Episode 11 gets right into things as we jump right into the weigh ins for the first light heavyweight semifinal fight where Ryan Bader will be taking on Eliot Marshall. Both fighters make weight easily and we jump to their training sessions. Marshall feels that he is the worst fight for Bader because their styles don’t match up well. Mir feels the same way, saying that Eliot can submit Bader when the fight hits the ground and that Eliot possesses the better standup as well.
Bader spars with Nogueira who wears no protective gear. They seem to be going pretty hard, Bader landing some good shots on Nogueira and vice versa. Of course, Bader has headgear on so it’s a little unfair. Both fighters look prepared for the fight and before you know it, it’s already fightin’ time.
Ryan Bader (Team Nogueira) vs. Eliot Marshall (Team Mir)
The two fighters come out trading low kicks and punches on the feet. Marshall lands some nice leg kicks and Bader returns the favor. Marshall lands a kick that catched Bader in the junk but he’s okay. The two tie up in the middle of the cage and Bader forces Eliot to the floor. Bader controls from the top position and throws an elbow every now and then to keep active. The ref warns them for inactivity but never does anything about it. The round ends with Bader in top control.
The fighters trade strikes again and Bader is able to catch one of Eliot’s kicks and take the fight back down to the mat. The same scenario as round one plays out as Bader is content to control Eliot from the top and punch every now and then. Bader is redefining the term “lay n pray” with this fight. He puts Eliot in his corner. The ref warns them again for inactivity but once again does nothing about it. Finally he stands them up and Bader lands another takedown almost immediately. The round ends with Bader in top control, controlling Marshall.
Bader lands another takedown early and forces Marshall into the cage. Eliot looks for a submission from the bottom, trying to roll into a kneebar but Bader stuffs it and continutes to simply control position. The referee stands them up again and Bader forces the fight right back down to the mat with another takedown. This round is almost a carbon copy of the first two rounds and it ends the same way as well with Bader controlling from the top.
Winner: Ryan Bader via unanimous decision
Bader says it’s the biggest win of his career whether it be in amateur wrestling or MMA. Nogueira congratulates him on the win. Phillipe Nover and George Roop are now set to weigh in and face off in a lightweight semifinal matchup.
Phillipe Nover (Team Nogueira) vs. George Roop (Team Mir)
Phillipe comes out firing, landing solid combinations on Roop’s noggin that back him up and Phillipe scores a takedown. Roop is able to utilize the cage and sweep Nover but Nover grabs his left arm during the scramble and is able to lock on a kimura from the bottom position which forces Roop to tap.
Winner: Phillipe Nover via submission (kimura)
Nover and his teammates celebrate the victory and before long we’re already onto the next episode where the first fight will be the final light heavyweight semifinal and will feature Krzysztof Soszynki taking on his Team Quest and Team Mir teammate, Vinny Magalhaes.
Soszynski is confident in his standup ability and isn’t afraid of Vinny’s jiu jitsu credentials, saying that if you hit a black belt in the face once that they become a brown belt and that if you hit them in the face twice they become a white belt. We’ll see if that rings true. My guess is no.
Krzysztof Soszynski (Team Mir) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (Team Mir)
Soszynski comes out firing with a solid leg kick. Magalhaes lands a combination and both fighters trade punches on the inside. Magalhaes is able to jump guard and pull one leg up, trapping Soszynski’s head and shoulders and landing some vicious elbows. Soszynski is able to power out of it, though, and makes Vinny stand back up with him. Magalhaes stands up and lands a solid body kick. Soszynski fires off some very solid leg kicks that are unanswered by Magalhaes. More leg kicks from Soszynski and Vinny charges and gets dropped by a body shot but jumps back to his feet and tries to strike again with Soszynski. The two fighters fight in close and Magalhaes is able to drag Soszynski down to the ground, locking in an armbar on the way down. There is no escape for Soszynski and he’s forced to tap.
Winner: Vinny Magalhaes via submission (armbar)
The light heavyweight finals are now set with Ryan Bader taking on Vinny Magalhaes. Soszynski comments that he needs work on his jiu jitsu. Go figure.
The final fight of the evening will pit Junie Browning against Efrain Escudero. At the gym Junie shows his frustration with the training, saying that he feels like he’s gotten worse since he’s been there. He says that he’s getting caught in submissions and positions that he normally wouldn’t get caught in and that he doesn’t even feel like fighting. He tells Mir that he’d rather have Shane Nelson fight for him.
Back at the house the fighters are waxing intellectual about the Bader vs. Magalhaes matchup and Junie is running his mouth about how no one on Team Nogueira, including Nogueira, has as good jiu jitsu as Vinny has. Shane Primm takes offense to this and sticks up for his teammates. Junie says that he doesn’t care if he loses and that even if he does that he’ll be the most successful fighter from the show. Primm says “I’m from the ‘Show Me’ state. You don’t have to tell me, just show me.” At this, Junie loses it and throws a coffee mug at Shane’s head Nolan Ryan style according to Roli Delgado. He also jumps up and takes a swing at Primm and tries to hit him.
The fighters are able to drag Junie away from the situation but it looks like he’s on his way out of the house with this latest outburst. Dana White shows up shortly thereafter to talk to Junie. He tells Junie that he doesn’t know if he’s retarded, bipolar, or if he just has a fear of losing. He comes to the conclusion that Junie would rather not fight and get kicked off the show and tell his friends at home that he would have won it if he hadn’t gotten kicked off. So instead of kicking him off, Dana lets the other fighters in the house decide.
Of course Efrain wants him to stay because Efrain wants to beat him. The other fighters agree that Junie should stay and fight. Dana tells Junie what the decision is and before you know it, it’s fightin’ time again.
Efrain Escudero (Team Nogueira) vs. Junie Browning (Team Mir)
Junie comes out and lands a nice leg kick. Efrain lands a leg kick in response and follows up with two more. Junie lands a nice body shot but Efrain is able to shoot in and take him down. Efrain begins to rain blows down on Junie but Junie is able to get back to his feet. For some reason Junie tries a shot of his own that gets stuffed by Efrain and Efrain punishes him with elbows to the side of the head against the cage. Escudero forces the action back to the center of the cage and fires off some more solid leg kicks. Junie answers with one of his own but eats an uppercut for his troubles. Junie trying to work the leg still but his cardio looks to be running out on him again as Escudero plants another right hand on him. Efrain finds his range and lands a few nice jabs and Junie answers with a leg kick as the round ends.
Efrain comes out with a jab that lands. Junie tries for a spinning backfist that whiffs. The whole time Junie’s corner has been yelling at him to throw combinations in threes and he has been ignoring them. Junie shoots in again and is stuffed again. He eats some more elbows to the side of the head. Efrain lands some nice knees as the fighters break. Junie lands a big right hand but it doesn’t seem to faze Efrain. The fighters trade blows again and Efrain is able to secure a takedown. Browning is frustrated as Efrain works for position, throwing his hands up in the air in frustration. Efrain hops to side control and Junie has basically given up at this point. Efrain locks in a D’arce choke and Junie almost immediately taps.
Winner: Efrain Escudero via submission (D’arce choke)
Mir says that he’s not a cheerleader, he’s a coach and that when Junie stopped listening that he no longer decided to coach him. Mir calls Junie a “disappointment” and says that he enjoyed his time with all of the other fighters on the show except for Junie.
The finals are as follows:
Efrain Escudero vs. Phillipe Nover
Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhaes
As punishment for losing three of the semifinal matchups, Nogueira gets to shave Frank Mir’s hair. Frank is none too excited about it but a bet’s a bet. Junie is on camera again and tell us that he’s in the wrong sport and that he’ll never fight again because losing to Efrain is the worst thing that could have ever happened to him. I think we’ll see Junie in the Octagon again no matter what he says.
Next weekend is the finale event, ladies and gentlemen! Join us here at Five Ounces on Saturday for our live coverage of the event as well as coverage of the event the week leading into the fight.