The Ultimate Fighter Live episode 7 – ‘Weather the Storm’ – aired Friday evening and saw Team Cruz snap a three fight losing streak to clinch their third win and even the score at three-all, as Simi Valley’s Vinc Pichel defeated Athens, Georgia native John Cofer.
‘From Hell Pichel’ blazed into the sudden victory round, submitting the southern gentleman after 44 seconds with an arm triangle. He now moves into the quarterfinals along with previous winners: James Vick, Justin Lawrence, Al Iaquinta, Michael Chiesa and Joe Proctor.
With the win, Team Cruz selected the next fight, which will pit Sam Sicilia against Chris Saunders on Episode 8, Friday, April 27 at 10p.m. ET / PT on FX.
Here’s what everyone had to say about the evening’s live fight:
UFC President Dana White:
“The fight that happened tonight showed me that both of these guys want to be here and they want it bad. Those guys never stopped battling, it was an absolute war and that is what I love to see! The judgescalled it right tonight. I gave the first round to Cofer and the second round to Pichel. It needed the sudden victory round and these guys didn’t disappoint. I’m so happy with both guys’ performance.”
“I feel like I am on top of Mount Everest right now, sucking in beautiful air. Honestly I feel so much better about that type of win, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be an easy one-sided battle. I feel like a have a bigger sense of accomplishment winning the way I did. I got hit in that fight more than I have in my whole pro career – and I didn’t like it. Now I need to rest-up, heal, and then when it comes time to fight, I’ll be there, I’ll be ready.”
Pichel’s Coach Dominick Cruz:
“I’m really proud of Pichel. He listened flawlessly. He dug deep and came out on top. He showed how bad he wants this competition in that fight. That’s the type of fight that will prepare him for his bright future in the UFC.
“I chose Sicilia/Saunders because I believe Sicilia’s wrestling and pace can give Saunders a lot of trouble. The importance of this fight is letting Sam fight like Sam.”
“Hats off to Vinc Pichel. Hell of a fighter. Sorry I couldn’t come through. I just gotta keep working. This experience is only making me stronger. I’m down but not out. Thanks to all of those that support.”
Cofer’s Coach Urijah Faber:
“I was inspired after that fight. I feel like the big difference was just a mental decision that Pichel made. He brought the intensity to the next level. You can’t teach that. I’m proud of Cofer. He has a great future in the sport.”
“[Sicilia vs Saunders] was the fight we were going to pick. Saunders has potential to beat anybody, we just need to get his head in theright spot and make sure he has his A-game ready.”
Next week’s fighter Sam Sicilia:
“I feel awesome. I’ve been waiting for this. I’m ready to perform. I’ve taken a lot of steps since I’ve been here and now I’m ready to put it on display against a very tough opponent. As always, I’ll fight faithful and fearless. I can’t promise a victory but I can promise a brutal fight.”
Next week’s fighter Chris Saunders:
“I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I’m geared and ready to go. I feel strong and healthy. I would like to thank God because without him none of this would be possible. Now I feel like it’s truly my time and I’m excited for this.”