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TUF Live Recap: Episode 8 ‘The Lion’s Den’

Welcome back to another episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live. This week, we’ll see Strikeforce women’s champion Ronda Rousey, a former Olympian, working with the fighters on the show.

The countdown clock is on, as Sam Sicilia of Team Dominick Cruz vs. Team Urijah Faber’s Chris Saunders is the live fight this evening.

As usual, we recap last week, which saw Vinc Pichel take down John Cofer.

That brings Rousey to the gym, as she trains with Team Cruz. Faber shows up following the session, offers some choice words for Rousey, and Cruz defends her. Cruz and Rousey exit together, and Faber heads to practice.

Rousey enters the TUF house, but it seems as if most of the fighters are too scared to get close. Faber does a little calling out on this, as expected. Rousey, for the most part, seems uncomfortable with the whole situation. I am thinking this should have been edited out, but, they hyped her being on the show instead.

Some usual show pranks, but it all just comes off as too-staged still. The season just hasn’t had the same even-keel flow as previous ones. Faber and his team strip down to their underwear and workout in the training room of Team Cruz; something I could have done without seeing.

Cruz informs Sicilia they need to “freak him out with power right off the bat.” Sicilia responds with, “If I leave him leaking in the cage, so be it.” Dolph Lundgren, eat your heart out.

Weigh-in time and both fighters hit the 155-pound mark.

Ruond one begins with Sicilia pressuring just like the plan stated. Saunders, however, with the first big blow, landing a knee. Sicilia slips after a pair of wild punches that do not connect. Sicilia seems to either be less aggressive now or have ran out of energy, as he is very slow to move. Saunders moves forward and connects with a big head kick that knocks Siclia out. However, he comes to before Herb Dean can get over there, and the fight continues. Things have picked up now, as Saunders continues to push forward but Siclia just remains in there. Sicilia is throwing haymakers, working his way to a guillotine. Sicilia finishes the round with another hard shot and we head to the second. Wow, after the past few weeks, that was an entertaining five minutes of action.

After that round, it will be interesting to see how much each man has left. Sicilia and Saunders go back to the clinch, and Cruz gets upset when Sicilia refuses to go for a takedown. Back after a little mat time and the two are throwing bombs once again. From a style-standpoint this has been a bad fight, but for entertaining purposes, this has been A-plus. Saunders scores a takedown and goes for control, but Sicilia manages to escape. Sicilia drops Saunders with another big shot, but Saunders quickly regroups and gains control again. Sicilia is stuck and Saunders is doing some nice ground-and=pound. More trading as the round comes to an end. If I had to score it, I’d say one-round each, but who knows.

The final result is no third round, as Chris Saunders earns a split decision over Sam Sicilia.

UFC president Dana White says he had Sicilia winning the fight. No fight pick, as just two guys remain, so Andy Ogle will square off with Mike Rio.

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