Coach Urijah Faber will be well-represented come June 1 at the “Ultimate Fighter 15” finale, as charges Mike Chiesa and Al Iaquinta will lock horns in the evening’s headliner.
Iaquinta (Pictured, file photo) and Chiesa advanced by picking up wins during Friday night’s 12th and final episode of Season 15. In the first semifinal, Chiesa stopped James Vick in the second round, hitting a double-leg slam and transitioning into mount in order to unload with ground-and-pound and force the referee stoppage. Shortly thereafter, Iaquinta clinched his finals berth by outpointing Vinc Pichel in a hard-fought unanimous decision victory.
The “TUF 15” finale takes place at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and airs live on FX. In addition to the season finals, the show will also see contenders Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampmann face off in a pivotal welterweight duel.
Prior to besting Vick, Chiesa topped Jeremy Larsen and Justin Lawrence to earn his semifinal slot. After notching a quartet of exhibition wins during his time on the reality show, Chiesa now returns to the realm of professionally sanctioned bouts, where he has also gone undefeated, posting seven consecutive wins to his credit since beginning his career in 2008.
Iaquinta has tasted defeat just once as a pro, falling by submission to UFC vet Pat Audinwood at Ring of Combat 38 last November. The New Yorker quickly reverted to his winning ways upon his arrival in the “TUF” house, taking victories from Myles Jury and Andy Ogle en route to facing Pichel in the round of four.