Last week on The Ultimate Fighter 8 “Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir” Ryan Bader became the first light heavyweight to advance to the 205-pound tournament semifinals, defeating Tom Lawlor via first-round knockout.
We open up this week’s episode with the fighters sitting around the house watching UFC 84, which featured UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn vs. former champion Sean Sherk. Not suprisingly, nearly all of the clips from UFC 84 that make it into the episode are of Tito Ortiz getting beat down by Lyoto Machida. UFC president Dana White talks about letting the fighters watch the fights, something normally not allowed, and about how the fighters are at the house training to eventually make it onto the pay-per-view cards and ultimately into the main event.
Junie Browning and Shane Nelson feel it’s a “good idea” to start having a few drinks and Browning feels the house makes people into alcoholics and that if he keeps his head on straight he’ll be on of the best lightweight fighters in the world. Foreshadowing? I think so.
Sure enough, Shane and Junie continue their binge and things get ugly with the opposing team’s fighters. After a few confrontations Junie starts picking on the wrong fighter and Kyle Kingsbury throws nuts (yes, nuts) at him which Junie responds to logically by throwing a glass in retaliation. Kingsbury has just a little cut from the incident, but is pissed because a cut just about anywhere else could have ended his run on the show.
Junie is confident he’ll be booted off the show but is also confident he can beat the eventual winner. Apparently Junie isn’t content just getting booted off and insists on doing as much damage as he can before the seemingly inevitable happens. Next on his list of targets are all of the 205-pound fighters and after a brief verbal exchange he and Kingsbury are again in an altercation.
Next up it’s Nelson’s turn to look like a fool on national television and he picks a fight with Efrain, who just laughs off the attempt. Junie and Shane next throw the majority of the house’s furniture into the pool, then Junie picks up a bottle and threatens the rest of the house but picks a fight with the wrong guy as Krzysztof Soszynski takes offense and things get ugly.
Krzysztof first puts Junie’s clothes into the pool and Junie goes off the deep end. After attempting to push him into the pull Junie asks to be knocked out (if only). Now it’s Ryan Bader’s turn to piss Junie off as he kicks his clothes back into the water. Junie again goes ballistic and attacks anyone he’s able to, dragging Bader into the water and kicking Tom Lawlor to the ground.
Dana arrives at the house the following morning and calls the fighters together for a meeting, though White says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do about Junie and Shane’s actions. After calling both fighters “drunken jackasses” is a variety of ways, White decides to allow Shane to remain in the house, but he’ll be forced to fight in the first lightweight bout. In one of the more bizarre twists we’ve seen over the first eight seasons White opts to keep both Shane and Junie in the house, giving both fighters a second chance.
Team Nogueira selects Efrain to fight Team Mir’s Shane in the tournament’s first lightweight bout.
After a training session we jump back to the house where Junie’s back at it again, this time picking a fight with Efrain. There’s no physical altercation this time, as they simply trade verbal jabs ahead of Efrain’s matchup with Shane.
The fighters tip the scales next and both make weight for the 155-pound fight. The fighters and teams are confident they have the skills to win the bout and we’re quickly onto the fight.
EFRAIN ESCUDERO (Team Nogueira) vs. SHANE NELSON (Team Mir)
ROUND 1 – The fighters touch gloves and we’re underway. There’s tentative striking early as both fighters circle and look and opening. Nelson gets the better of the early standup, tagging Escudero with several combos. The fighters clinch and trade shots. Efrain works for a takedown from the clinch but Nelson defends well and remains on his feet. After a null in the action the fighters are separated and restarted. They quickly clinch again and this time Efrain is successful in getting Nelson to the ground and lands in side control. Nelson shows good defense on the ground, getting Efrain back into half guard before the conclusion of the opening frame.
ROUND 2 – Nelson again displays better striking to open round two but Efrain is again successful in taking him to the ground. After a bit of ground work the fighters work back to their feet. They’re quickly back on the ground but this times it’s Nelson working from the top in Efrain’s guard. It’s short-lived, however, as Efrain locks up a triangle choke in the closing seconds and forces Nelson to tap.
Efrain Escudero def. Shane Nelson via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2
Junie is pissed at the result, and calls Efrain out as “another boring wrestler” even though he finished the fight via submission. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira calms Efrain down, saying Junie will be the next one to be finished, but Junie is relentless and jumps into the cage to confront Efrain.
“Anarchy in the octagon” kicks off next weeks episode as we witness the conclusion of Junie’s in-ring confrontation with Efrain and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva stops by to train with Team Nogueira.