How do you get 16 fights into a 2 and a half hour time slot and still have room for a boatload of commercials? Easy, just make the fights 5 minutes long in total.
In regards to the production value, I liked that they kept the rawness with no commentators during the fights just hearing from the coaches and Dana White. Dominick Cruz rarely spoke during the fights, only answering questions when asked. Urijah Faber basically gave away all his research and inside information on all the fighters.
Here is the cast list:
Justin Lawrence (3-0)- Fighting out of Missouri, "The American Kid" began his career with a decision over Max Martyniouk in Strikeforce Challengers in 2010. Notched a KO and submission to round out 2011. Lawrence trains out of Team Blackhouse using a karate based stand-up attack and solid speed. Lawrence took out WEC vet James Krause (15-4), landing kicks and punches before hitting a questionable knee then finishing the fight.
Vinc Pichel (7-0)- All of Pichel's 7 wins have been via TKO/KO, with his biggest victory over Dream veteran David Gardner. Pinchel got taken down in his opening fight and showed good grappling against Cody Pfister (6-3), getting a rear naked choke win in a back and forth fight.
Sam Sicilia (10-0)- Fighting out of Team Fancy Pants, Sicilia has 5 KO wins and 4 submissions, mainly fighting .500 fighters. Sam crushed Erin Beach (3-1) with an overhand right in just 8 seconds to earn is place on the cast.
Michael Chiesa (7-0)- Fighting out of Team Fancy Pants in Washington, Chiesa has 5 submission wins on his record. Hasn't fought the best competition, with his biggest win over Darcy James (then 4-3). Chiesa out grappled, threw decent ground and pound, and eventually choked out Johnavan Vistante (3-1) with a rear naked choke.
Cristiano Marcello (12-3)- The lone Brazilian in the field, Marcello is a black belt under Royler Gracie having also trained under Rickson Gracie. Marcello has 9 submissions in his career, including over TUF 8's David Kaplan. Marcello didn't show the most fluid stand-up, but transitioned quick to mount over a takedown, threw plenty of punches, then locked in the fight ending rear naked choke on Jeff Carlsten (3-0).
Myles Jury (9-0)- Jury was a contestant on TUF 13, however tore his ACL during a practice. The 5'10" King of the Cage fighter has fought exclusively at 170. Jury defeated Akbarh Arreola (19-6) using 3 takedowns and a solid ground game to stifle him.
Mike Rio (8-1)- The Wolverine's only loss was to TUF 8 champion, Efrain Escudero. Has quality wins over Zach Juusola (then 8-1) and Mike Bruno (10-4). Rio choked out Ali MacLean (9-5) in an exciting bout, with Rio eating a couple punches showing good boxing and excellent grappling.
Daron Cruickshank (10-2)- Fighting out of the MASH team in Michigan, Cruickshank is on a 4 fight win streak, including a decision over GSP training partner Mike Ricci and Brad Cardinal. Cruickshank, who holds a TKD black belt, used an impressive stand-up display with great kicks, combined with power wrestling to win a decision over Drew Dober (7-3).
Joe Proctor (7-1)- Fighting out of Massachusetts, Proctor is on a three fight win streak which includes victories over Matt Bessette (then 7-2) and Oz Pariser (then 4-0). Proctor finished a tournament favorite Jordan Rinaldi with a guillotine choke submission. Proctor looked decent standing, and got the choke off a scramble.
John Cofer (7-1)- Fighting out of Rory Singer's Hardcore Gym, Cofer last defeated Marius Cujba (then 7-0). Cofer used control and superior wrestling to win a unanimous decision over Britain's Mark Glover (6-1).
James Vick (4-0)- Fighting out of Texas, Vick has only been a professional for 8 months. Has only fought relatively inexperienced fighters. Vick won an extremely boring split decision over Dakota Cochrane (9-2), probably because he was able to defend takedowns and had two very loose d'arce attempts. Vick is a tall fighter that normally would be able to utilize his reach in a stand-up fight.
Jeremy Larsen (8-2)- Arizona based fighter is a veteran of the Rage in the Cage promotion. Biggest win over Victor Meza (10-3). Larsen won a unanimous decision over Jeff Smith (9-1), surviving a knee bar, and doing more damage.
Chris Tickle (7-4) - Fighting out of Illinois, Tickle defeated longtime MMA veteran Brian Geraghty and UFC veteran Steve Berger in his last two bouts. Has a 5 fight win streak. Ticle and Austin Lyons (9-1) traded bombs standing, each eating a couple before Tickle dropped Lyons just 24 seconds into the round.
Al Iaquinta (5-1) - New York based fighter who has fought exclusively in the Ring of Combat organization. Lost via submission to UFC vet Pat Audinwood in last bout. 3 KO/TKO wins. Ianquita defeated John Tuck (6-0) via decision despite getting put in some precarious positions and escaping an arm bar. Tuck badly broke a toe in the bout which slowed him down in the final two minutes of the bout.
Chris Saunders (9-2)- Fighting out of California, Saunders lost a decision to Chris Horodecki in Bellator in his last bout. Prior to that fight, Saunders notched his biggest win with a KO over Cleber Luciano. Saunders narrowly defeated Dustin Hackett (4-1) in his opening match, latching onto two guillotine chokes, but failing to finish Hackett.
Andy Ogle (8-1)- Fighting out of Tynemouth, England, Ogle currently has a seven fight win streak. Defeated Shay Walsh (then 6-0) via decision in his last bout. Ogle fought Brenden Waefer (6-3) and won via unanimous decision, despite being stuck in a triangle for most of the 5 minutes.