Last week on “The Ultimate Fighter 8: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir” Team MIr captured control in the second light heavyweight preliminary fight as 205-pounder Elliot Marshall submitted Team Nogueira’s Shane Primm via rear naked choke.
This week Junie Browning will look to back up his talk, squaring off with a fellow lightweight Roli Delgado for a spot in the 155-pound tournament semis. Both fighters are confident they’ll come out victorious, while Team Mir is energized by their first win of the season and is looking to keep the momentum going.
Back at the house to celebrate their win, Jiu jitsu black belt Frank Mir asks fellow black belt (or perhaps not?) Roli Delgado who he earned his belt under. After an extended and confusing story that leaves everyone in the house doubting the legitimacy of his belt, Junie and Rolando talk smack about a potential fight between the two. Junie is confident, as expected, but Roli feels hes not as good as he says he is.
Despite already announcing the bout in the intro, the official selection is next and, as expected, it’s Junie Browning vs. Rolando Delgado. Junie pulls out a black belt and tosses it at Delgado during the mandatory staredown, then the two engage in a playful shoving match punctuated by Junie spitting at Delgado’s feet. Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira he has the skills to beat Junie in their upcoming bout. Al Stankie “guarantees” a win for Roli if he follows his instructions, but after he struggles with a speed bag (you’re a pro fighter and don’t know how to hit a speed bag?) we’re having our doubts.
At the Team Mir training session Junie tips the scales at 163-pounds for the 156-pound limit fight, but Junie and Frank have little doubts he’ll be able to make weight. However, the official weigh-ins follow and Roli Delgado weighs-in at 155 but Junie weighs-in at 158, two pounds over the limit. Though there’s initial concerns over Junie’s ability to drop the two pounds, he quickly sheds the weight and successfully weighs-in for the fight at 156, but is wiped out from the quick drop.
After the weigh-ins we quickly move onto the bout between Junie and Roli.
As expected, there’s no touch of the gloves for this one and Junie comes out aggressively, chopping Roli to the ground with a powerful leg kick but allows him back up to go at him on the feet. Delgado rebounds with a string of strikes, but Junie remains the aggressor. Roli fires punches and kicks, but Junie does a good job avoiding and looks for an opening. At the midway point Junie picks up the pace and connects with more frequency, continue to stalk Roli around the octagon going so far as to drop his hands to allow Delgado to connect. Delgado shoots in for a takedown but Junie falls into side control. Delgado escapes and Junie allows him to return to his feet, then drops his hands again and invites more punches. Junie connects with a series of punches before the conclusion of the opening round.
Round two begins and Delgado looks for an early takedown but Junie sprawls out. After connecting with a combo Junie shrugs off another takedown attempt. Still on their feet Junie connects with more frequency, landing a series of punches and body shots that hurt Delgado. Junie continues to connect and Roli is unable to respond with anything on consequence. After closing wearing him down with a series of combinations Junie closes the distance against the fence then sends Delgado to the canvas with a right. After momentarily pounding on him while on the ground, Junie lets him return to his feet once again. Both fighters are gassed, but close the round out with an even flurry of punches.
The fight is all-square through two rounds on the judge’s cards, so they to a third and decisive round.
They touch gloves to start the third and resume their matchup. Junie picks Delgado apart early in the third with strikes, but Roli rebounds midway through the round and fights back. Junie, though, grabs the momentum again, catching a kick which allows Delgado to go to the canvas. Junie is hesitant to follow into his guard and remains standing, kicking Delgado while looking for an opening. With just over a minute remaining Delgado pops back to his feet and the exhausted fighters trade standup strikes for the remainder of the fight.
Junie Browning is declared the winner by split decision, evening the season series between Team Mir and Team Nogueira at two fights apiece while maintaining control for Team Mir.
After the fight, Junie apologizes to Nogueira for the pre-fight, black belt antics. Despite his surprising and gutsy performance, Rolando Delgado has been eliminated from the lightweight tournament while early tournament favorite Junie Browning advances to the semis.
Next week on The Ultimate Fighter 8, Team Mir engages in some “Wanderlei Silva training”, donning snorkels and hoping in trash cans filled with ice to prepare for their bouts, while Team Nogueira takes a starkly different approach, having a fun-filled practice in hopes of gaining the upper hands. The pranks also return, and this time their personal.
- 205: Elliot Marshall (1-0)
- 155: Junie Browning (1-0)
- 205: Krzysztof Soszynski
- 205: Vinicius Magalhaes
- 155: David Kaplan
- 155: George Roop
- 155: Shane Nelson
Eliminated in episode four by Efrain Escudero
- 205: Tom Lawlor
Eliminated in episode three by Ryan Bader
- 205: Ryan Bader (1-0)
- 155: Efrain Escudero (1-0)
- 205: Kyle Kingsbury
- 205: Jules Bruchez
- 155:Phillipe Nover
- 155: John Polakowski
- 155: Rolando Delgado
Eliminated in episode six by Junie Browning
- 205: Shane Primm
Eliminated in episode five by Elliot Marshall