Al Iaquinta and Andy Ogle each wear blue "Ultimate Fighter" shirts. They each call Urijah Faber their coach. And they will be in the cage Friday night trying to beat up each other to the point where one of them gives up, the referee stops the bout or their opponent is knocked out.
Teammates fighting teammates is not unique to this season's "TUF Live." It will happen again, perhaps even in the semifinals next week.
Still, the notion of two fighters who have spent the past two-plus months training with each other now having to use that intel against each other remains intriguing.
"It's not easy to forget that Andy's been my teammate, I mean, we've been training together every day for the last nine weeks," said the Wantagh-raised Iaquinta. "Come Friday, it's time to fight."
Iaquinta and Ogle meet in a "TUF" quarterfinal Friday at 10 p.m. on FX. Chris Saunders and Vinc Pichel fight in another quarterfinal. Michael Chiesa and James Vick advanced to the semifinals last week. The Ultimate Finale is June 1 at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, with the winner earning a guaranteed six-figure contract with the UFC
Iaquinta, 24, won his preliminary round bout against Myles Jury by third-round decision on March 30. Ogle, from Newcastle, England, fought two weeks ago and submitted Mike Rio. That gives Iaquinta a bit of an advantage in terms of overall health.
But with these two fighters having spent so much time training together, maybe the extra time off won't matter as much.
"I would never hold back in practice," Ogle said. "The main part of practice is to get caught in sticky situations and develop. You get caught in the sticky situations on purpose in training so you never get in that situation in a fight."
That mindset in training creates a familiarity in a fight. So, too, does being teammates since early March.
"I definitely worked a lot with Andy in practice and I have a pretty good sense of what he can do," Iaquinta said. "Andy definitely has a good idea of the things I do. There are a few things I haven't shown in practice, things that I can pull out in the fight that I think may surprise some people. And also, there's things that I'm going to do that I've done in practice and they're going to work still in the fight."