• TUF Live

Pichel edges war to regain control for questioned Cruz

ESPN staff
April 21, 2012
Vinc Pichel pummels John Cofer © Getty Images

Vinc Pichel tossed his gameplan to one side in order to claim victory in the best fight of the series to date in Friday's TUF Live battle with John Cofer.

Pichel reclaimed control of the fight pick for Dominick Cruz, whose coaching battle with Urijah Faber is now level at 3-3. Victory came via arm triangle, but it only arrived 44 seconds into round three of an excellent fight.

Cofer was instructed to take Pichel to the mat, with Faber saying Pichel had questionable defence. A 100 per cent takedown defence success rate proved Faber very wrong.

However, Pichel also could not make his gameplan work, with Cofer reacting well to his opponent's attempts to pick him off in the stand-up. Cofer, despite standing for five minutes, actually took the first round and stayed level for most of the second.

It was at that point Pichel threw caution to the wind, letting his hands go and getting his own takedown to force the fight into a third. There he flew out of the blocks, landing a flurry of heavy blows before the battle hit the mat once more. Cofer looked for the guillotine but only succeded in giving an opening for the arm triangle to Pichel, which he took to complete a memorable victory.

"When your game plan fails, you go for broke and that's what I did," said Pichel after the fight.

"It's a tough pill to swallow when you lose... It's just kind of upsetting," Cofer reflected.

Cruz had started the week by having his coaching methods questioned following the loss of Chris Tickle to Joe Proctor. Cruz decided it was time for Tickle to hear some home truths, but Faber stepped in to defend Tickle when Cruz accused him of fighting without heart.

Faber had his own problems though as England's Andy Ogle began to suffer mentally and physically, forcing him to stop training in order to be sick.

Next week's fight pick saw Cruz pair Sam Sicilia with Chris Saunders.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.