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Reflections on The Ultimate Fighter week 11 (or is it 12? do weeks without episodes count?)

   So here we are at the end of Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, and we have back-to-back episodes to say goodbye.

   We begin with Ryan Bader vs Eliot Marshall.

   The fight went all three rounds and is pretty simple to summarize: Bader took Eliot down and put him against the cage. Bader controlled Eliot until the ref stood the fight back up and then took him down again at will. This was the pattern for three rounds.

   Bader won via unanimous decision and moved to the finals.

   Mir spent most of the fight calling for the ref to stand them up and calling it a good wrestling match. He then commends Bader after the fight for winning with a limited set of abilities. I’m sorry, but he was able to utilize his superior skill and control the entire fight. If Eliot was indeed the better fighter he could have done a number of things: Sprawl and out strike Bader, work back to his feet from the ground, sweep Bader, or perhaps submit him from his back. Instead he laid on the ground with Bader in his guard.

   Unlike his coach, Eliot made no excuses in defeat and gave Bader plenty of credit.

   Next up was George Roop vs Phillipe Nover. If you decided to go to the fridge you would have missed this lightweight bout. Nover came out swinging, connected, and took Roop down. Roop managed a nice sweep, but Nover quickly applied a solid Kimura and forced Roop to tap.

   Phillipe Nover, as many expected, is now fighting in the finals.

   The second episode begins with Krzysztof Soszynski vs Vinny Magalhaes.

   Pre-fight Bas Jr says you can change a black belt to a white belt with a punch in the face. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to land this magical punch.

   At the start of the fight it seemed like we were in for a war of styles. Vinny pulled guard every chance he got and Krzysztof sprawled or was able to stand up. However after receiving 9 inside leg kicks in a row Vinny was able to again pull guard and submit Krzysztof with an arm bar.

   Vinny will now face Bader in the season finale.

   And this is where the episode goes crazy. Junie is shown training and saying that he doesn’t want to fight. He feels he has gotten worse since he arrived and that he doesn’t want to fight and lose on TV.

   So back at the house, he loses his temper following a discussion about the fights with Shane and throws a coffee mug at him, and then a couple punches. Shane calls him crazy.

   As a result, Dana White treats us to another appearance. He asks if Junie is retarded, bi-polar or just afraid to lose. Junie claims he isn’t like this at home, and that the reality show is messing with his head. Dana says he is afraid to lose without an excuse, and that he is trying to take the easy way out. He doesn’t want to let Junie leave, but he doesn’t want the other guys think he is playing favourites, so he gives them the choice. He explains the situation (We finally get the “don’t vote him off, beat him off “ line) and Efrain expresses his desire to fight Junie. The others agree and Junie gets to stay again.

   People are going to question this move, and I questioned giving Junie a second and third chance. But I think there was sound logic behind this decision that goes beyond ratings (which many will be quick to blame). Junie talked trash all season, and Dana is forcing him to back it up in the cage.

   The Fight with Efrain is by no means spectacular. Junie begins by sitting in the cage while Efrain enters, and then by stretching when the round begins. They trade on their feet, with neither doing much damage for a round and a half.

   Mir decided to give up on Junie in Round 2 and sat down to simply watch the fight. Junie was obviously gassed and when Efrain finally took him down there wasn’t much effort to escape or defend the choke.

   Efrain submitted Junie in the second round and will now face Nover in the finals.

   After the fight Junie goes outside while Team Nog celebrates and shaves Mir’s head. Apparently Mir had agreed to it in a bet that Nog’s fighters wouldn’t make the finals.

   Outside Junie made excuses of why he would have been better if he trained at home, and said that Efrain wasn’t better than he though, but that he simply overestimated his own abilities.

   In the end, Dana White seemed pretty stoked that Junie was beaten and sent home properly.

   So thus concludes my weekly reflections on the Ultimate Fighter. Tune in next week for some views on the finales, and some other various thoughts.

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One Response to “Reflections on The Ultimate Fighter week 11 (or is it 12? do weeks without episodes count?)”

  1. Jason P Says:

    Wow, I think Mir shit the bed a little bit as a coach in these episodes. Maybe he should have tried giving Eliot advice rather than trying to make an appeal to the ref to have them stood up. And then he decides to sit out Junie’s fight, sure Junie is a douche, but Mir is still on the show to coach.
    Anyways, I was a little bummed that Bas Jr didn’t make the finals, but hopefully we’ll see Nog’s old coach rubbing someone’s shoulders and telling them they “coulda been a contentda” in the finals.
    Look forward to your opinions on who will win Ray.

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