The Ultimate Fighter 8 season finale ranking

TUF 8 finale

– So here we are. Our first finale with two brackets since season four when Matt Serra and Travis Lutter earned their respective victories and title shots. However no title shots for either winner this season. It’s time for the light heavyweights and lightweights to get it on!

– Vinny states he thinks about Bader every second of his life. Do I sense a bromance?

– Phillipe is not going to lose and is not going to faint.

– Stupid metal rock music plays. At least it’s not Limp Bizkit. Junie is on this card. Gouveia. The Athlete Jason MacDonald. Anthony Johnson. Some guy named Kevin Burns. Then our dear finalists. No huge names featured on this card unlike the previous finales. There aren’t a plethora of this season’s alumni on the card either it appears.

– Coaches for season nine will be revealed at the end of the show. Goldberg informs us that millions of dollars were raised during the Fight for the Troops at the last Fight Night.

KAPLAN vs. BROWNING

– Kaplan has a real ugly beard. Hopefully it is a dedication to Evan Tanner. That is the only acceptable excuse.

– Joe Rogan laughs at the walk-in music for Dave Kaplan. Kaplan is working with Frank Mir. You mean Mir’s crew didn’t want to train with Junie Browning? Dave Kaplan won ABC’s The Singing Bee. Joe Silva watched Dave Kaplan on The Singing Bee. Kaplan  knows every capital city and won a gameshow? He is becoming more and more like me.

– Junie Browning enters to Eminem’s Without Me.

– The first fight is presented without commercial interruption thanks to Playstation 3.

– Junie “The Lunatic” Browning? That is an appropriate nickname.

Browning by knockout?

– Fight clock brought to us by Spirit. No touching of the gloves. They feint. Browning fires an inside leg kick straight to the cup. It was dead on. Junie apologizes. Dave nearly connects with a groin strike of his own. Junie kickboxes and punches Dave freqently. Dave’s stance is awkward. They circle around each other. Junie is getting three strikes for every one that Dave gets in. Awesome combinations. Huge knee to the face of Dave. But Dave drops Junie with a strike of his own. Dave goes for an ankle lock on the ground but Junie shakes his head and turns into it to flop up and take Dave’s back. He almost has the choke but Dave is back on his feet. Knee to the thigh of Junie. Junie knees then breaks the clinch. Junie fires some punches to the face. Great jab and a headkick. Someone is bleeding. Dave swoops in with a few strikes and comes in to get a body lock. He succeeds and takes Junie to the ground. Junie booty scoots away but Dave drops to get the ankle lock. Dave loses it and Junie is back to his feet. The audience calls for a knee. Junie takes Dave to the ground. Dave attempts a guillotine but lets go. Junie is elbowing with his back facing Dave from the top. Dave tries to for a headlock from the bottom but Junie has Dave’s back from the bottom. An arm is under the neck. Dave escapes and is on top of Junie on the ground. Junie defends with some elbows. Both are on their feet. Dave clinches and knees Junie’s body against the cage. He punches. Junie breaks the clinch and starts his own to knee Dave’s body. End of round. Great opening round.

– They touch gloves. Both trade some hits. Junie runs away then charges back in to take Dave to the mat. Dave has half guard. Dave holds Junie close to him. Junie attempts to create distance. Junie elbows Dave with his back facing Kaplan again. He is back facing Dave on top of him. Junie passes into side control. He is close to an armbar. Dave is rolling into him. But Junie creates enough space to pull the arm and SUBMISSION!  End of fight. Junie mugs for the camera and Dave is shaking his head in disappointment. Not the slickest submission but earns the dubya.

– Joe credits Junie with a huge improvement compared to his fights in the house. Junie proceeds to apologize everyone who he affected on the show like Mir, the other coaches, and his fellow players.

– Kevin James interview again. A new movie for him to promote. This time it’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Smashing.

MARSHALL vs. BRUCHEZ

Marshall by submission? I think so. I recall Jules being terrible in his fight during the season.

– They touch gloves. Straight right Eliot that lands. He comes in and punches more and more and more and more. They all land. They clinch. Jules looks visibly dazed. Eliot takes Jules down. Coaching a bunch of the Strikeforce fighters is helping Eliot. Side control. Eliot works an arm but instead moves into full mount. Jules has zero future in this sport. Eliot has Jules’ back. He has the arm in and is extending back. Jules is ready to tap and is almost asleep but decides against it. He punches Eliot with weak punches from the least powerful position possible. He finally gives in and taps. Jules has a HUGE cut open across his right cheek.

– Joe congratulates Eliot on the complete domination. Eliot mentions his training partner Duane Ludwig. So that’s the end of that.

MACDONALD vs. GOUVEIA

Gouveia by submission? Nobody believes in the Albertan athlete. He beat Maia and Leben? Wow this guy is underrated. Why do I express no confidence in him? Beats me. Gouveia didn’t make weight but Macdonald agreed to fight with a 5-pound disadvantage. Learn to cut weight, Gouveia. That is shameful. There goes your purse.

– Just understood why Macdonald’s camp is called “Hitman”. Is it the best camp there is, ever was, and ever will be? I s’pose one could make that argument.

– Rosenthal is our referee. They touch gloves. Gouveia leg kicks. Jason punches lightly before coming in to go for the takedown. Gouveia is leaning against the cage. Macdonald succeeds with the takedown but Gouveia launches himself up. That’s where the weight advantage comes up. Macdonald foot stomps. We are told Gouveia has a poor work ethic. They break up the clinch and run to the centre. They trade strikes. Leg kick by Gouveia that we can hear. Gouveia blocks kicks from Macdonald. Gouveia lands a huge right on Macdonald that drops him. Gouveia swoops in and drops several hammer fists and elbows as Jason is curled up against the cage. Jason is grimacing in pain as he is cut wide open. More elbows and punches. Jason taps from the strikes. End of fight.

– We see the instant replay. Gouveia landed three consecutive strikes on the chin. Whoa. Macdonald’s forehead is wide open. The underdog does not prevail for once. He is somebody’s stepping stone after all.

– Wilson Gouveia wins but c’mon you needed a five pound advantage? He should give fifty percent of his purse to Macdonald. Gouveia promises to never let it happen again and apologizes to everyone in the UFC.

– We see a sign in Vegas of Nogueira and Mir fighting. What is more exciting is a sign for Scream Therapy that displays the creepiest picture I have seen in my life.

BURNS VS. JOHNSON

– Re-match of Kevin Burns versus Anthony Johnson. This was the infamous fight of the eyepoke at the end of round three. The fight tonight will be rounds four, five, and six. I predict a Johnson knockout.

– Yamasaki is our referee. They touch gloves. Both trade leg kicks and jabs. Slight groin kick to Johnson but there is only a stop for two seconds. We are told Burns’ hand is healed up. Good jabs by Burns. Anthony dodges a few punches and misses a big head kick. Burns lands some brutal strikes. Johnson comes in with a lethal combo that Burns blocks. Burns throws some overhand rights but Johnson ducks and takes Burns down. Johnson stands up for two seconds and drops with some huge punches and elbows before maneuvering into side control. Anthony keeps moving Burns along the mat. Burns slaps on a triangle. That is tight. Burns should have thrown some strikes because Johnson is focused enough to snap out of it and is back in Burns’ guard. Good ground fight. Neither are throwing any strikes. No effort by Johnson to pass. Instantly Yamasaki brings them up. Neither are striking. Burns lands a big shot. Burns’ leg is caught by Johnson and immediately thrown to the ground. Johnson kicks Burns’ thighs from up top. He isn’t letting Burns up yet. With ten seconds left Yamasaki signals Burns to come up. In the final few seconds they trade a million strikes that puts Burns in a daze. End of round.

– They touch gloves. Johnson is throwing some front kicks that miss. Burns connects with a leg kick and a body punch. Johnson’s strikes miss.  Both trade leg kicks. Johnson has a leg and takes Burns down. Johnson is attempting to get into side control but is stuck in half guard. Burns has a strong grip on Johnson’s right arm. It is nearly a kimora. Johnson yanks it out and solidifies his half guard. Burns elbows from what has become a full guard. Johnson elbows from the top. Johnson smashes the ribs with his strikes and is connecting with the odd strike. He is breaking up the body. A few short elbows. Burns had done nothing offensively from his back. Left hook to the ear. Burns throws an elbow from the bottom. They find themselves against the cage. Both appear to want to be shoved into the cage. Both strike each other’s midsections. Burns is pushing off the cage with his legs. Johnson has half guard but is back into full guard. Burns spins out but Johnson lands an elbow and is back in Burns’ full guard. End of round.

– Johnson fires an inside leg kick. Both miss with subsequent strikes. Burns lands a leg kick. So does Johnson. Great jab by Johnson. Burns misses. Johnson lands a punch. Then fires a GIGANTIC head kick that lands right on the chin. Burns is knocked out cold. Right on the right ear and chin. Johnson barely has enough time to land a punch on the chin as Yamasaki shoves Johnson off. He flails like a fish on the ground to celebrate. I doubt Burns knows where he is.

– Johnson is pouring with sweat. He is slurring his speech a little bit and is slow to answering the questions. Johnson couldn’t be less excited about talking about the kick.

– Video Game Awards is advertised just like it was right after the TUF 6 finale. Joe Rogan interviews Forrest Griffin and Frank Mir. They are both appearing on the Video Game Awards. Forrest is showing up just to meet LL Cool J. Mir is going because he is a major video game nerd. Second year in a row where Forrest Griffin is apart of the awards. His name must be bigger than ever.

– Both are being interviewed regarding their respective fights at UFC 92. Forrest jokes around per usual while Mir discusses Nog being an absolute legend.

– UFC 92 promo time.

– Dana White meets each of the four finalists in their locker rooms.

BADER vs. MAGALHAES

Bader by decision?

– We are shown the paths of both fighters through the season. None of their personal life is shown. There goes that tradition that occurred in each of the first seven seasons. Wrestler versus submission specialist, essentially.

– Vinny walks in to Nas’ Hate Me Now.

– Goldberg says it is a classic matchup of wrestler versus jiu jitsu practitioner. I thought ‘striker vs. grappler’ is the classic matchup. Goldberg needs to find something buzz worthy to promote this fight it appears.

– Herb Dean is our referee. The best referee for the biggest fight of the night. Here. We. Go!

– They touch gloves. Big leg kick by Bader. Body kick by Vinny. Both miss with their follow-up kicks. They miss overhand strikes. Leg kick by Bader. They avoid strikes. Both exchange strikes and Bader loses his grip on Vinny’s leg. Bader shoots in with a body kick but Vinny throws him off. Bader creates some distance as he intentionally misses some strikes. Bader punches Vinny’s face but it misses. Both are throwing some strikes overhand but both miss. Bader throws a punch overhand but misses. Bader throws an enormous right hand that drops Vinny. Vinny goes down and half-heartedly covers up. Bader unleashes hammer fists then Herb hovers over until it is clear that it needs to be stopped. We should note Bader’s right arm was partially deflected but there was so much power that Vinny still went down.

– Dana and Lariani hands Bader the contract and the trophy. Joe interviews Ryan.

SOSZYNSKI vs. PRIMM

Soszynski by quick KO?

– Herb Dean is our referee.

– They touch gloves. They dance around for ten seconds. Soszynski lands some big strikes on the chin. Primm shoots in and takes Soszynski down. He ain’t no Mike Steward. Wide guard by Soszynski. Terrible ground game for Soszynski. Soszynski scrambles to his feet. Shane chases Soszynski down and they clinch. Krzystof breaks the clinch. Krzystof fires a punch to the belly and chin. They sprawl on the ground. Krzystof is on top and clinches Primm on the ground as he deals some strikes. Primm flips onto his back and pulls guard. Soszynski uses brute strength to pull up Primm and body slam him. Krzystof lets up Primm. They clinch on their feet as Krzystof uppercuts Primm in the clinch. Primm knees Krzystof in the clinch. They clinch again. Krzystof deals an uppercut before the clinch is broken again. They clinch again and Primm lands strikes of his own. They sprawl and Krzystof is yet again on top as he rotates to be in Primm’s half guard and passes into side control. Krzystof stands up and wants Primm up but changes his mind as he kciks Primm’s thighs and hops into Primm’s guard. He passes into half guard but it looks more like side control to the naked eye. He takes Primm’s left arm and is intending to break it. He gives up on it and stands up over Primm. At the end of the round he lands a huge shot on Primm as he goes into Primm’s guard. End of round.

– They touch gloves. They dance around for the first eight seconds. Primm lands an overhand right but Krzystof counters. Head kick by Primm that somewhat lands. Krzystof works a couple combinations. They clinch. Krzystof gets the better of the clinch. They break and dance around some more. Primm is ready to punch but ducks and goes for the takedown. Krzystof defends on his feet as he rests and walks along the cage. Primm stands up against the cage as he maintains the underhooks on Krzystof. They wall ride the cage. Krzystof lands a punch that breaks the clinch. They trade big strikes on their feet. Krzystof lands a couple punches on Primm’s chin. Primm drops but Krzystof is on top and is in half guard. His right leg is barely barricaded by Primm. He lands some big punches on Primm’s chin. Krzystof and Primm roll around as Krzystof maintains his position on top. Back to half guard. Krzystof is standing up over Primm. He goes back into Primm’s half guard. He takes ahold of Primm’s right shoulder and bends it backwards to where Primm taps out of nowhere. I be it is dislocated. Great kimora. Primm is in serious pain and taps. That is seriously dislocated.

– Krzystof does some weird thing with his hands in the interview and Joe asks what he is doing. It is just his way of being excited.

NOVER vs. ESCUDERO

Nover by submission?

– We see their journeys. Luckily over the past few blogs you already know all about their journey.

– Mazzagatti is the referee. The lightweights really got the short end of the stick on this one. They touch gloves. Both are hopping around really fast. Nover head kicks that lands. Body kick too. These guys are quick. Escudero misses a kick. Big right hand by Phillipe. Escudero takes Phillipe down. Full guard. Efrain gets up and throws a barrage at Phillpe before dropping in and taking his back on the ground. Phillipe is fighting hard to get out of the choke. Efrain turns to be in moutn. Phillipe bucks but Efrain lands some huge shots as he leans back in. Efrain stands up but dodges and upkick before missing a shot and back in Phillipe’s guard. Phillipe slaps on a triangle. Efrain traps Phillipe’s right leg to improve his chances of surviving. Phillipe moves to his feet with a standing kimora. Gives it up. Phillipe throws a left and misses. This leaves him wide open to a takedown by Efrain. Full guard. Phillipe traps an arm. Efrain knows what is going on and stands up. Efrain lands a big punch as they are on their feet. Phillipe is on the ground. Efrain plays around before landing a huge blow to Phillipe’s chin as he blows up into Phillipe. He is in Phillipe’s guard. How did Nover survive? Efrain stands up to hover over Phillipe. Phillipe tries to upkick but none of the upkicks land. Phillipe is back on his feet. They are in the centre. Phillipe knees Efrain’s body. They clinch as Phillipe is against the cage. End of round.

– They touch gloves. Phillipe misses a looping leg kick. Phillipe bullrushes with a milliion strikes. Efrain takes Phillipe down and is in side control already. Efrain may solve the riddle of Phillipe on the ground. Efrain stands up to hover over Phillipe once again. Kicks to the thighs. Missed upkicks. More leg kicks. Odd foot stomp on the knee. Phillipe misses an upkick. Phillipe stands up. Efrain is in a clinch with Nover and throws Phillipe to the ground. Nover gets up and clinches Escudero. Phillipe has Escudero against the cage. Knees. Marco Ruas foot stomps. Knee just above Efrain’s groin. They break the clinch. Back to the centre of the octagon. Phillipe drops his arms completely. He must be drained. Like he’s ready to faint. Efrain sneaks in a few body kicks. Phillipe bull rushes yet again but Efrain ducks and has the clinch. Phillipe defends once. Efrain grabs a leg but Phillipe takes Efrain down with a guillotine. It’s side control so Efrain has no problem getting out. They are crumpled against the cage. Efrain punches Phillipe’s ribs. Full guard. Half guard as we get Phillipe further away from the fence. Phillipe escapes and they are on their feet. Efrain slips and eats a huge body kick by Phillipe on the way up. Phillipe is quickly taken down by Efrain. End of round.

– They touch gloves. Efrain kicks Phillipe’s face. Phillipe leg kicks. Phillipe misses a head kick. Efrain misses a leg kcik. Both exchange some strikes. Efrain ducks and gets the takedown yet again. Efrain has Phillipe’s left arm. Half guard. Efrain stands up over Phillipe. Kicks to the thighs. Phillipe stands up. Leg kick by Phillipe. Efrain blocks a body kick. They strike furiously. Phillipe throws a straight left. Punch to Efrain’s get and a head kick. Efrain ducks and takes Phillipe down. Phillipe’s foot is halfway up the cage. Half guard. Full guard. Phillipe attempts a rubber guard. He elbows Efrain’s right shoulder from the bottom. Some more elbows. And some more. Efrain is controlling Phillipe’s right leg. Mazzagatti warns Phillipe about strikes to the back of the head. Phillipe elbows Efrain’s butt. He punches Efrain’s right ear. Phillipe sweeps and is hovering above Efrain. Efrain flails his legs like crazy. Phillipe tries to reign down some punches. Efrain frees himself from an armbar. End of fight.

– Efrain Escudero wins by unanimous decision 29-28. He is presented with the trophy and contract. He dedicates it to his father who died shortly after filming of the season. More UFC 92 promotion and Video Game Awards. And that’s the season.

Rank the Fights

1) Ryan “the Master” Bader vs. Tom Lawlor (Excellent control of all aspects by Bader. To top it all off he managed to knock a guy out from half guard. I applaud your work, Bader.)

2) Efrain Escudero vs. Shane Nelson (A triangle choke from full mount??? Is that even possible? A very good technical match in the latter half of the fight. Junie Browning’s WWF-like entrance following the match only boosts its honourable (or dishonourable) finish to the episode.)

3) Efrain Escudero vs. Phillipe Nover (This finals match-up delivered quite well. They fought for three rounds with Efrain excelling at the ground game and Phillipe excelling at the striking game.

4) Wesley Murch vs. John Polakowski (These guys fought hard. Great battle. Wesley continues to fight on a knee worse than the broken leg that Olaf tried to fight with in match #2 with John Polakowski. Wesley was completely out of his mind to attempt a flying knee with his hurt leg. Best match in the round of 32.)

5) Efrain Escudero vs. Junie Browning (This fight was hyped pretty much from the moment Efrain was fighting in the prelims. Junie followed through with not following through with the game plan. He was on a path to win this fight until he implemented his bizarre strategy of going to the ground with Efrain. Typically anyone who abandons their game plan is a ground specialist who wants to prove they are a ‘real fighter’ and can strike like Andy Wang or Dave Kaplan. Efrain takes Junie to the ground and suffocates him with ease. The storyline of the fight was great.

6) Mike Stewart vs. Krzystof Soszinski (A memorable fight in the round of 32. I never thought a guy could defend in such a terrible manner on their feet. Krzystof punched through Mike’s barrier which resulted in one of the strangest stoppages I have seen. I didn’t know a guy covering up on his feet could lead to a referee ending the fight.)

7) Dave Kaplan vs. Phillipe Nover (Phillipe may have put on the slickest minute of striking and maneuvering into full mount that has been witnessed on the show in a really long time.)

8) George Roop vs. Phillipe Nover (Read above.)

9) George Roop vs. John Polakowski (The biggest striking war that is seen from any of the preliminary fights all season. John refused to go to the ground while George refrained from using his right hand until the second round. It makes for a very unorthodox fight.)

10) Junie Browning vs. Jose Aguilar (What a beatdown by Junie. Jose ain’t stand a chance, naw what I mean?)

11) Krzystof Soszynski vs. Vinny Magalhaes (I love me some quality striking, and strong resistance to the ground game. Unfortunately the fight doesn’t last for too long because my word Vinny’s ground game is unbelievable when you take in account the amateur nature of TUF.)

12) Ido Pariente vs. Efrain Escudero (Great reversals by Efrain to accomplish his game plan.)

13) Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhaes (There are only about fifteen seconds of the whole fight that is worth watching. All you can say is that Magalhaes was severely outclassed.)

14) Shane Primm vs. Sean O’ Connell (Great coaching and one of the neatest moves I have seen makes it one of the best Round of 32 fights.)

15) Eliot Marshall vs. Shane Primm (Why not?)

16) Krzystof Soszynski vs. Kyle Kingsbury (A guy who lost easily once ends up losing easily again? Who saw that coming?)

17) Dave Kaplan vs. Fernando Bernstein (

There was some flying knees in the air that fight
The kicks and strikes
Then choke Fernandooooo.)

18) Joe Duarte vs. Phillipe Nover (An unfortunate groin strike but the fact Phillipe was able to cause major damage while his back was taken is rather impressive.)

19) Eric MaGee vs. Jules Bruchez (Eric’s ground game sucks. Nothing much else to comment on this pre-house fight.)

20) Ryan Lopez vs. Tom Lawlor (This is ‘Rank the Fights’. How can this be classified as a fight?)

21) Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jules Bruchez (Nothing to report on this fight.)

22) Eliot Marshall vs. Ryan Bader (TUF 2 heavyweight flashbacks.)

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

JASON GUIDA 4 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 4.0
Confessional count: 4

MIKE STEWART 3 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 1.5
Confessional count: 3

JOE DUARTE 2 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 1.0
Confessional count: 2

FERNANDO BERNSTEIN 1 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 0.5
Confessional count: 1

ERIC MAGEE 1 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 0.5
Confessional count: 1

LANCE EVANS 1 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: .5
Confessional count: 1

RYAN JIMMO 0 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 0.0
Confessional count: 0

BRANDON GARNER 3 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 1.5
Confessional count: 3

JOSE AGUILAR 3 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 1.5
Confessional count: 3

WESLEY MURCH 0 / 2 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 1.0
Confessional count: 2

SEAN O’ CONNEL 0 / 2 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 1.0
Confessional count: 2

IDO PARIENTE 0 / 1 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 0.5
Confessional count: 1

RYAN LOPEZ 0 / 1 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 0.5
Confessional count: 1

CHARLES DIAZ 0 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 0.0
Confessional count: 0

KARN GRIGORYAN 0 / 2 / 1 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 1.0
Confessional count: 3

ANTWAIN BRITT 1 / 0 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: 0.5
Confessional count: 1

BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN 1 / 0 / 1 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional average: .67
Confessional count: 2

TOM LAWLOR 0 / 2 / 6 / 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 / 5 / 3 / 1 / 0 / 0
Confessional average: 1.92
Confessional count: 23

SHANE NELSON 0 / 0 / 1 / 7 / 2 / 0 / 2 / 2 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0
Confessional average: 1.25
Confessional count: 15

SHANE PRIMM 0 / 3 / 3 / 0 / 11 / 0 / 1 / 3 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 2
Confessional average: 2.08
Confessional count: 25

ROLI DELGADO 0 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 10 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Confessional average: 1.33
Confessional count: 16

JULES BRUCHEZ 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 12 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Confessional average: 1.5
Confessional count: 18

DAVE KAPLAN 1 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 12 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0
Confessional average: 1.58
Confessional count: 19

KYLE KINGSBURY 0 / 1 / 1 / 2 / 10 / 0 / 4 / 8 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0
Confessional average:  3.0
Confessional count: 36

JOHN POLAKOWSKI 0 / 2 / 3 / 1 / 2 / 2 / 1 / 4 / 1 / 7 / 0 / 0
Confessional average: 1.92
Confessional count: 23

ELIOT MARSHALL 0 / 2 / 0 / 1 / 11 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 4 / 6 / 0
Confessional average: 2.33
Confessional count: 28

GEORGE ROOP 0 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 2 / 0 / 9 / 6 / 0
Confessional average: 1.67
Confessional count: 20

KRZYSTOF SOSZYNSKI 3 / 0 / 7 / 4 / 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 / 15 / 1 / 0 / 5
Confessional average: 3.25
Confessional count: 39

JUNIE BROWNING 4 / 0 / 5 / 6 / 6 / 12 / 0 / 5 / 1 / 4 / 0 / 12
Confessional average: 4.58
Confessional count: 55

PHILLIPE NOVER 3 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 1 / 19 / 1 / 2 / 5 / 0
Confessional average: 3.0
Confessional count: 36

RYAN BADER 1 / 1 / 11 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 3 / 5 / 0
Confessional average: 2.08
Confessional count: 25

EFRAIN ESCUDERO 0 / 2 / 2 / 12 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 8
Confessional average: 2.67
Confessional count: 32

VINNY MAGALHAES 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 4
Confessional average: 1.33
Confessional count: 16

Conclusion

Pardon the delay. There has been a ton of MMA for me to watch to lead up to The Ultimate Fighter 9.

What shall I say about TUF 8? It was a significant improvement over the previous season. Production caught on that thirty-two fighters from one weight class is insane to edit into twelve episodes. The change to divide it between two weight classes makes all of the difference in the world. It gave us a great chance of getting to know every fighter. How many of the fighters can you recall from TUF 7? Matt Brown? Jesse Taylor’s season finale incident? Jeremy May taunting everyone?

Well this season it’s tough to think of people who WEREN’T memorable. The entire cast was given airtime and were much more dynamic than contestants we have seen from the past few seasons. I’d say the last cast to outmatch this one was perhaps the crew of TUF 5.

Speaking of the similarities to TUF 5, this cast was just as wild and eccentric as the fighters from that season. Note that TUF 5 and TUF 8 are the only two seasons to feature lightweights. I think production has learned that lightweights are the most exciting for television and creating house rivalries.

Big Nog and Mir were awesome as coaches. Nog had his family setting while Mir’s crew appeared to all hate each other. It’s probably why both winners came from Nog’s team. It is much easier to train on a team that is intimate with each other as opposed to Mir’s team where half of the guys refuse to sparr with Junie.

And yes, I doubt I can go further with this conclusion without mentioning our good friend Junie Browning. He did not dominate the confessionals as much as people like Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Matt Serra, or Chris Leben, but I would say he has the best ratio of airtime: being memorable of any fighter in the history of the series. That guy found a way to blow up every single week that he was in the house. Junie was never one to fly under the radar in any situation. We were fully aware of his presence and waited for the shortest fuse in the world to blow once again.

In any other season, Junie’s antics would have led to an ejection by the end of the third episode. The show had a reputation for zero toleration pf physically hitting another contestant. UFC is in a position where they need to prove that the sport is not full of street thugs and raging abusive men. The only incident to have any leniency is the complicated mess involving the stars of TUF 1– Chris Leben, Bobby Southworth, and Josh Koscheck. Their late night drunken battle was so complex that it occupied 35 minutes of airtime because production could not determine who to fault.

As for Junie’s issues? Every single punch that was thrown at the house was instigated by him. In fact Junie was the only one who ever hit people and nobody else was stupid enough to hit back. I don’t have enough fingers to count how many times that Junie should have been ejected from the program. Heck, Lobster was kicked out of TUF 5 for merely instigating a fight between two other players without throwing a punch himself.

The only reason Junie survives is because production got comfortable enough with UFC’s image and ability to survive scrutiny that they wanted to soak up as much ratings and media attention as possible. And it worked. TUF 8 would not be the same without Junie.

Then add in Krzystof’s pranks. Never have the players needed to be on their toes in the House. Compare it to TUF 6 and TAR 7 where nothing really arises except for maybe one or two pranks like a double decker or an offensive drawing. TUF 8? We saw a brand new prank on a weekly basis. The entire spectrum was covered. Semen, urine, grave sites, kitchens moved, the bedroom magnet, drawings, shirts thrown into pools, etc. You would think those are all pranks to spread across an entire series run rather than a single season. Of course you need a fun loving Canucka like Krzystof to make this frenzy last an entire season. Well done Krzystof.

The storylines of Junie vs. The House, the pranks, players not listening to coaches, Dave pissing off others that his game plan is leaked despite not following his game plan, Dave’s obsession with country capitals, injuries playing a big part in the round of 32, Jason Guida failing weight and Lance Evans losing to not live up to their respective hype, and Dana White saying that TUF is all about masturbation makes for a very easy to follow season. Everything was clear cut. We as an audience were invested into each individual and their stories.

So where does this season rank overall?

The Ultimate Fighter 5 – 8.99/10
The Ultimate Fighter 8 – 8.51/10
The Ultimate Fighter 3 – 8.5/10
The Ultimate Fighter (1) –  8/10
The Ultimate Fighter 6 – 7.7/10
The Ultimate Fighter 4 – 6.8/10
The Ultimate Fighter 7 – 6.5/10
The Ultimate Fighter 2 – 6.0/10

The two lightweight seasons are in the top two slots. Fights were exciting, storylines were great, contestants were great, unique situations arose, and somewhat equivalent level of exposure for each fighter makes this a journey with a great path. It is a big rebound from the rushed nature of TUF 7 or the mediocre nature of TUF 6. It will be difficult to forget TUF 8.

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