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The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir - Episode Two Recap

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Eight fighters have battled their way into the house on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir, but there are still 16 athletes left to fight it out for the final eight spots. Who will make it, and who will be forced to go home with their dreams of UFC glory shattered?
By Thomas Gerbasi

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Eight fighters have battled their way into the house on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir, but there are still 16 athletes left to fight it out for the final eight spots. Who will make it, and who will be forced to go home with their dreams of UFC glory shattered?

Bristol lightweight Wesley Murch is the lone UK representative in the competition, and he gives a strong showing against San Luis Obispo’s John Polakowski before a kick to his opponent’s leg injures his right shin just before the end of the first round. Murch gamely comes out for the second round, but after attempting a knee, he falls to the canvas in pain, prompting referee Josh Rosenthal to halt the bout.

There were no such bizarre endings in the next three bouts, as Tampa light heavyweight Shane Primm, Somerton lightweight Efrain Escudero, and Orlando light heavyweight Tom Lawlor all moved on in the competition with identical first round rear naked choke submission wins over Sean O’Connell, Ido Pariente, and Ryan Lopez.

Impressive in his standup and adherence to instructions from coach Frank Mir was lightweight George Roop, who escaped some tight spots on the ground against Roli Delgado to pound out a two round decision. Another lightweight winner was Shane Nelson, who garnered praise from coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for his decision win over Charles Diaz.

The two best fights of the episode were saved for the 205-pound weight class though.

In the first bout, Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader, a two-time All-American wrestler for Arizona State, submitted Kyle Kingsbury with an arm triangle in a fight that saw both men’s stock rise.

The second matchup was a torrid three rounder between jiu-jitsu black belt Eliot Marshall of Boulder, Colorado, and unbeaten Karn Grigoryan, who hails from the same Massachusetts camp that produced UFC heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga. Both men had their moments in the bout, both standing on the mat, and the fight was declared even after two rounds, sending it to a third ‘sudden victory’ round. In the third, Marshall appeared to pull away as he bloodied his game foe, but the split decision was rendered in favor of Grigoryan.

The final verdict stunned Marshall and UFC President Dana White, among others, but as White addressed the fighters, he announced that episode one winner Antwain Britt would be unable to continue in the competition due to a broken hand, and that Marshall would be brought back.

And there you have it. Here are your final 16 fighters...

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Krzysztof Soszynski
Jules Bruchez
Vinny Magalhaes
Karn Grigoryan
Elliot Marshall
Ryan Bader
Shane Primm
Tom Lawlor

LIGHTWEIGHTS
Dave Kaplan
Phillipe Nover
Brian McLaughlin
Junie Browning
Shane Nelson
George Roop
Efrain Escudero
John Polakowski

For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.
Sunday, May 31
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