so much!"
Dominick Cruz chose James Vick to join his team before choosing Chris Tickle who finished his opponent with a 24 second knockout to earn his place in the TUF house. Tickle wanted to be on Urijah's team, but Urijah gambled with his selections and lost Tickle to Cruz's team.
Cruz: "I knew Faber would wait to pick him because he thought I wouldn't pick him…I think I threw a wrench in Faber's plan."
Tickle: "I definitely think I'm one of the top four or top five top guys here. Getting picked 13th, I was very [expletive] off. I did not expect that."
When Urijah said, "Sorry, Tickle", Tickle responded, "It's your loss, brother."
Tickle may have felt upset about being chosen so late, but he has to feel more respect for his teammate, James Vick, for scoring an unexpected, season highlight knockout. No matter where you think you fit on the who's-better-than-who list, there's always something new to learn from your training partners—even from the people lower on the list.
Cruz said he chose Vick because Vick's body type is similar to his. Cruz wants to "…teach him how to use his body to defend takedowns…He'll be tough to deal with."
Timing is everything. Being able to capitalize on a mistake is what won Vick that first match, placing him in the quarterfinals.
Poetry in motion
Next week, BJJ black belt, Cristiano Marcello, faces Justin Lawrence. Lawrence was coach Cruz's first pick. Marcello was coach Faber's second pick. Al Iaquinta from Matt Serra's camp in New York was Urijah's first pick.
Cruz said he chose Justin Lawrence because "…he has a lot of athletic qualities—speed, power and movement. He was in the moment, in the zone and he's young."
Lawrence said, "Being the first choice put me on the map. I've been training ever since I can remember for this opportunity. It's not going to go through my fingers."
Coach Faber said that he wanted Marcello "… because he's an accomplished BJJ guy and he's super tough. He comes from the team of Wanderlei Silva—the Chute Box Academy, that's where Anderson Silva was originally."
This high-level match will be fun to watch. There's no obvious winner in this fight. As it was with Vick vs Cruickshank, the first to capitalize on a mistake wins.
On a sad note
Michael Chiesa ?received news that his dad passed away. He left the house to attend the funeral and then returned with his family's blessing and support to continue his journey in the TUF house.
@MikeMav22 Cheisa tweeted fans, "Thanks every1 for the support in my Dad's passing, much luv. Proud to be on Team Faber, hats off to Vick and Team Cruz. @InsideTUF #TUFlive"
The Team Rosters
Direct from UFC
Justin Lawrence - schedued to fight Cristiano Marcello in episode 2
James Vick - (1-0) won via KO over Daron Cruickshank in episode 1
Daron Cruickshank - (0-1) lost to James Vick in episode 1
Cristiano Marcello - scheduled to fight Justin Lawrence in episode 2
Source: Twitter, TUF 15 episode 2, Friday night on FX at 10 pm EST.
More from this contributor:
Cheryl Ragsdale started out boxing and has added kicks and BJJ so she can practice MMA. She trains with Keith Florian and UFC Fighter Kenny Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny
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