The Ultimate Fighter — Season 8 Finale: Results & Recap

Like I said in my previews, I had a lot of high expectations for these fights. I can only hope they live up to it.

PRELIMINARY CARD — FIGHTS NOT AIRED

Roli Delgado vs. John Polakowski
Result: Roli Delgado defeats John Polakowski via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:18 of R2.

Though I didn’t see this fight, I am truly surprised by the outcome. I really didn’t have a lot of faith in Roli. I was never impressed with him on the show and didn’t expect much out of him in this fight. I guess I underestimated him. Maybe his black belt wasn’t from McDonald’s after all!

Shane Nelson vs. George Roop
Result: Shane Nelson defeats George Roop via Split Decision.

Though I’m not surprised by the outcome, I am surprised with how Nelson got the win. I seriously would’ve expected him to finish Roop himself. I guess a healthy Roop can hold his own.

Kyle Kingsbury vs. Tom Lawlor
Result: Tom Lawlor defeats Kyle Kingsbury via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3).

No surprise here for me. I think a LOT of people underestimated Lawlor and overestimated Kingsbury. I only wish Lawlor would have won by a KO.

Jules Bruchez vs. Eliot Marshall (re-aired in between main card fights)
Result: Eliot Marshall defeats Jules Bruchez via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:27 of R1.

R1 — Marshall comes out really aggressively, landing several big shots. He then goes for a gets a good takedown. On the ground, Bruchez gives up his back. Immediately, Marshall gets his arms under and starts pulling tight for the choke. He gets it in tight and Bruchez taps.

Again — no surprise here. These two were SO unevenly matched it was ridiculous. The only way this fight could’ve been different is if Marshall submitted Bruchez faster.

Shane Primm vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (re-aired in between main card fights)
Result: Krzysztof Soszynski def. Shane Primm via Submission (Kimura) 3:27, R2.

R1 — Soszynski lands a solid left, and Primm goes for and gets the takedown. Nothing is made of this, and Primm lets Soszynski up. Soszynski’s aggressive on his feet and lands a few good kicks/punches. They end up on the ground and Soszynski is in control, but he backs off and they get back on their feet. Still, Soszynski is controlling the fight on their feet, landing several jabs and uppercuts. Primm is starting to look tired. Primm attempts and fails a takedown, and they end up on the ground with Soszynski in side control. He tries for a Kimura, but can’t fully get it and gives up as the round ends.

R2 —The round begins with Soszynski blocking a high kick from Primm. Soszynski comes at Primm and lands a series of punches. They clinch, but not much is happening. They back off and Soszynski lands a solid right. Primm is not really doing much offensively. They end up on the ground with Soszynski in control. Soszynski works a Kimura and manages to pull Primm’s arm behind his back. Primm taps and is in a lot of pain.

Where was this Soszynski during the show?? He was aggressive. He had good standup AND ended it with a fantastic submission. I knew Sosyznski would win this fairly easily, but I didn’t expect him to win it with a Kimura. I think this proves that he will have quite a future in the UFC.

MAIN CARD

Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan
Result: Junie Browning def. Dave Kaplan via Submission (Armbar) 1:32, R2.

Note: I HATE Kaplan’s hair — he looks more like a midget (little person?) than ever — no, no a troll!

R1 – The fight starts and almost immediately Junie nails Kaplan in the jewels HARD. Junie is quick to apologize. After regaining himself, Kaplan comes back swinging. Both look very aggressive. So far, I agree with Rogan that Junie’s standup is much improved. At the moment both kind of seem wild in their shots, but Junie is landing two shots for every shot Kaplan gets. Junie falls after a shot and Kaplan tries to get a straight ankle lock, but Junie gets out of it. Junie’s on top of Kaplan, tries to flip and is able to pass and get Kaplan’s back. He’s trying to work a Rear Naked Choke. Back on their feet, they clinch. Junie’s clearly been working on his Jiu-Jitsu as well. Junie’s landing a lot of clean shots, followed by a good straight leg kick. Kaplan follows with a good right. They clinch and Kaplan is trying to get Junie down and does. Again, he goes for the ankle lock but loses it and now Junie’s on top. Junie is on top sideways with great elbows to the head. Kaplan is scrambling to get up but gives up his back. Junie tries to lock in the choke but gets out again. In a cradle position Junie is punching constantly. They turn it around and Kaplan is on top in control. Back on their feet, they clinch and both swinging, elbowing and kneeing constantly to end the round. A very impressive round for both.

R2 – Both come out aggressively again and Junie shoots and gets the takedown. He tries to pass the guard, but is just working the Ground-n-pound with some elbows. He begins turning into Kaplan to pass, and eventually does. With side control he wraps around and gets an arm. Pulls it tight and Kaplan taps.

As much as I hate to admit it, Junie’s fighting has improved by leaps and bounds. His standup was impressive, and his ground game was better than ever. As much as I dislike him as a person (and I totally don’t buy the “I acted like that on purpose” crap), he took Dana’s challenge seriously. As long as he keeps this up, I wouldn’t really mind seeing him in the UFC in the future. Kaplan on the other hand…well, he was just a mess. Junie talked a lot of trash, but at least he backed it up. Kaplan couldn’t. I hope I never have to see him again.

Wilson Gouveia vs. Jason MacDonald
Result: Wilson Gouveia def. Jason MacDonald via Submission (Strikes) 2:18, R1

I had no expectations going into this fight, but truthfully, I’ve never been a fan of MacDonald. Not that I’ve been one of Gouveia’s either, but I feel like he has more skills and a more solid game.

R1 – A few good shots from both to start the fight, and MacDonald goes for the takedown. With some struggle he gets him down, but Gouveia is back up. They clinch against the cage. Nothing is really happening so they back off each other and are back at the center of the ring. Both are swinging and landing shots. Gouveia lands a jab that catches MacDonald low and rocks him and drops him to the ground. Gouveia immediately jumps on him and tries to finish it with a flurry of big elbows and hammer fists. MacDonald is cut badly on his forehead and not defending himself. The ref finally stops the fight.

Kevin Burns vs. Anthony Johnson
Result: Anthony Johnson def. Kevin Burns via KO; 0:28 R3.

Again, I had no real expectations for this fight either. I do remember the first time they fought, and I truly felt like Johnson got robbed. He was winning that fight, but what’re you gonna do? The rules are there for a reason. I am glad they got the rematch.

R1 – Both look out to kill. Good, continous leg kicks from Burns, followed by a good body kick . Johnson returns with a great head kick. I agree with Goldberg that Burns is coming out hot, but I feel like Johnson could just be biding his time waiting for the right shot and he does. He ducks a shot and gets Burns on his back. In Burns’ guard, Burns tries to get a triangle but can’t finish. Johnson gets up and lands a huge shot. Now he’s in side control. Burns is trying to move around, but Johnson is giving him no space. Johnson is just using his body to overwhelm him. Burns gets Johnson’s head from the bottom and goes for another triangle, but can’t get it locked in. Johnson gets out and is back in Burns’ guard. Johnson uses the rake choke to keep Burns down to land elbows and fists. Johnson makes no efforts to pass, so Yamasaki stands them up. A good body kick by Burns gets caught and lands himself on his back. Johnson won’t let him up and keeps kicking Burns’ legs. Finally Yamasaki lets Burns up. Great shots from both but the round ends.

R2 — Johnson comes out with a good body kick, which Burns follows with a good leg kick. Johnson lands a solid jab. Burns fakes a jab, then lands a leg kick, which Johnson returns. Johnson goes for the takedown, but Burns fends it off. Johnson grabs his leg and throws him down. From his back, Burns looks for a Kimura and has his hands locked but Johnson gets free. Johnson is in half guard landing some solid punches to the head and body. Burns also lands some good elbows to the head. There are some damaging elbows from Johnson in full guard. Burns is trying to throw up high guard, but both are too sweaty. Johnson lands some nasty punches to the body. He is alternating between punches to the body and elbows to the head. Burns is mostly just defending. Still on the ground, Johnson gets Burns pinned against the cage. Burns tries to push off the cage, but can’t do much as Johnson keeps him off it. Again Burns tries to use the cage, but can’t. The round ends with more of the same ground-n-pound.

R3 — Both come out still aggressive. Burns lands a great leg kick. A big jab by Johnson, followed by a HUGE HEAD KICK AND BURNS IS OUT COLD! What a fantastic way to end the fight!

Ryan Bader vs. Vinicius Magalhaes
Result: Ryan Bader def. Vinicius Magalhaes via KO (punches) 2:18, R1.

It seems that more than a few people have picked Bader to win this. Maybe I have underestimated Bader? Nah…I don’t think so.

R1 — A lot of action to start. A leg kick from Bader is followed by a body kick from Magalhaes. An inside leg kick from Bader, and a body kick from Magalhaes. Another good jab from Magalhaes and we see that he is very much on the offensive. You can see Vinny thinking. We see a good leg kick from Magalhaes. Magalhaes attempts a good spinning kick but it doesn’t land. A flying knee from Bader doesn’t do much. I agree with Rogan that Magalhaes’ standup is improved. Bader goes for a body kick that gets caught and he stumbles and almost falls. Magalhaes tries to take advantage with a series of jabs. Bader fakes a jab and lands a right. HUGE overhand right from Bader clips Magalhaes behind the ear and knocks him down to the mat. Bader pounces with continuous hammer fists and knocks Magalhaes out on the ground.

Okay, so I’m eating my words. Once again, my underestimation (or overestimation) of a fighter has come back to bite me in the ass. Bader’s standup was no match for Vinny’s weak chin. Though I can’t for the life of me figure out why Vinny didn’t at least try to shoot on Bader. If you know that Jiu-Jitsu is your strong point, why wouldn’t you use it?!? Vinny still has a future in the UFC, though. It’ll be good to see them both fighting in the future.

Efrain Escudero vs. Phillipe Nover
Result: Efrain Escudero def. Phillipe Nover via Unanimous Decision

This was a tough pick for me. I really like both guys (I especially like that Escudero shut Junie up ? ). But when it comes to fighting, I think Nover’s got it all.

R1 — The fight starts with a good high kick from Nover. Nover goes on the offensive and Escudero takes him down on the ground. Escudero is in full guard. Nover has his Escudero’s arms locked. Nover tries rolling toward an armbar, but Escudero postures out. Escudero lands two good shots to the face. He gets Nover’s back and goes for the Rear Naked Choke but can’t get under Nover’s chin. Nover lands some good face shots from his back. Escudero is back in control and lands some serious shots to Nover’s face, but Nover seems unfazed. Escudero is back in Nover’s guard, but Nover goes for a triangle with Escudero’s arm trapped. Nover is turning and inching to get his arm as they get on their feet and he goes for a standing Kimura but Escudero gets loose. Back on the feet, Escudero goes for the takedown and is in Nover’s guard. Nover goes for his arm again and they’re back up on their feet. Nover is now back on the ground. Escudero lands a HUGE shot that bounces Nover’s head on the mat and Escudero falls on top of Nover in half guard. Escudero lets Nover up and they clinch against the cage as the round ends.

R2 – Nover comes out really aggressively and swinging. He goes after Escudero and Escudero takes him down. Escudero has side control. Nover is alternating shots between Escudero’s body and head. Escudero backs off but won’t let Nover up. Escudero lands good leg kicks while Nover is down. Nover gets up and tries to get Escudero down. They clinch and exchange continual knees. A good elbow from Nover is followed with a right from Escudero. Escudero lands a good leg kick. Nover lands a good left. Escudero shoots and they clinch. Nover gets his head and tries to get a guillotine. Nover gets him down while still trying for the guillotine but he lets go. Escudero is in half guard. They exhcnage body shots and head shots. A lot of good body shots from Escudero. Escudero is trying to pass guard, but Nover has a good lock on his leg. Nover goes for a leg lock, gets Escudero up and follows it by a GREAT body shot but Escudero picks him and slams him to the mat to end the round.

R3 — To start the round, Nover lands a HUGE right and Escudero shoots and is on top of Nover. Escudero is in side control and Nover is landing good body shots. They are back on their feet. Nover lands a good body kick. Nover gets in a series of solid combos. Nover goes for another jab/kick combo, which Escudero ducks and then shoots to get Nover on his back. In half guard, Escudero is not doing much while Nover tries for an omoplata. With Escudero’s arm locked, he continuously punches and elbows at Escudero. But with Nover’s leg stuck under Escudero, he can’t complete it. Nover tries to inch his leg out. He gets his leg out but Escudero’s arm slips out. Escudero is now on his back. Nover is trying ground-n-pound and gets an arm to try for an armbar but the round ends.

Argh! I’m tired of eating my words! Nover definitely held his own tonight. He had great defense on the ground and tried for who knows how many submissions, but he still let Escudero control the fight and that was his downfall. Again, Escudero was better than I thought. This is not to say that Nover isn’t all everyone made him out to be — I still believe he is a phenomenal fighter. Escudero just got the better of him.

Overall, I feel like I wasn’t disappointed by any of the fights. Am I disappointed that all my picks or favorites didn’t win? Of course. But of the fights that were aired, all were pretty fast-paced and action packed. And how can you be disappointed in that?