The Ultimate Fighter 8 Thoughts and Recap

Results:

  • Efrain Escudero defeats Phillippe Nover via Unanimous Decision
  • Ryan Bader defeats Vinicius Magalhaes via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
  • Wilson Gouveia defeats Jason Macdonald via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
  • Anthony Johnson defeats Kevin Burns via TKO (Head Kick) Round 3
  • Junie Browning defeats David Kaplan via Submission (Armbar) Round 2
  • Krzysztof Soszynski defeats Shane Primm via submission (kimura) in round two
  • Eliot Marshall defeats Jules Bruchez via submission (rear naked choke) in round one
  • Tom Lawlor defeats Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision
  • Shane Nelson defteas George Roop via split decision
  • Rolando Delgado defeats John Polakowski via submission (guillotine choke) in round two

Bonuses ($25,000 each):

  • Fight of the Night: Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan
  • Submission of the Night: Krzysztof Soszynski
  • Knockout of the Night: Anthony Johnson

Thoughts:

  • First off, congratulations to the Ultimate Fighter 8 winners Efrain Escudero and Ryan Bader!
  • Efrain dominated Phillipe.  I was honestly shoscked.  The difference was Efrain’s wrestling.  He continually went under Phillipe’s punches and got the take down at will.  Efrain is a good kid who deserved the win. He has a bright future in the UFC.  Efrain had the toughest road to the finals by submitting Shane Nelson and Junie Browning. 
  • Phillipe Nover will also have a good career in the UFC.  He will be back. While it may be admried that he has been loyal to his gym, Team Insight for many years, I think he could use stints witht the likes of Shawm Thompkins at Xtreme Couture and Greg Jackson. 
  • Ryan Bader needed ones round to KO Vinny Magalhes.  Bader threw one right that clipped Vinny.  Quite honestly it looked like it was blocked, but Vinny fell and ate 3 or 4 hammer fists before turtling up and the fight being stopped.  Bader did what his friend, teamate and roomate, C.B. Dolloway could not and that is win The Ultimate Fighter.
  • Vinny needs work on striking and on taking a punch.  IF he cac do that he can be a force in the octagon.
  • Anthony Johnson had another highlight reel KO of Kevin Burns.  I feel justice was served.
  • Wilson Gouveia was just in another league than Jason MacDonald.  Wilson Gouveia could be a real force at 185 lbs…that is if he can make the cut.
  • Junie Browning was very, very impressive.  I was shocked by how good he looked.  His triking looked crisp.  His footwork and head movement were great. His grappling and submissions game was top notch.  UFC 155 lb division watch out for Junie Browning.  No, really!  By the way, how about the classy move of his to apologize to Coach Mir and the fans for his antics on the show.  Good move Junie.  Stay out of trouble and the sky is the limit.
  • Krzysztof Soszynski dominated Shane Primm.  Then he pulled off a sweet kimura which earned him $25,000 and submission of the night. 
  • Eliot Marshall also looked phenonmenal against Jules Bruschez.  He came out aggressive and looked good standing and looked better on the ground
  • There are sure to be some of these guys let go.  Let me tell you how it should work:
  • Who to keep: Ryan Bader, Vinny Magalhes, Krzysztof Soszynski, Eliot Marshall, Efrain Escudero, Phillipe Nover, Junie Browning, and Shane Nelson
  • Who to dump: Jules Bruschez, Shane Primm, Kyle Kingsbury, Dave Kaplan, George Roop, John Polakowski,
  • Who to give one more chance to because of their finale win: Roli Delgado and Tim Lawlor
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TUF 8 Finale Predictions

Phillipe Nover vs. Efrain Escudero

These two fighters have a huge ceiling as far as talent goes.  In fact, I think either of these guys could be contenders eventually.  I would put both of them up against many UFC lightweights right now.  Escudero really impressed on the show.  I saw many people picking him to go far in forums, but I was a doubter.  In fact when he was matched against Shane Nelson I thought he was done.  When he was matched against Junie I thought he was done.  Efrain has greta wrestling and great submissions.  That tirangle choke on Nelson was sick.  We may not really know how good Efrain is because he had the tougher road to the finals.  It is really possible that he beat two of the best guys in the house.  Phillipe has to beware of Efrain’s submissions.  Dana White has been in this business a while and like him or not he knows MMA and recognizes talent.  Dana raved over Phillipe.  In fact, he says that Nover may be the most talented kids ever on The Ultimate Fighter.  That is saying something considering TUF has produced names like Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, Joe Stevenson, Kenny Florian, Michael Bisping, Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Matt Hamill, Stephan Bonnar, Nate Diaz, Gray Maynard, etc.  Nover looks to have a complete skill set.  His striking and muay thai seems to be unrivaled at 155 lbs.  He showed slick submission skills.  I would not keel over with a heart attack if Efrain won, but Nover has to be the favorite and that is why I am picking Phillipe to win by submission in round 1.  However, both of these guys have bright futures in the UFC. 

Phillipe Nover

vs.

Efrain Escudero

 

Nickname

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

155 Lbs.

Weight Class

155 Lbs.

5-0-1 (0-0 UFC)

Record

10-0 (0-0 UFC)

For The Ultimate Fighter 8 Lightweight Championship

Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhes

If someone would have told me this would have beent he fight for the finals I would not have doubted it, but I would have picked Bader to dominate.  However, after the semi-finals my opinion has changed slightly.  Bader won, won easily, but did not look great in his lay n’ pray victory.  Vinny looked very good against fellow Team Quester Krzystof Sosynski.  Vinny has fantastic ground skills.  Some have said he is one of the best in the world.  I agree.  Bader could be in trouble.  Bader has a solid wrestling pedigree.  He will look to use his wrestling to keep the fight standing.  Vinny insists that he has improved his striking and will win by knockout.  I don’t see that happening.  Vinny seems timid and reluctant with striking and does not like getting hit.  Bader has KO power.  I would be shocked if Vinny’s chin is not tested.  That will be the test.  If the fight goes to the ground it gets interesting.  Can Vinny work a submission while being punched?  Can Bader avoid submissions?  I worry that this finale will end just like the finale with his teamate C.B. Dolloway.  Anyways, I pick Bader by decision, but watch out for submissions.

Ryan Bader

vs.

Vinny Magalhes

Darth

Nickname

Pezao

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

205 Lbs.

Weight Class

205 Lbs.

7-0 (0-0 UFC)

Record

For The Ultimate Fighter 8 Light Heavyweight Championship

Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia

This is a hard fight to pick.  MacDonald is a very good and so is Gouveia.  Wilson did well at light heavyweight, but dropped to 185 lbs following his loss to Goran Reljic.  Gouveia is a good jiu jitsu player, but MacDonal showed against Demian Maia that he has decent submission defense.  I think MacDonald is better all around.  I think MacDonald will beware of Gouviea’s submissions and will win by decision.  By the way, I am wavering on this fight prediction.

Wilson Gouveia

vs.

Jason MacDonald

 

Nickname

 The Athlete

17

MMA Blog Rank

15

185 Lbs.

Weight Class

185 Lbs.

11-5 (5-2 UFC)

Record

21-10 (5-3 UFC)

Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns

This is a re-match of an earlier fight that ended in controversy.  Burns poked Johnson numerous times in the eye and it led to Johnson falling down due to an eye poke and Burns being declared the winner by TKO.  Horrible decision.  However, the re-match should be good.  Burns is a godo fighter and he did not want the fight to end that way.  he says that he was forced to strike with an open hand because of a broken hand.  Howeverm he says it is fixed.  Johnson is looking for revenge.  We saw in the Johnson vs. Tommy Speer fight what Johnson is capable of.  Don’t look for him to walk through Burns.  Burns has solid all around.  He submitted Roan Carneiro in his UFC debut.  I still think Johnson wins this fight by TKO in round 2. 

Anthony Johnson

vs.

Kevin Burns

Rumble

Nickname

The Fire

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

170 Lbs.

Weight Class

170 Lbs.

5-2 (2-2 UFC)

Record

7-1 (2-0 UFC)

 Junie Allen Browning vs. Dave Kaplan

Dave Kaplan and Junie Browning are both jokes.  Frank Mir was all on the Kaplan bandwagon.  He looked terrible against Phillipe.  Was Phillipe that good or is Kaplan that bad?  We just don’t know with Junie.  Has he gotten his act together?  Is he going to be mentally prepared for this?  Physically, Junie is the better fighter.  Mentally, I don’t know.  Anyways, from what I hear Junie is sober.  Junie is training at Xtreme Couture and is living with Shwan Thompkins.  I think that has to help.  I predict that Junie comes out and impresses.  I predict that Junie wins by TKO in round 1. 

Junie Allen Browning

vs.

Dave Kaplan

 

Nickname

NR

MMA Blog Rank

NR

155 Lbs.

Weight Class

155 Lbs.

2-0 (0-0 UFC)

Record

 Quick Picks:

Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Shane Primm

Eliot Marshall vs. Jules Bruchez

Kyle Kingsbury vs. Tom Lawlor

George Roop vs. Shane Nelson

Rolando Delgado vs. John Polakowski

The TUF 8 Finale Match-Ups Are Set

 The match ups are all set for the TUF 8  Finale which airs live on Spike on December 13th.  The surprise is that all the cast members are fighting.                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Main Card:                                                                                                                                                     Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhes                                                                                                                     Phillipe Nover vs. Efrain Escudero                                                                                                               Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia                                                                                                     Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns                                                                                                                 Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan

Undercard:                                                                                                                                              Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Shane Primm                                                                                                           Eliot Marshall vs. Jules Bruchez
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Tom Lawlor
Shane Nelson vs. George Roop
Rolando Delgado vs. John Polakowski

Fans Weigh In On The Ultimate Fighter 8

I posted some polls for readers to vote on regarding their thoughts on TUF 8.  I was mainly curious if other people were coming to the same conclusions I was from watching The Ultimate Fighter seasons 8.  I do not know how scientific the results are, but with nearly 225 votes here is what I learned

  • Philippe Nover is by far the favorite lightweight cast member.  With 223 votes cast, 113 people (51%)selected Nover as their favorite.  The second most went to Junie with 52 votes (22%) and then John Polakowski with 32 votes (14%).  This would have been my prediction for a top 3.  And it shows that my sentiments were in harmony with the majority as Nover is my favorite.  The “next Anderson Silva” seems like a nice dude and a great fighter.
  • Ryan Bader is the favorite light heavyweight, but the margin is not as large.  Bader received 90 of 218 votes (41%).  He was followed by Krzysztof with 64 votes (29%) and Vinny with 26 votes (12%).  The other semi finalist, Eliot Marshall received 18 votes (8%).  Again, this was pretty predictble and again went along with my sentiments.
  • Nogueira was by far the fan favorite coach.  Out of 198 votes 175 (88%) of people said that they favored Nogueira over Mir.  This is huge.  The gap is incredible and fans had to appreciate Nogueira’s hard work, committed coaching, how he cared for his fighters and was involved with the team and his class act attitude.  Mir’s cockiness obviously did not cause him to be endeared. 
  • Also out 203 votes cast 166 (82%) think Nover will be the lightweight winner and 12% of people picked Junie to win it all.
  • The pick for light heavyweight winner was not as obvious 90 (45%) of 201 picked Bader to win, 56 (28%) picked Krzysztof and 42 (21%) picked Vinny. 
  • The overal perception of season 8 was positive.  Out of 215 votes 151 people responded favorably to this season.  Surprisingly 27 people felt Junie was to blame for their negative thoughts on the season.  So while some liked Junie, he is polarizing a la Josh Koscheck. 

WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia and 2 Episodes of TUF on Tonight

Don’t forget tonight to watch WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia live on VERSUS at 8:00 P.M.

 

Also, following WEC 37 turn to SPIKE to watch the final two episodes of the Ultimate Fighter Season 8.  There will be four fights aired, plus the potential to see Junie kicked off.  The light heavyweight fights will be Ryan Bader vs. Eliot Marshall and Krzysztof Soszynski Sosynski vs. Vinny Magalhes.  The lightweight scraps will be Philippe Nover vs. George Roop and Junie Briowning vs. Efrain Escudero.

The Ultimate Fighter 8 Ultimate Poll Questions…

Take a minute to vote on these poll questions. 

The Ultimate Fighter 8 Blog Links

Below are posted links to The Ultimate Fighter 8 Blogs.  I was just compiling a list and thought it may be interesting for some who liked to get some inside info from tome of the fighters in the house. 

Vinny Magalhaes

Ryan Bader

Eliot Marshall

Krzysztof Soszynski

Jules Bruchez

Phillipe Nover

George Roop

John Polakowski

Tom Lawlor

Efrain Escudero

Junie Allen Browning

Team Mir Assistant Coach Ken Hahn

Note: You may have to click out to the site’s main page to find the most recent blog entry,  If anyone knows of any others, hook me up so I can have a comprehensive list.