In the final episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live before the quarterfinal round, Team Cruz’s Mike Rio locked horns with Team Faber’s Andy Ogle. The match-up was determined by default, but Team Faber held a 4-3 advantage leading into the bout.

Faber’s team celebrated Chris Saunders’ upset win over Sam Sicilia last week. However, UFC President Dana White reiterated that he felt the fight should have gone to a third round. Sicilia was visibly upset with the loss, but vowed that he’d be back.

For this season’s coaches’ challenge, Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz were faced with a marksmanship course put together by the United States Marines. Cruz led early, but Faber made up ground and took the competition. As Team Faber again celebrated, Coach Cruz showed frustration in defeat.

As the focus shifted to Team Faber’s training, Ogle joked, “It’s going to be a sexy fight. We’re both attractive guys with great haircuts.”

Coach Faber admitted that Ogle’s biggest weakness is his wrestling and knows that Rio’s game plan will be to put it on the ground.

“No other thrill can compare to getting in the cage,” said Ogle. “For fifteen minutes, it’s all eyes on me.”

The Team Cruz training session showcased Rio’s wrestling work, which the Floridian has been doing since he was a youth. “I was too into wrestling,” declared Rio. “I never did drugs or anything, I was always training.”

“Rio’s big for this weight class and has great wrestling,” Cruz explained. Although Rio suffered a knee injury during training earlier in the season, Cruz stated that he thinks the five weeks between fights has allowed Rio to heal.

Rio recalled fighting Ogle’s UK counter part Ali Maclean to get into the house, “Apparently I’m the UK-hunter.”

Prior to the fight, the coaches were brought in to discuss the quarterfinal match-ups with Dana White. Despite the rivalry between one another, Cruz and Faber were able to agree on a few on the fights.

In the final lead-in to this week’s bout, an emotionally Ogle proclaimed, “I just want the UFC so bad. He’s going to have to kill me to beat me. I want this to be my life.”

“I have a message for Andy Ogle, let’s give everyone fight of the night,” Rio quipped. “Mike Rio in the cage is an animal. There’s no turning me off.”

Mike Rio vs. Andy Ogle

In the opening two minutes of the fight, Rio pressed forward, but Ogle got the better of the striking exchanges. Rio scored a big double-leg takedown at the midway point of the round, but Ogle used the cage to get back to his feet. The pair exchanged single strikes for the majority of the round until Rio again secured a takedown as the frame came to a close.

Ogle opened the second frame more aggressively, but Rio quickly turned the tide and the fighters clinched along the fence. Blood began to pour from Ogle’s nose as the round progressed. Rio used a single-leg takedown to bring the fight to the mat along the fence. The American battered the Brit from the top position before taking his back. Rio locked in a body triangle briefly, but Ogle was able to spin into Rio’s guard. Ogle passed to side control and took Rio’s back with a minute remaining in the fight. Ogle locked in a rear-naked choke and forced Rio to tap.

“I thought I could win if I could keep the fight on the feet, but Mike was great standing,” Ogle stated in his post-fight interview.

“He was beating me to the punch and gassed me out,” Rio said in defeat.

Official Result: Andy Ogle def. Mike Rio by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:19

Following the bout, the first two quarterfinal fights were announced. Team Cruz’s James Vick will take on Team Faber’s Joe Proctor, while Team Cruz’s Justin Lawrence will meet Mike Chiesa from Team Faber. Those two will take place next week on May 11, while the final two will take place the following week on May 18.

Photo: Andy Ogle (top) (martialnews.co.uk)

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