Sometimes a bad situation turns out to be blessing in disguise. That’s a lesson that 23-year-old British featherweight Andy Ogle discovered during his time on The Ultimate Fighter: Live earlier this year.

Competing outside of his natural weight class, the undersized Ogle found his way to the quarterfinals of the reality show, but suffered a TKO loss to his Team Faber teammate Al Iaquinta—ending his run on the show. However, after a medical exam, it looked as if Ogle would be cleared for a fight at the season finale in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for the Brit, UFC President Dana White shot that down on the show’s final episode.

“When I went to go get the CT scan after the fight with Al, they basically said everything was okay— apart from having a really small brain and a really thick skull,” joked Ogle in an interview with The MMA Corner. “I thought I was going to be able to fight in the finale, but it was odd numbers because there were more guys on our side than theirs. I knew there was a possibility that someone wasn’t going to fight.

Ogle (Sherdog)

“When Dana said what he said, I probably looked like he had just shit in my cereal.”

Despite the unfortunate news for the Newcastle native, a coy move the night before White’s announcement turned out to pay dividends.

“I was being a little bit sneaky and went on Twitter and saw the news of the Nottingham card on Sept. 29,” admitted the fighter. “I grabbed Dana right away and said that I need this. He gave me some hope. Something was taken away, but now I have to grasp my opportunity.”

His opportunity at UFC on Fuel TV 5 will come against another veteran of the reality show, season 14 cast member Akira Corassani. Like Ogle, Corassani has yet to compete in the Octagon since appearing on the reality show. With a full camp and back at 145 pounds, Ogle believes fans will be surprised at what they see.

“I’ll look like a totally different fighter,” Ogle declared. “What a lot of people don’t know about me before the show is that my last five fights had been at 145. I wasn’t the biggest [fighter] on the show, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”

After watching his fellow castmates cut weight time and again during the 13-week stretch, Ogle gained a new level of respect for the amount of discipline displayed by his teammates. He’s also thankful that the show wasn’t at his natural weight.

“Thirteen weeks is a really long time and doing [the show] at 145 pounds might’ve killed me,” said Ogle. “I didn’t cut any weight to hit 155; I was walking around about 160. On the day of the weigh-ins, I had to keep sipping drinks to stay at 155.

“I tip my hat off to some of the larger guys that did the show; they nearly killed themselves. Nobody sees that shit on TV. People at home just think the guys get in there and fight.”

While most of Ogle’s fellow cast members were relieved to be out of the confines of the TUF house after 13 weeks of isolation, the young Brit had some bittersweet feelings about the show’s conclusion.

“There is good and bad with everything,” he said. “It was a long season. It was a tough season. But it’s also a fantastic memory that I’ll always hold. Later on, we’re going to look back and say, ‘remember when I was on the first season of TUF: Live?’ We’re going to wish we were there again”

Ogle’s feelings may come as a bit of a surprise to those that didn’t watch the show from start to finish. His colorful personality put him at the forefront for a “heel” role early on in the season, but Ogle matured as the show progressed.

Ogle celebrates (Al Powers/Zuffa, LLC)

“I’m very black or white. If I think something is stupid, I say it’s stupid,” explained Ogle. “[During the show] I learned the ability to sit on the fence. If somebody was walking by you in the kitchen and giving you a funny face, I was thinking, ‘that dude wants to have a fight, I’m going to punch him straight in the face.’ Then I would sit on the fence with it and say, ‘why is he being like that? He’s got a girlfriend back home or a little baby. Maybe he’s thinking about home.’

“That’s actually what got me through the whole house. There’s nowhere to run. There’s no point in being an asshole. You basically just had to take it. They knew where you slept,” he said with a laugh.

It wasn’t just Ogle’s personality that changed and grew on the show, but also his fight game. His submission win over decorated wrestler Mike Rio in the opening round showcased his ever-evolving skill set.

“I’m trying to change some opinions on Brits and wrestling,” said Ogle. “I know what an under hook is! I know what a whizzer is!

“The first time I heard it, I thought they said wizard. I said like, ‘Expelliarmus? Leviosa?’ But I was only joking. I knew what it was beforehand.”

Joke aside, on Sept. 29, Ogle will look to take advantage of the opportunity in front of him. If he can use what he learned during his experience on the reality show, then fans may see him sitting on an actual fence—the one surrounding the Octagon—as he celebrates his first UFC win.

Top Photo: Andy Ogle (L) battles Mike Rio (Al Powers/Zuffa, LLC)

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