TUF 15 episode 9: Andy Ogle v. Mike Rio
This week’s episode of TUF 15 features Team Faber’s Andy Ogle (8-1) vs. Team Cruz’s Mike Rio (8-1), as well as Dana’s pet, the coach’s challenge. In the first few seasons the coach’s challenge was a bigger deal than it is now, but they do add oomph to the battle between the coaches.
This season, the challenge involves US Marines, an obstacle course, and marksmanship. At stake thanks to TapouT's $10,000 contribution: $20,000 for the winning coach; $1,000 for each team member of the winning coach. TapouT has been supporting MMA and fighters since they’ve been able, and are a stellar example of a corporate citizen. The company began selling shirts at UFC events when the UFC was a pariah. Now, TapouT and the UFC are walking arm-in-arm into the sunset.
A rope climb, tire flip, dummy carry, and ammo carry, interspersed with targets hit with an 9mm, M16, fully automatic SAW, and grenade launcher comprises the task. Dominick Cruz springs ahead early, but the champion struggles and falls behind at the ammo carry. Urijah Faber eventually takes the lead, and wins with the grenade launcher. Yipee, Faber wins.
Andy Ogle is a hard-ass who comes from tough Newcastle in Northern England, where the original gritty Get Carter was filmed---the one with Michael Caine, not the piece of crap with Stallone. This once cult classic was eventually voted by the Brits as the best movie made in England, which is no small feat. Anyway, Ogle is a wrestler with formidable stand up. His accent is nearly impossible to understand, but like most Brits that have been on TUF---except for Bisping---he is a picture of manners and politeness.
Rio comes from Miami’s humid heat and is a state and national wrestling champion. He has become one of the most likeable fighters on the show, in spite of his love affair with his hair. Although considered a wrestler, four of his eight victories came via KO.
Faber schools Ogle on changing things up and avoiding takedowns---the coach considers his fighter’s wrestling a liability in this match up, because it should be. Earlier, Rio had suffered a knee injury, however, Cruz takes Rio’s mind off that by having him concentrate on his wrestling pedigree.
The first round is all Ogle’s jab and lead uppercut, which he follows with hooks. Rio loses all the exchanges, gets fed up and scores a takedown. The ref warns Ogle for grabbing the fence getting up. Ogle's fluid striking, footwork, and constant movement make Rio's task difficult. Round one goes to Ogle.
Rio looks anxious waiting for round two, which begins with an exchange that Rio actually wins. Rio gets Ogle backed up to the cage, but Ogle spins and works free. Rio looks sluggish and somewhat dazed. Ogle connects with a right hand, exposing himself to a Rio takedown. Ogle gives up his back in the scramble, and Rio looks for the rear-naked. The Brit powers through and turns the tide, ending up on top. From there Ogle rains down strikes and moves first to side mount and then to rear mount. As soon as Ogle gets the choke, Rio taps. Maybe sooner.
Team Faber 5 Team Cruz 3
Ogle’s striking was good and his turnaround impressive, but overall the fight lacked pizzazz. Once again, neither fighter will be any threat to Team Cruz’s Justin Lawrence. Dana White, who is in New Jersey for UFC on FOX tomorrow, presides over the announcement of next week's quarter finals:
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