After Team Faber evened things up at two wins a piece last week, the title challenger selected Joe Proctor from his team to take on one of the most colorful characters in the house, Chris Tickle.

“I have 100 percent confidence in Proctor; he has the better technique,” Faber quipped about his fighter.

Coach Cruz weighed in on Proctor as well, “He’s enormous for 155 pounds. He obviously has a size advantage over Tickle, but it won’t matter.”

The bantamweight champion expressed his frustration with the back-to-back losses, “We were up 2-0 in this competition. But the bottom line is that losing sucks.”

Cruz was visibly angered with Tickle, who showed up to last week’s fight drunk. He instructed Tickle to keep his mouth shut for the entire week leading up to the fight, but later recanted his instruction, proclaiming that he needed to be himself.

Teammates Mike Rio and Justin Lawrence pushed one another hard during a Team Cruz training session. “He’s very intense,” Rio explained. “He’s got a naturally cocky personality. That’s how I was at 21 (years old) too, young and dumb.”

The conflict actually excited Cruz, who was happy to see his fighters pushing each other.

Team Faber’s focus was solely on preparing Proctor for the fight.

“I feel great about fighting Tickle,” the Massachusetts-based fighter stated. “He’s tough, but I’ve got great boxing and I think I’ll out class him. This is my one shot, and I won’t let anybody stand in my way.”

Coach Faber described Proctor as a dog with no bark. “He’s one of our most technical fighters. He’s our dark horse; steady as it goes.”

Tickle talked about his troubled past growing up in a racist community, being in jail, and teaching himself the fight. “I’ve never had a coach in my career. I learned by watching YouTube. I’m here grinding for my family. I want my kids to grow up knowing their dad did something great in his life.”

In typical Tickle fashion, he stepped onto the scale that weigh-ins eating a slice of pizza. However, he easily made weight.

“I’m very confident going into this fight,” Tickle declared. “I’m on a five-fight winning streak and I haven’t lost in three years. I’m going to whoop Joe Proctor’s ass.”

Proctor kept it simple, “I’m here to fight, here to win, and here to stay.”

Joe Proctor vs. Chris Tickle

The lightweights started out by feeling one another out on the feet. They exchanged jabs and inside leg kicks, but Proctor looked to clinch along the fence. Tickle reversed the position and separated. A right hand from Proctor backed up Tickle temporarily, but Tickle answered with a left hand of his own. As the round progressed, Tickle found a rhythm and got the better of the striking. However, in the final minute of the round Proctor scored with a takedown and quickly took Tickle’s back. Once in the advantageous position, Proctor locked in the rear-naked choke and Tickle was forced to tap.

“Tickle’s tough,” a victorious Proctor proclaimed. “He hits like a truck, but I’m a jiu-jitsu guy and I did my job here.”

A dejected Tickle was humble in defeat and expressed that his opponent was “tough as hell.”

UFC President Dana White gave his thoughts on the bout, “Tickle was picking him apart, but as soon as Proctor got that takedown, he submitted him easily.”

Official Result: Joe Proctor def. Chris Tickle by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:42

With the win, Team Faber again retained control of the fight selection process. Faber selected John Cofer from his team to face Team Cruz’s Vinc Pichel on next week’s episode.

Photo: Joe Proctor (Facebook)

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  • PONTIAC CITIZEN

    As a citizen of Pontiac where Tickle grew up, i support him in his dreams. I have met him several times and have founf him personable. That said, while there may be racist PEOPLE in Pontiac, just as there are everywhere else, it is NOT a racist COMMUNITY! Saying that is simply trying to push the severity of you mistakes on someone else. You made the trouble you were in and we punished respectively. Many citizens of Pontiac are upset and angered by your comment, Tickle. We still support you and cheer for you, as you are one of our own, but disappointment in your words is seeping through tonight. Good luck Chris Tickle, may your community forgive you for trying to use it in a negative light to gain followers.

    • PONTIAC CITIZEN

      That should say WERE punished respectively not WE