GLENDALE - [UPDATED: 8:02 p.m.] The road ahead for Sako Chivichyan in his quest to become the next "The Ultimate Fighter" champion became a bit clearer on Wednesday night's latest episode.
Chivichyan and all of the remaining eight lightweight fighters found out their quarterfinal opponents in the latest episode after Team Koscheck fighters Aaron Wilkinson and Marc Stevens fought in the wild-card bout, with Wilkinson prevailing.
Chivichyan is now set to face Jonathan Brookins, who defeated Chivichyan's teammate and fellow Glendale fighter Sevak Magakian in the preliminary round of fights.
"Initially, I was already mentally prepared to fight Brookins," said Chivichyan as his team had planned for him to fight Brookins in the prelims before control had fallen back to Georges St. Pierre's team and they chose for Brookins to fight Magakian. "This time when they gave me Brookins, it's what I wanted.
"I knew he was tough, it was more of a challenge. ... At the end of the day, you have to fight everyone to win it all."
In the other three quarterfinal bouts, Team GSP's Cody McKenzie will take on Team Koscheck's Nam Phan, Team GSP's Kyle Watson will face off with Wilkinson and in a battle of teammates with no love lost, Team GSP's Michael Johnson is set to square off with Alex Caceres.
Caceres was almost unanimously picked as the most desired opponent by every quarterfinal fighter when asked by Koscheck, St. Pierre and Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White in a meeting to determine the quarterfinal draw.
However, the most notable part of the show was likely a pull-apart scuffle between Koscheck and Team GSP medical assistant Brad Tate. The two had exchanged insults in the previous episode and it continued into Wednesday's, escalating at the weigh-ins for the aforementioned wild-card bout when Koscheck pantsed Tate on the way in.
The two then exchanged insults while sitting down on opposing benches with Magakian getting involved and, in turn, Tate making fun of his Armenian accent before turning his attention back to Koscheck. Eventually, Koscheck got to his feet and grabbed Tate by the throat. Tate then pushed him and fighters from both sides began restraining the two, including Team GSP's Dane Sayers. Sayers didn't take kindly to Koscheck pushing him in the face, however. Soon after cooler heads prevailed, Koscheck apologized to Sayers.
"He opened his mouth too much," Magakian said of Tate.
The episode then moved on to the fight with Wilkinson and Stevens, who was cornered by Chivichyan. Stevens, though he was the top pick overall in the show, was questioned by many of the fighters as to why he was given a second chance after McKenzie choked him out in under 20 seconds in the prelims. Stevens doesn't do much for his reputation as he is choked out once again, this time in the second round by Wilkinson.
"The coaches decided that none of them would take part in cornering," Chivichyan said. "Stevens asked me and I said OK, it wasn't like I was choosing sides. I actually thought he was the favorite. One thing I knew was [Wilkinson] has more heart, he was more of a grinder. I think that's what made the difference."