Chiesa got an emotional TKO win for Team Faber. He slammed James Vick to his back, got full mount, and ground and pounded for the win. In training the day before the bout, Chiesa had broken down crying, admitting that he's still dealing with the death of his father.
"I feel great. It has been quite a journey. A lot of ups and downs but I feel like I've earned my spot in the finale and I'm very excited to seize the moment," Chiesa said.
Iaquinta earned the right to face his teammate with a unanimous decision win over Pichel. He used wrestling to control Team Cruz's Pichel for the first round, and won the edge in bloody striking in the second round.
"I couldn't have done it without a great team, great roommates. Everyone really helped me out. The coaching staff was just awesome. Everything was a dream come true. When I left I didn't know what I was getting myself into. Now I have the toughest fight of my life ahead of me, and I'm ready for it," Iaquinta said.
The winner of Friday's fight will get a six-figure UFC contract and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Early in Friday night's show, UFC president delivered good news to the cast. Every healthy fighter will fight on the finale. Mike Rio, who broke a rib in practice, and Andy Ogle, who was knocked out in a recent fight, will not fight. Because of Vick's knockout loss, he is medically suspended, leaving Vinc Pinchel without an opponent. They are expected to appear on a future UFC card.
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