We are back for another edition of The Ultimate Fighter: Live, as Myles Jury from Team Cruz will take on Al Iaquinta of Team Faber. This is another match up of top picks, as UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz selected Jury third, while Iaquinta was the first overall pick for Urijah Faber.
So far, Team Cruz leads 2-0 after two fights, with Justin Lawrence and James Vick picking up wins over the past two weeks.
We recap Lawrence’s victory over Cristiano Marcello from a week ago, with Lawrence talking about his drive to win the lightweight title. On the other end we see Marcello, disappointed in defeat. Faber does his best to provide his team a spark with a speech, trying to get the energy back in his team.
Cruz is working his team through a tough session, and Jury hits teammate Mike Rio so hard that Rio falls and twists his knee. Rio says he’ll be able to fight through the pain when it comes to fight time.
Iaquinta reveals that he was set to compete on season 12 of TUF, but broke his hand just two weeks before. He’s also a student of former UFC champion Matt Serra.
Faber takes the approach of bringing in a life coach to talk to the team, which doesn’t sit well with everyone, specifically Chris Tickle. Rio continues to say he’ll push past the knee injury, but he doesn’t look ready to do much of anything during training. Jury informs him that a knee injury took him out of season 13 of TUF.
It is finally time for action, and Iaquinta seems to be the aggressive fighter early on, but Jury takes the first exchange. Iaquinta now using his power to push Jury around, as Jury goes for leg kicks. Iaquinta tries to work a crucifix, but Jury gets out and takes control. Another takedown for Jury, but they both get back to their feet as the round comes to an end.
Both Jury and Iaquinta make weight, with Jury tipping the scales at 154 pounds, while Iaquinta comes in at 155. Jury says he is excited for the opportunity to face the top pick from Team Faber, while Iaquinta just wants to have fun.
The second starts with a low blow, but not much in terms of stoppage time needed. Iaquinta remains the more aggressive fighter, as Jury seems to be unsure of what to throw next. Jury, however, connects as Iaquinta comes in, but is unable to follow up with a flying knee as Iaquinta lands a right to Jury’s chin. Jury looks tired, as Iaquinta remains strong. It’s Jury, however, that gets a takedown late, and feels like he won the fight.
Instead, we are treated to the first sudden-victory round, as the judges rule the fight a draw. Jury and Iaquinta will take it to a third. An extended break for the fighters, which should only benefit Jury as he appeared to be the more tired fighter of the two.
Not much action in this third and final round, as both men appear to be worried about making a mistake. That, or they are both exhausted and did not think it would go to a third. Iaquinta pushed the pace early on, but was unable to maintain it through the entire five minutes. The final 10 seconds brings the most excitement, as the two trade shots and this one heads to the scorecards yet again.
Al Iaquinta earns a split decision victory over Myles Jury to advance.
For next week, Michael Chiesa of Team Faber will take on Jeremy Larsen from Team Cruz.