This card lived up to my personal billing that this would be one of the better TUF finales. There were no unfortunate injuries or stoppages and there were some awesome finishes and a great main event. Let's see how my predictive skills fared this time out.
Roli Delgado v. John Polakowski: I was way off here with Roli winning by submission in the second round. I guess John won't be "firing the cannons!" anytime soon in the UFC. However, even with the win I doubt we'll be seeing Roli in the UFC anytime soon.
Shane Nelson v. George Roop: In what appeared to be a tough fight Nelson pulled out the split decision. I got the pick right but not the prediction. With George being one of the weaker fighters on the show I doubt we'll be seeing either of these guys in the UFC soon.
Kyle Kingsbury v. Tom Lawlor: Lawlor pulled out a unanimous decision. I got the pick right but not the prediction. Again, neither of these guys are quite UFC material yet.
Eliot Marshall v. Jules Bruchez: This was an impressive win for Marshall who dominated on the feet (unexpected) and then finished on the ground by submission in round 1 (expected). I didn't get the pick right here but this was a very impressive showing for Eliot who looked like a completely different fighter than he was on the show. After this performance we may see him grace an undercard soon in the UFC.
KS v. Shane Primm: KS didn't dominate quite like I thought he would on the feet but he made up for it by dominating on the ground pulling out a submission in the second round. I got the pick right but not the prediction. We'll definitely be seeing KS soon in the UFC.
Junie Browning v. Dave Kaplan: Browning looked absolutely dominant in his UFC debut. He crushed Kaplan standing up and surprisingly handled him on the ground as well earning a submission in the second round. I got the pick right but not the prediction. Junie looks markedly improved since his time on the show. It's obvious that his infamy got him this spot on the main card but he impressed and he sounded contrite (thought I don't really believe him). However, he must be doing something right to be training at Extreme Couture and it's obviously paid off based on this performance. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of Junie soon.
Wilson Gouveia v. Jason McDonald: In a very odd turn Gouveia came in 4 pounds over the limit (which is ridiculous) but made the most of it KO'ing McDonald in the first round. I got this one wrong.
Kevin Burns v. Anthony Johnson: This was a great fight and absolutely made up for the unfortunate end to their last fight. Johnson looked very good on his feet and delivered some serious ground and pound though Burns looked very dangerous from his back. However, in the end Johnson ended it with a devastating (I'm talking Rashad Evans on Sean Salmon, Gabriel Gonzaga on Mirko Cro Cop devastating) kick to the head that had burns out before he hit the ground. I was very close on this one but no cigar on the prediction. I did get the pick right though.
Ryan Bader v. Vinny Magalhaes: I was way off on this one. Bader came out and looked sharp striking (very unexpected) while Vinny looked very hesitant even on his kicks. The fight never even went to the ground (though that's not a total shock when two good grapplers face each other). Ultimately Bader's power ended the fight with an over hand right knocking Vinny down and Bader pounding him out for the KO win. Bader was very impressive and it'll be interesting to see how he stacks up in what is a stacked division at the moment. I'm sure Vinny will be back again as well.
Philippe Nover v. Efrain Escudero: This fight also did not go as planned for me. I really didn't think Efrain was on the same level as Philippe but maybe my hometown affinity for Philippe clouded my judgement. Efrain came out and used his wrestling to dominate the first two rounds. And even though Nover dominated the third round it wasn't enough and Efrain won the fight by unanimous decision. I was really deflated to see Philippe lose but it was the right call and big props go to Efrain for coming up with the right gameplan and sticking to it. I'm really not sure Efrain will be competitive just yet at 155 but we'll find out quickly. Nover will definitely be back because White had big plans for him win or lose. I can't wait to see "the pride of Brooklyn" back in the cage!
I went 5-5 on the night which isn't my best but it's ok. Overall it was a solid night of free fights so who can complain about that? That's all for now folks. Stay tuned for my UFC 92 preview in a couple weeks. Until then,
Soccer kicks and head stomps...