twitter google

The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale: Recap & Results

The UFC was back in Las Vegas tonight and two more winners of The Ultimate Fighter reality television show were crowned. Efrain Escudero and Ryan Bader both defeated their opponents in convincing fashion, earning themselves six-figure contracts with the UFC.

Escudero defeated a game Phillipe Nover at lightweight via unanimous decision in the night’s main event. Escudero looked crisp during the fight and utilized his best weapon, his wrestling, to nullify Phillipe Nover’s standup game. Every time Nover would come in to throw a right hand, Escudero would duck under and take him to the ground and control him from there. Nover was game, though, and did not quit looking for submissions from the bottom and even seemed to have Escudero in some trouble with an omoplata attempt late in the third round. The Mexican born fighter survived, however, and went on to take the decision from the fighter that many considered the favorite going into the bout.

Ryan Bader was able to secure a TKO victory over his opponent, Vinny Magalhaes, in the first round. Going into the fight many believed the only way that Bader had a chance to win was to keep the fight standing and that’s exactly what he did. The fight didn’t even have a chance to hit the ground as Bader threw a strong right hand that grazed the jiu jitsu ace’s temple, sending him to the canvas. From there Bader jumped in with solid hammer fists that forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.

In other action on the card, Anthony Johnson was able to finally set the record straight in convincing fashion with his head kick knockout over Kevin Burns in the third round. After the way the first contest ended between these two competitors, Johnson wanted to make sure he put an exclamation point at the end of this fight and that’s exactly what he did. For the first two rounds it was a good battle with Johnson landing some nice strikes as well as taking Burns to the ground. Burns was no slouch off his back, however, looking for submissions the entire time and landing some decent strikes of his own. At the beginning of round three, Johnson threw a head kick that landed right on Burns’ chin and sent the Iowa fighter crashing to the mat in a heap. Johnson exacted his revenge and looks to be on the up and up at 170 lbs.

Wilson Gouveia, who was unable to make the 185 lbs. weight limit yesterday, made quick work of Jason MacDonald, winning via submission in the first round. Gouveia hit MacDonald with a left hand that put MacDonald down early and never let up from there, pouncing on him and landing a barrage of elbows that split MacDonald’s face open. Gouveia continued to rain down blows and forced MacDonald to eventually tap due to strikes. Gouveia said afterward that making weight will never be a problem again and that he absolutely intends on staying at middleweight.

In the night’s opening fight, Junie Browning made an impressive showing, submitting Dave Kaplan in the second round with an armbar. Browning looked like a much improved fighter than what was shown on the television show, working in crisp striking and footwork along with takedowns, guard passes, and an overall well-rounded game. Browning’s conditioning was not a factor either as he dominated Kaplan in every aspect of the fight. Browning apologized to Frank Mir after the fight, saying he was sorry that he gave Mir trouble on the show.

Full results from the event are below:

MAIN CARD:

  • Junie Browning def. David Kaplan via submission 1:32, Round 2.
  • Wilson Gouveia def. Jason MacDonald via TKO 2:18, Round 1.
  • Anthony Johnson def. Kevin Burns via knockout 0:28, Round 3.
  • Ryan Bader def. Vinny Magalhaes via KO 2:18, Round 1.
  • Efrain Escudero def. Phillipe Nover via unanimous decision.
  • Roli Delgado def. John Polakowski via submission 2:18, Round 2.

PRELIMINARY CARD:

  • Shane Nelson def. George Roop via split decision.
  • Tom Lawlor def. Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision
  • Eliot Marshall def. Jules Bruchez via submission 1:27, Round 1.
  • Krzysztof Soszynski def. Shane Primm via submission 3:27, Round 2.
18 COMMENTS
  • Rich S. says:

    Had he taken Bader down, Vinny would’ve won.. almost immediately..
    Don’t know why he had to stand.. but he did.. and he payed for it..

    Really nice to see Johnson find justice.. he was simply cheated in the last outing and it was nice to see him reign supreme in this one..

    Stop trying to slug it out with Wilson Gouveia.. he will hit you.. and you will hit the ground.. if you want to beat him you better have a technical striking game [i.e. Reljic] or a tight wrestling game that doesn’t allow submissions..
    man i love that guy..

    Great job to Efrain..
    nice to see him defeat the hype..
    beautiful fight.. loved ever second of it..
    and i’m sure he’ll do great things in the LW division..

    also,
    grats to Junie..
    seems like he’s really come a long way since the show.. mentally, and fight-wise..
    can’t wait to see more of him in the future..

    also,
    it’ll be nice to see more from Bader and Marshall in the LHW division..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ACK! says:

    Vinny had to stand because he knew the only way he was taking Bader down was by pulling guard, and to do that he had to put himself in harm’s way…

    I think it’s interesting how everyone was so high on Nover and never really considered that he could have a gaping weakness. As I see it, Efrain exposed Nover and he’s going to have to work long and hard at his wrestling and takedown defense before he’s ever mentioned in such lofty terms again.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rich S. says:

    i just didn’t quite understand why the hype was on Nover, when he and Efrain really had the same success during the show.. i.e. – a bunch of quick finishes

    just didn’t understand why Efrain got no love..

    really glad he grabbed the contract..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • dpk says:

    Too bad Gouveia didn’t make weight, It is a quality win, but it isn’t going to move him up as much as it should because he came in heavy.

    I’m interested to see how they handle Bader now. I think Bader v Cantwell/Stann/Munoz (the WEC guys) would be very interesting fights right off the bat.

    Efrain will be interesting too, just because there is so much talent at 155, but I’m sure he will be handled just like Nate Diaz, as he develops into a headlining star.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • PeruVNcktie says:

    Great finale, hope both fighters go far, Junie looked good and I was all over the Browning bandwagon from the start, stay with XC n u will go far Junie

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • screwface says:

    Dam was i wrong on all fight picks, only 1 i got right was anthony johnson ftw :) i call that fight ‘the big payback’. junie shocked me by fighting impressively, and efrain , wow i didnt think he had it in him. bader surprised me as well, i just knew vinnie would win with a 1st round sub. thats the thing i love about mma. anything can happen, and nice to see fighters who previously didnt impress me take their careers and chance at stardom more seriously. every1 took their game to the next level. awesome night of fights. i enjoyed every minute of the card.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Grappo says:

    Of the main event fights, only 2 of my picks were correct (6 overall)… I think that’s an all-time low for me.

    Junie looked good, though he did look a bit gassed at the end of the 1st round after all the ground work. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares against better competition. His striking was much improved, as was his attitude, but the attitude change could be an act, or just a byproduct of the circumstances. Time will tell.

    My picking Vinny was based on the thought that he would get it to the ground, but I guess he didn’t really have much of a chance to do that. I still think he could have if he’d pressed Bader from the onset, but he didn’t, and that’s that.

    Escudero manhandled Nover and that was really shocking to me. I wasn’t overly impressed with Efrain on the show… I thought he was good, but thought Nover was great. Now I think they’re both great, but Nover obviously has a big hole in his game that he needs to patch up. I was on the edge of my seat at the end of the 3rd round when he was trying to pull off that sub… so close! I really underestimated Efrain’s wrestling and overall strength, and that won’t happen again.

    Didn’t know Delgado vs. Polakowski was on the main card… weird that they didn’t air it, but aired the Marshall and Soszynski prelims.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • CMT says:

    Wow. I screwed up my picks. I got one right (Johnson). Junie looked awesome and showed some maturity. I hope he keeps it that way. It looked like Vinny rolled over and gave up. It looked to me like Bader grazed him but it was more of the follow through with the forearm that pushed him to the ground. I don’t know. Efrain, great job. I thought Nover would win, not because of his skills, but because I bought into the hype. Elliot looked good, I hope to see him in the future. That was a good TUF 8 finale.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • mike wolfe says:

    Not surprised by Junie’s win or Bader’s win, but a little surprised by Efrain. Maybe I got caught up in the hype.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rich S. says:

    well, on the main card, i only missed one pick [Bader].. but as for the under card, i got freakin’ beasted.. i had polakowski, roop, and kingsbury all picked to win.. they all lost.. which shocked the crap out of me.. i thought for sure roop would win..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • biz says:

    eliot marshall appeared to be possessed, he looke like he was in amazing shape. bader really needs to work on his jab, he lunges and really leaves his chin exposed. overall a great card.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Nancy says:

    Awesome fights! Bravo to all the UFC fighters, all of them deserve the best! I know for sure Phillipe has a great future in this sport because he is very down to earth and has his heart, mind and soul into it and even if he did’nt win, it sure was a VERY EXCITING fight and it really kept me on the edge of my seat. I feel that Dana White would be a fool if he did’nt sponsor Phillipe fights and or a contract too(in my opinion) because he is an excellent fighter, a crowd drawer and the TOUGHEST NURSE IN THE PLANET! He already proved that in the show that he’s a force to be reckoned with. It would be a shame to ignore a very TALENTED fighter like Phillipe. Efrain’s wrestling was good but he’s nothing compared to Phillipe’s raw power and it’s just that he got timed out before the submission. THIS CALLS FOR A RE-MATCH!!! How many times did Dana White give Junie Browning chances??!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Nancy says:

    Just like what Phillipe said in the post fight interview, ” I am not GSP or Anderson Silva…I am fighting as Phillipe Nover”. He was compared to great fighters by Nog and Dana White because they were so impressed by the way he fights… ARE’NT WE ALL IMPRESSED TOO?? There’s no HYPE at all co’z he definitely has talent, no doubt. Efrain could fight anybody and may lose too…anything can happen…..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ACK! says:

    No one ever said Nover didn’t have skills, but he was definitely over-hyped.

    When you really examine it, did Nover really be considered to be the favorite against Escuerdo? Nover beat Kaplan and Roop to make it to the finals, while Escuerdo beat Nelson and Browning. If you look at the finale, the latter two beat the former two fairly convincingly in their fights. Thus, Escuerdo clearly had tougher competition en route to the finale.

    It seems to me that many people who overwhelmed by Nover’s flashy finishes while not giving enough credit to Escuerdo’s abilty to control quality fighters. I’m not trying to take anything away from Nover at all, as he certainly has the potential to be an elite fighter. But it’s clear that he needs to work on his wrestling before realizing that potential.

    And, at this point, Escuerdo’s wrestling obviously compares quite favorably to Nover’s “raw power” as he used it to dominate the fight just last night.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Nancy says:

    Efrain might have beaten Phillipe with his grappling prowess but Phillipe was able to get away from being pinned down and I as far as the latter two (Nelson and Browning) beating the former two ( Kaplan and Roop) I feel that it’s just a matter of the fighters mental and physical conditioning at that given time. When Junie and Nelson were in their destructive and worst shape while in the house, do you think they might be able to beat Roop or Kaplan? I don’t think so. What about Phillipe beating Duarte? Was’nt Duarte the favored fighter to go in the house? His path to the finals were not as easy as people think. With regards to his quick and powerful finishes, it just makes the show more exciting to look at. Just like watching Tyson, Ali, Lewis, DelaHoya or Pacquiao beat the crap out of their opponents , it keeps you on the edge. I know that Efrain’s strength comes from his wrestling background and he likes to tackle and bodyslam most of the time, what about other skills? Is he UFC material or WWF???

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Grappo says:

    “I know that Efrain’s strength comes from his wrestling background and he likes to tackle and bodyslam most of the time, what about other skills? Is he UFC material or WWF???”

    Takedowns are a huge part of MMA. If you don’t like them, I suggest watching boxing or kickboxing instead. He showed he has some striking skills in the match with Junie on TUF, and they were on display to a lesser degree in the Nover match. Nover is obviously the superior striker, so he did the smart thing and used his base to nullify that advantage. A smart gameplan executed perfectly. I was and still am on the Nover train, but I think this loss will ultimately be more important than a TUF win would have been. He’ll still get a UFC contract, some of the pressure (hype) of living up to expectations will be alleviated, and he will know what he has to do to make himself a more complete well-rounded fighter. He’ll be back, and he’ll be better, and i cant wait to see it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ACK! says:

    Asking whether Escuerdo is UFC or WWF material is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, what are you even talking about?

    I guess someone’s got a little butt hurt from seeing their favorite TUF fighter exposed…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Nancy says:

    Nah… I am just expressing my views and thoughts. But I’m just sick and tired of people talking about Phillipe being “overhype” because it’s just not true. Clearly, we all saw what he can do during the elimination fights while he was in the show and even in the house he never acted like an idiot… unlike the other guys. I just think that his fights are far more exciting than Efrain’s and I hope we will see more of him fighting in the octagon soon.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow 5OZ