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The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir - Episode 11/12 Recap

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – It’s come down to this – four matches to determine which four fighters will compete for UFC contracts in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir finale on December 13th at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Let’s get right down to business.
By Thomas Gerbasi

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – It’s come down to this – four matches to determine which four fighters will compete for UFC contracts in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir finale on December 13th at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Let’s get right down to business.

First up is the light heavyweight bout between Team Mir’s Eliot Marshall and Team Nogueira’s Ryan Bader.

Bader weighed in at 206 for the bout, with Marshall checking in at 205.

In the early stages, the two trade strikes at a measured pace. As the round enters its second half, Bader scores the takedown and pins Marshall against the fence. While there, Bader lands with sporadic strikes and keeps Marshall from mounting any sort of offensive.

Bader takes the fight back to the mat and the fence early in round two, and it’s almost a carbon copy of the previous round until referee Josh Rosenthal stands the fighters up with a little over 90 seconds left. But Bader won’t be denied, and he takes Marshall down yet again to finish up the round.

Marshall tries to get back in the fight in the final stanza, but Bader puts him down on the canvas. While on his back, Marshall tries to make something happen, but to no avail. After a brief standup from Rosenthal, the familiar pattern continues – a Bader takedown and ground and pound. With 2:30 left, Marshall had the makings of a kimura, but Bader slammed him back to the mat, and though Rosenthal stood them again with 1:20 left, a missed kick earned Marshall another trip to the canvas, where they stood until the final bell.

The scores were 30-27 across the board for Ryan Bader.

Next up is the first lightweight semifinal bout between Team Mir’s George Roop (155) and the heavily favored Phillipe Nover (155) of Team Nogueira.

Roop, still banged up from his quarterfinal match against John Polakowski, comes out fast, but Nover tags him immediately and takes him to the canvas. Roop works his way out of immediate danger against the fence, but Nover has his arm and he won’t let it go. Eventually, Roop is forced to tap out to the kimura, and Nover is the winner.

After episode 11, Ryan Bader and Phillipe Nover are going to the finals in their respective divisions. Who will join them?

In the final 205-pound semifinal, teammates Vinny Magalhaes and Krzysztof Soszynski - of Team Mir and Team Quest - square off.

Soszynski stalks the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, looking to catch him with something while the two are standing. But when Soszynski gets too close, Magalhaes pulls guard and pounds away with punches and elbows from the bottom. Soszynski powers his way out and the two stand. Soszynski gets back to stalking, and Magalhaes counters with a nice kick to the midsection. Soszynski lands with some kicks of his own, and Magalhaes attacks wildly, falling to the canvas in the process. After he gets up, they lock up and Magalhaes pulls guard again. This time he’s not to be denied, and he sinks in an armbar that forces Soszynski to tap out.

The light heavyweight final is now set – Vinny Magalhaes vs Ryan Bader

In the lightweight division, the season long trash talk between Junie Browning and Efrain Escudero is about to end…or is it?

Browning isn’t doing well in practice and he says he doesn’t even want to fight anymore because he believes he hasn’t gotten the training he’s needed. Mir doesn’t seem too bothered by this latest turn of events though.

Back in the house, a bunch of the fighters were talking about Bader, and Browning gets into it with Shane Primm. Browning suddenly throws a glass at Primm and takes a swing at him, and it looks like it’s bye-bye for Junie once again.

UFC President Dana White returns to the house and pulls Browning aside to talk. White believes that Browning would rather find a way out of the house than fight and lose on television, and the fighter agrees. But White decides to leave the final decision up to Browning’s housemates whether the Kentucky native stays or goes. The rest of the fighters decide to let Browning stay and fight Escudero.

Escudero and Browning trade leg kicks to start the fight, and the two trade punches until Escudero scores the takedown one minute in. Escudero lands with some ground strikes before the two stand and begin trading again. Browning looks for a takedown, but Escudero holds him off while landing with strikes. Escudero is definitely the busier and more accurate striker of the two, and Browning is game, but looking a tired.

Browning comes out fast, but he isn’t landing anything significant. Escudero counters well and rebuffs Browning’s takedown attempts. With a little over a minute gone, Browning lands a hard right, but Escudero shakes it off and moments later goes for and gets a takedown. After a brief lull, Escudero gets Browning in a D’Arce choke and finishes off the bout via tap out. Browning immediately leaves the Octagon and says he’s retiring as Escudero celebrates his berth in the finals.

In the lightweight final – Efrain Escudero vs Phillipe Nover.

Now it’s on to December 13th and The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir Finale at The Palms in Las Vegas.

And oh yeah, Junie’s back…
Sunday, October 26
3AM
CEST
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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