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Utah Blaze hire Keefe as defensive coordinator

AFL: Former Spokane head coach Rob Keefe (pictured above) is the new defensive coordinator for the Utah Blaze, one of the Shock’s West Division rivals.

Keefe, 31, was fired as Orlando’s offensive coordinator after four games this season. Keefe, along with current Blaze offensive coordinator Matt Sauk, helped Spokane win an ArenaBowl title in 2010 but Keefe was fired after a 9-10 campaign in 2011.

Utah (6-4) is coming off an 86-70 loss to Arizona. Secondary coach Mike Brown was fired to make room for Keefe. Spokane (5-4) entertains Utah on June 16.

Jim Meehan

Chiesa in semis; Sicilia on June 1

Ultimate fighting: UFC President Dana White announced that all but two of The Ultimate Fighter Live fighters, pending commission approval after the semifinals, will get one more opportunity for redemption and appear on national television during the June 1 three-hour season finale on FX from the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms in Las Vegas.

The winners of today’s semifinal bouts on FX (10 p.m., delayed on the West Coast) between James Vick (4-0), of Fort Worth, Texas, and Michael Chiesa (7-0), of Spokane Valley, and Vinc Pichel (7-0), of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Al Iaquinta (5-1-1), Wantagh, N.Y., will clash in the final fight of the season to crown the winner. The winner will earn a lucrative contract from the UFC and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

 Confirmed June 1 matchups include: Sam Sicilia, Spokane Valley vs. Cristiano Marcello, Curitiba, Brazil; Jeremy Larsen, Phoenix, vs. Joe Proctor, Pembroke, Mass.; Chris Tickle, Bloomington, Ill., vs. Daron Cruickshank, Wayne, Mich.; Myles Jury, San Diego, vs. Chris Saunders, Long Beach, Calif.; and Justin Lawrence, Villa Ridge, Mo., vs. John Cofer, Hull, Ga. 

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