This week was back to normal on TUF 8. Mir and Nogueira picked teams, there was training shots, the usual house shenanigans, as well as the first quarterfinal fight at light heavyweight. However, before any of this went down, two more fighters had to leave the house due to injury. Karn and Brian were both forced to leave the show (with some tough love from Dana after they just sat there stupefied) due to nose fractures. Kyle Kingsbury (as I predicted) and Roli Delgado (big surprise to me) were both allowed back on the show. Mir won the coin toss to decide who gets first fighter and who picks the first fight. Mir made a great decision picking KS with the first pick who is my pick to win the light heavyweight tournament. Mir also got Junie Browning who, if he can stay sane (although according to the preview for next week's show that's already in question) should be the favorite in the lightweight tournament. Nogueira picks Ryan Bader (his first pick) against Tom Lawler for the first fight.
There are some random training sequences and the weigh in as usual. However, at the house Junie has way too much to drink and basically goes into a bipolar meltdown between laughing and breaking stuff and winds up crying face down next to the pool before he passes out and the rest of the guys drag him into the house to sleep it off. He says in his confessional that no one in the house had it as bad as him growing up. While I can't deny that, there's still something seriously wrong with him that he needs help with and alcohol will only make it worse. I hope he doesn't blow his shot at this like the previews to next week's show indicates. There was a lot of talk about how tension is starting to build between the two teams and team Mir, KS in particular, decided to pull a prank on the team Nogueira guys by saran wrapping their underwear and other clothes and leaving it out by the pool or underneath their bed in Ryan Bader's case. Also, there seemed to be some jealousy between how Nogueira treats his fighters (like a family) and how Mir treats his (student - teacher). I doubt that will play out. I think the show is just trying to show how different the two coaches are. Last but not least, before I get into the fight I just want to say that Nogueira's boxing coach, the 60 something year old "Stankie" is really creeping me out already. Okay now on to the fight between Tom Lawlor and Ryan Bader.
Bader is basically a better version of Lawler. They are both wrestlers and ground and pound stylists. However, Bader is just bigger, stronger, and faster. With that said lets get into the fight:
Round 1: Lawlor was able to evade Bader's initial attempts at a take down but he couldn't fend them off forever finally being taken down. However, he defended himself well only eating a few shots here and there before escaping back to his feet. Lawlor looked like he might make it a fight landing a few good shots on the feet. But Bader was able to take down Lawlor again and this time made the most of it stacking Lawlor up and raining down a blow that bounded Lawlor's head against the mat and knocked him out cold.
This was a very impressive win for Bader who I didn't think was a real contender at 205. I like what I've seen so far but I'm still very skeptical of his stand up and would like to see how he fares against a really good kick boxer before sending him straight to the finals.
This was a solid episode for TUF that showcased all the usual stuff we see every season. I'll be more excited now that the formalities are over and we can settle down into focusing on the fights. However, it appears more drama is on the way based on next week's preview involving Junie in some way. I am interested to see what happens only because Junie is my pick to win at 155 but I really do get sick of all this drama. That's all for now folks. Stay tuned for my EliteXC: Heat review this weekend and my TUF 8 wrap up next week. Until then,
Soccer kicks and head stomps...