TUF Live: Episode 5 Recap – Michael Chiesa vs Jeremy Larsen
Friday marked the first fight for Chiesa following the tragic loss of his father earlier this season. His quest of honoring his father’s dream and becoming the next Ultimate Fighter continues as he moves into the quarterfinals along with previous winners: James Vick, Justin Lawrence and Al Iaquinta.
With the win, Team Faber selected the next fight, which will pit Joe Proctor against Chris Tickle on Episode 6, Friday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET / PT on FX.
Here’s what everyone had to say about the evening’s live fight:
UFC President Dana White:
“Interesting fight tonight. Obviously the reason this fight was picked was that Chiesa was a better wrestler than Larsen and it showed in the first round. Chiesa was controlling him. But what I saw in this fight today was that Chiesa has some real big adjustments to make. He was a 4-1 favorite in this fight and he didn’t look like a favorite tonight.
“Chiesa lost his dad while he was here and I know the win meant a lot to him. This competition is tough mentally, physically and emotionally without having to deal with anything else like that. He has to focus and train hard over the next few though, give it everything he’s got, so he can move on and win this for his dad.”
“This is dedicated to my mom, Teresa Chiesa. It definitely wasn’t my best performance but I know what things I need to change and do better. Most importantly, I need to manage my weight better and be more confident in all my skills. I promise I’ll be putting someone to sleep next time.”
Chiesa’s Coach Urijah Faber:
“I feel good. We knew there was going to be a mis-match with the wrestling in that fight and Chiesa came through with a smart tactile win. It was a little scary with the illegal knee but Chiesa got the job done. Looking forward to really improving on his stand-up in the next month. He has a ton of potential. Kind of weird that Larsen was so angry at me after the fight. He seems like an emotional guy. Not sure how that will work out in the future for him.
“Looking forward to this next week. Proctor is as solid as they get. It’s going to be a dangerous fight but we should definitely get the win.”
“Tough guys don’t win fights. I felt like it should have went to the third and could have let the fighters decide instead of the judges. Sorry about the boring fight, it wasn’t boring on my end. I was trying to make it a fight not a wrestling match. Hopefully I get another shot to live my dream. Hopefully this isn’t it.”
Larsen’s Coach Dominick Cruz:
“Larsen and went out and stuck to the game plan and listened well. We lost the takedown war, which is the type of fight we prepared him for. It was about execution and Chiesa followed through a little better tonight.
“It’s a good fight. Tickle-Proctor is a good match-up. Tickle has got a lot of power in his hands, under-rated submissions and great takedown defense and I’m looking forward to watching and preparing him for a fun and competitive fight.”
Next week’s fighter Joe Proctor:
“I’m very excited. I’m ready. I think it’s a great match-up. I think my boxing is way better, my jiu-jitsu is way better. Tickle hits hard but so does every other fighter and I’m here to get my job done and move on into the quarterfinals. I’ve learned a lot from Faber over the last couple of weeks. They’ve prepared me very well for this fight and I’m ready.”
Next week’s fighter Chris Tickle:
“I knew that that was the match-up they would make and I feel very confident in the match-up and will be victorious. For the last four weeks, Dom and the staff busted our ass to get us in shape and I feel 100% confident in my coaches and my cardio for this fight. I’m ready to bang and get a W. I’m 100% healthy and injury free and can’t wait for next week.”
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Photo credits: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC