Sherman Oaks' Vincent Pichel couldn't match the effective striking of Al Iaquinta, and because Iaquinta recorded a few takedowns as well, Pichel was eliminated in the semifinals of the the Ultimate Fighting Championship's "The Ultimate Fighter" reality competition Friday night in Las Vegas.
UFC President Dana White announced after two rounds that Nevada State Athetic Commission judges voted Iaquinta had won the fight's first two rounds, rendering the third round unnecessary.
Iaquinta advances to Friday night's FX-televised final against Washington's Michael Chiesa at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas.
The winner of the lightweight (155-pound) bout will receive a multi-fight, six-figure contract from the UFC.
Pichel, who could still land a spot in the UFC if White and others deem him worthy, was due to fight semifinalist James Vick on Friday's card, but Vick was knocked out at the 1:55 mark of the second round by Chiesa and the Nevada commission has ruled Vick medically suspended from returning to the octagon so quickly.
A powerful puncher at lightweight whose toughness helped guide him to the final four of "TUF," Pichel was unable to land the bigger blows that helped him win in the earlier rounds, as Iaquinta counter-punched and moved out of harm's way, then took Pichel down and forced him backward to the cage in separate moments.