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by Sharon Sanghera, May 3, 2012

Friday, May 4, LIVE on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT


The Ultimate Fighter® Live on FX wraps up the preliminary round of competition tomorrow/FridayMay 4, live on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) when Team Cruz’s Mike Rio (8-1), of Miami, Fla., takes on Team Faber’s Andy Ogle (8-1), of Tynemouth, England, for the last spot in the quarterfinals. 


Team Faber’s Chris Saunders scored an upset victory over Team Cruz’s Sam Sicilia as a massive underdog last week. Now, Faber’s squad holds a 4-3 lead over his bitter rival with just one fight to go until the quarterfinals. 


Rio and Ogle are looking to advance and move one step closer to a six-figure UFC contract alongside previous winnersJames VickJustin LawrenceAl IaquintaMichael ChiesaJoe ProctorVinc Pichel and Saunders. 


Below is a description of the upcoming “BECOME THAT HERO” episode:


 “Both teams head to a desert shooting range for an explosive Coaches Challenge.  Andy Ogle takes on Mike Rio in the last preliminary fight, then Dana announces the first two quarterfinal matchups.”


The 13-week season will culminate with a championship fight and three-hour finale on June 1 at the Pearl Palms Concert Theater in Las Vegas.  The coaches will then meet on July 7 at UFC 148, when Cruz defends his title against Faber in the rubber match of their epic rivalry.  


Below are select quotes from Rio and Ogle. 



It’s the final preliminary fight this Friday. Team Cruz is down 4-3. Is there any added pressure to even the series? Or is it just another fight?

“There’s always pressure in a situation like this but the wonderful thing about our sport is that we don’t have to worry about the teams. You just focus on yourself and the better you do, the team just ends up benefitting from it. So as long as I just focus on what I have to do and not worry about the team or what’s best for the team, everyone will benefit. That takes a lot of the pressure off when you focus on what you’re supposed to focus on and not the outside distractions.”


What is your mood going into the fight and what do you have to do to win? 

“I’m always relaxed. I’m one of those guys that never gets over-anxious, nervous or gets butterflies. I’ve been in competition a long time. I’m very relaxed until the time of the fight and then I get very energetic and very aggressive.


“What I need to do to win the fight? I need to push the pace. Ogle is by no means an easy fight. He’s not just going to lay down for me. I just have to make sure I stay focused and take the fight to him and do what I need to do to win. I’m not going to focus on what he’s going to do to me, just what I’m going to do to him.”


How difficult is it to sit and watch during the weeks you weren’t fighting? Is it a relief to actually be fighting?

 “That was a double-edged sword. First off, I’m sitting there watching and waiting, seeing all my teammates fight, watching everybody fight. I came here to fight, and was just sitting on the sidelines every week, waiting, waiting, waiting. On the positive side of this though, I literally just got a month and a half training camp with the champ, Dominick Cruz, and the champ’s personal coaching squad. I’ve gotten in the best shape of my life for my first preliminary fight. “


Is there anything that’s happened in the first seven weeks that’s surprised you?

“Every fight has been a war. I’ve been really impressed by the level of talent in our season. We’re a great group of 16 guys and we deserve to be here. Everyone is serious as hell and there’s really no one who is here just to be a TV star.”



It’s the final preliminary fight this Friday. Team Faber is up 4-3. Is there any added pressure to keep the series lead? Or is it just another fight?

“It’s not a fight for the Team, it’s a fight for myself. Because at the end of the day, I’m the one who’s trying to get that glass plate. I’m the one that is trying to get that W. It’s all about me thinking about myself.  At the end of the day, two guys are going to go in there and the cage door is going to close and for 10, possibly 15, minutes I’ve got to kick somebody’s ass to secure myself into the next round.”


What is your mood going into the fight and what do you have to do to win? 

 “I feel confident. I feel strong. I feel as if I’ve trained a long time for this fight and I’ve developed as a fighter as well as a person and become a hell of a lot more patient. In this fight, I’m going to have to be very patient and defend his takedowns a lot. I feel as if I can kill his spirit by doing so and lighting him up with my shoots and hitting him a lot in the face. Basically, just not making him want to come in and attempt a takedown.”


How difficult is it to sit and watch during the weeks you weren’t fighting? Is it a relief to actually be fighting?

 “Since I’ve been in the house, I’ve had to think about everything in two ways. It was killing me not fighting for the first seven fights. But at the same time, I’m getting more time to develop as a fighter, which means [Rio]‘s going to get the best version of me because I’m last. I’ve now built up a relationship with the coaching staff and a great relationship with my team and gotten a whole lot stronger.”


Is there anything that’s happened in the first eight weeks that’s surprised you?

“I did not expect to get ill! I very rarely get ill. I’m the ‘one more round’ guy. I’m always happy to keep pushing. If I’m done training but someone wants to go another round, I’ll jump up, I’ll do that round. When my lungs were closing up and I felt as if I couldn’t breathe, I didn’t feel like the ‘one more round’ guy. But when I went to the doctor and they did an X-ray, the doctor said, ‘Wow, you’ve got a large heart’ and I said tell me something I don’t know.  That’s something that Rio, or any opponent, won’t ever have larger than me.  It’s impossible, I want it too much.”

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