By Evan Stoumbelis
Heading into the second half of the quarterfinal fights, reporters had a chance to catch up with fighters Andy Ogle, Vince Pichel, Al Iaquinta, and Chris Saunders. After being pent up and cut off from the rest of the world for a very long time, the light at the end of the tunnel is rapidly approaching, and for them the dream of a 6-figure UFC contract is quickly becoming closer and closer, and all fights are now the most important fight of their lives.
One of the hot-topics is Al Iaquinta vs Andy Ogle, the first teammate vs teammate fight. Al commented on the fight, saying ” It’s a unique situation in that you kind of know a little bit about the guy’s game, but it’s always different when you get in the cage. I know he knows about my style and I know about his style, but when we get in there a lot of things are different.”
Andy Ogle, on the other hand, has been one of the more emotional fighters on the show but was called “the most mentally tough fighter on the show”. Andy gave some insight into what it’s like being him “Well, the way I see it is I’m representing my country. I don’t feel as if I have the burden of a nation on my back. I feel as if I’m wearing the flag with pride. The emotion side, well, yes, that’s just me. I have big highs and big lows. It’s just part of who I am and this whole thing means so much to me. I have a big heart. I have a hell of a lot of loving to give”
The second fight on the card is Vince Pichel vs Chris Saunders. Pichel has finished all of his fights, and Chris Saunders was the last pick of the show, but as we saw in his last fight with Sam Sicilia, he’s not an opponent to be taken lightly. Vince gave reporters a chance to catch up on how big of a role being a finisher has played in his fights up until this point. “Well, I’m sure opponents don’t take me lightly after that, but I still look at every guy like he’s going to be the toughest fight I’ve had. I do think it plays a little bit. I mean, they have to obviously be thinking about that. They know I’m dangerous, especially the guys here because they’ve seen me fight and they know the way I am, the way that I fight. So I do think it plays a little bit, but as a fighter I’m sure the guys are thinking what I’m thinking—he’s tough, but I’m tougher, and I’m going to go out there and take him out. It does play a role, but at the same time I’m sure a lot of guys try not to think about that too much. That kind of stuff will really get into your head and start messing with you during the fight, especially.”