James Vick and Michael Chiesa Advance to TUF Live Semis
By FCF Staff
James Vick from Team Cruz and Team Faber’s Michael Chiesa scored wins in their TUF Live quarterfinal bouts last night to advance to the competition’s semifinals.
Vick secured his semifinal appearance by scoring a unanimous decision win over Joe Proctor, while Chiesa advanced by stopping Justin Lawrence at 1:02 of the sudden victory round.
After the bouts, UFC President Dana White announced the match-ups for next Friday’s quarterfinal fights, which will see Vinc Pichel (#6 Cruz) take on Chris Saunders (#8 Faber) and Andy Ogle (#7 Faber) battle Al Iaquinta (#1 Faber).
Here is some of what the TUF Live participants had to say, in a press release from the promotion, about last night’s fights and next week’s match-ups.
UFC President Dana White:
“I expected a lot more from Lawrence and I underestimated Chiesa. It wasn’t that Chiesa’s more talented or outworked Lawrence, it was the size of his heart. Lawrence defended the takedowns for a while and did a good job but then Chiesa finally got him down. There was no doubt and no denyingthat if Lawrence kept it on his feet he would have won. Lawrence basically gave up tonight. When you go to that sudden victory round you see who wants thisfight and who wants to continue in this competition – who really wants it! Chiesa went out there and took it.
“And Vick did a good job of fighting his fight tonight. He stayed outside, used his range and used his punches. What Proctor needed to do was get him to the ground to win that fight. He never gave himself a chance to win. He didn’t really start fighting until the last 30 seconds of the last round. I had Vick winning both rounds. There’s no doubt James Vick was an underdog in this thing when he first set foot in the gym – but now no-one seems to be able to stop him.”
“First off let me say that Justin truly lives up to the hype. He’s the toughest person I’ve ever fought. I’m glad I was able to get the victory. I had to dig deep down to win that fight. Sometimes I think the heart is a lot stronger then we give it credit for.”
“Sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield. Tonight, I was the bug. It’s unfortunate, but I’m going to go back to training hard and hopefully the UFC will be in touch soon.”
Team Faber Coach – Urijah Faber:
“To be honest, that wasn’t exactly how I thought the night would go but I’m proud of both my guys, and both the guys on the other team too. They put on great fights tonight. This sport is all about who wants itmore and implementing your offense. Tonight I felt like Chiesa won through shear will power, and Proctor lost because he wasn’t able to put his offense first. Congrats to Vick and hope Justine Lawrence keeps his head up. He’s a young kid with a lot of talent.”
“That was the biggest fight of my life and I’m happy that I could come out on top. Joe’s a very tough guy. I was surprised he stood up to those punches and I wish him the best. As for me, I’m now one step closer to achieving my dream.”
“I learned a lot about myself tonight. Mike Chiesa has a huge heart and is a hell of a fighter and my hat goes off to him. My adrenaline wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but that’s no excuse. I still think I’m the best fighter here and I’m not going to quit until I get to the UFC. I think I deserve to be there.”
Team Cruz Coach – Dominick Cruz:
“It’s pretty awesome to watch Vick stick to game plan, stay composed. He fought an outstanding fight, he even got a takedown but most importantly, Vick made Proctor fight his fight. Lawrence learned an important lesson tonight about why game plans are built and it’s to force your opponent to fight your fight. He didn’t do that tonight, he fought Chiesa’s fight on the ground and lost by fighting in the area that Chiesa had the best chance to win. In my opinion, if that fight, stayed standing like we game-planned, Justin wins three rounds to none.”