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:
- 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.
- 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.