Up until season 7, the TUF finale show was like the big hurrah for cast members … after all the futzing around on the TV show they finally get their ‘big night’ at the Palms in front of 1000 drunken slot junkies. But with last season’s show, the UFC started getting tighter about who got to fight on the finale. Only 8 guys other than the finalists were invited onto the show, and the UFC packed the event with awesome matches like Tanner vs Grove, Hazelett vs Burkman, and Diego Sanchez vs Luigi Fioravanti – okay, that last one wasn’t so awesome, but still. The fights were a cut above what we’d normally even get on a UFC Fight Night card.
For this season of TUF, they’re back to their old ways … all 16 contestants are fighting at the finale, with the only gifts being past that being an Anthony Rumble Johnson vs Kevin Eye-Gouge Burns rematch and a Jason MacDonald vs Wilson Gouveia fight. I guess the ratings have been good enough this season that everyone figures they don’t have to stack the card. Personally, I liked things a lot better last time. Sure, being “The Ultimate Fighter” is pretty much the best job security you’re going to get in the UFC. But what’s the point of the fucking show if everyone gets a shot in the UFC?
Anyways, whining aside here’s the matchups:
Ryan Bader vs Vinny Magalhaes: This is the most obvious TUF Finale fight since Josh Haynes battled Michael Bisping during TUF3. Bader proved in his last fight that when push comes to shove he reverts back to his wrestling roots. Vinny has proven that when the fight hits the ground, he ends it within a minute. There’s no fucking around here … Vinny is the most promising guy on the whole show and he’s going to snuff Bader out faster than Kirk’s son in Star Trek 3.
Phillipe Nover vs Efrain Escudero: I know Nover has been ‘revealed’ as the dude that Dana was calling the next Anderson Silva, but ya know what? If he was really the next Anderson Silva, no one would have had to ask ‘So who’s the Anderson Silva?’. We would have just watched him fight and come to that obvious conclusion ourselves. This isn’t to say Nover isn’t awesome … he’s one badass murse for shizz. But I’m not sold on him being invincible. If it stays on the feet I expect him to win, but I also expect Efrain to spend the majority of the fight trying to take him down for a submission.
Junie Browning vs Dave Kaplan: I call this one the battle of the delusional morons. Both these guys think they’re the baddest motherfuckers on the planet and both were generally unimpressive on TUF.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs Shane Primm: I’m sure Krzysztof and Shane are happy to see Junie and Kaplan on the main card while they’re stuck in the prelims. Soszynski was the Mac Danzig-esque ringer in this season and I expect him to take Primm out in devestating fashion.
Eliot Marshall vs Jules Bruchez: I don’t care if Jules went home and spent every moment of every day training with the best jiu jitsu masters in the world. This is Eliot’s fight to lose … he’s supposedly a black belt in jiu jitsu although you’d never have been able to tell in his fight against Ryan Bader. Bruchez should be like a calf to the slaughter here.
The other three fights I care so little about that I’m barely even able to think up witty one liners for them.
Kyle Kingsbury vs Tom Lawlor: Kyle Kingsbury went 0-2 on the show. Lawlor went 1-1 and drank Dave Kaplan’s piss. What an exciting matchup.
Shane Nelson vs George Roop: George Roop is one half of the ‘uber-tall lightweight’ experiment I mentioned on the last low blow. His advancement to the semis had more to do with the pathetic competition he faced than any skills of his own. I didn’t see enough of Nelson to comment since he got taken out by Efrain in the first round, but I’m expecting him to win.
Rolando Delgado vs John Polakowski: The worst of the worst. Nuff said.
So there you go, that’s everything you need to know about the TUF 8 Finale. See you on Saturday December 13th for the standard chat / posts / radio show action here at Fightlinker.