(Photos courtesy of UFC.com)
After a long, arduous, bodily-fluid-filled season of The Ultimate Fighter, we’ve finally made it to the end. It’s time to see who’s worthy of the hype, who’s ready for the big show, who’s taking home the six-figure contracts. If you’re not psyched for this, go watch Bromance you freakin’ fairy. For everyone else, hit that "Read More" link and refresh the page every few minutes for live round-by-round updates and commentary.
SPOILER ALERT: This liveblog kicks off at 9 p.m. ET, but the broadcast is tape-delayed on the West Coast (and possibly other parts of the country). Check your local listings, and keep in mind that we may be writing about things you haven’t seen yet. So if you’re coming in, scroll carefully.
Hey, could you do us a big favor? Before we get started, please Digg this liveblog. We owe you one.
IN! TO! PIE! CES! Man, that never gets old.
Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan
Junie is working the focus gloves backstage with Shawn Tompkins. And doesn’t seem to be gassing. A good sign for the Lunatic. Kaplan neds to fire his stylist. Okay, that’s the fifth time they’ve called Junie "controversial." And Goldberg just called him "the ultra-talented pride of Lexington, Kentucky." Ultra-talented? Pride? And Diamond Dave comes out swingin’ to some 80s jam. The name escapes me, but oh man he is doomed. Fun fact, in case you didn’t know: Kaplan won an episode of The Singing Bee. Junie, fittingly, comes out to Eminem’s "Without Me." Nobody wants to see Browning no more, they want Junie, he’s chopped liver.
Round 1: Leg kick Junie, directly to Kaplan’s nuts, and we get an early break in the action. Nice leg kick from Kaplan, and Junie gives it back. Sharp punches and kicks from Junie. Kaplan comes in and gets a right straight in the face, and a flying knee, but Junie falls down and Kaplan tries for an ankle lock. Kaplan is cut already. Junie gets on Kaplan’s back, trying for the choke. Kaplan escapes and gets to his feet. Junie slowing down, but lands a three punch combo. A leg kick and body kick from Junie. Kaplan scores some punches and gets a takedown. Kaplan again with the leglock and fails, and Junie gets up. They go to the ground with Junie in side-control, dropping elbows to Kaplan’s body. Junie gets Kaplan’s back and nearly sinks in the rear-naked choke. Somehow Kaplan escapes and tries to get on top. They get to their feet and start slugging. Nice elbow Junie. The horn sounds with both men clinching on the cage.
Round 2: Junie shoots and gets Kaplan down. Kaplan has Junie locked up, preventing Junie from posturing or passing. But Junie eventually does move into half guard, and quickly snatches an armbar. Junie puts in an impressive effort for his first pro UFC appearance. Browning def. Kaplan via armbar, 1:32 of round 2.
Junie apologizes to Mir and his team after the fight. Maybe we were wrong about this dumb alcoholic after all?
This Kevin James segment is brutal. Who fucking cares about mall cops? Nobody, Kevin. Nobody cares about mall cops. Mask from TapouT is sitting behind him looking as bored as I am.
Eliot Marshall vs. Jules Bruchez (from the undercard)
Marshall lights Jules up right away with punches. He locks Bruchez up and slams him to the ground, landing in side control. Marshall looks for the arm-lock, then gets mount. Bruchez gives up his back. Hmm, I wonder what’s going to happen next? Bruchez hangs on for about 15 seconds, then taps. Marshall def. Bruchez via rear-naked choke, 1:27 of round 1.
Oh, so Stephan Bonnar works at Dave & Buster’s now? Makes sense.
Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia
Round 1: MacD shoots for the single-leg after some circling and gets Gouveia down after some effort. But Gouveia pops up. MacD with some foot-stomps against the cage. They separate. Gouveia pops the jab, and lands a leg-kick. Gouveia lands some hard punches and MacD goes down. Wilson Gouveia Lesnars the fuck out of Jason MacDonald with hammerfists and elbows until the ref stops it. Gouveia def. MacDonald via submission (strikes), 2:18 of round 1. Gouveia says he’s staying at middleweight, and promises he’ll never miss weight again. Whatever bro, you sound like my girlfriend.
Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns
Hey, it looks like those "Whopper Virgins" prefer Burger King. Good times.
Round 1: Both men exchange leg kicks. Joe Rogan clarifies that Anthony Johnson is the black guy. Good body kicks by Burns, then a solid straight right. Johnson answers with his own strikes, then takes Burns to the mat. Burns tries for an armbar, but Johnson avoids, and comes down with a hard punch. Johnson moves to side-control. Burns locks on a triangle from the bottom, but Johnson escapes and goes back to Burns’s guard. Johnson slips in some nice punches from the top. Elbows from Burns from the bottom. Yamasaki stands ‘em up. Good leg kick Johnson, who then catches Burns’s kick and tosses him to the ground. Johnson kicking Burns’s legs. Yamasaki lets Burns stand after a stalemate and they both throw leather until the round ends.
Round 2: High kick Johnson. Rumble shoots for the single leg and gets Burns down. Burns working for the kimura from the bottom, but Johnson gets out and settles into half-guard. Johnson’s blackness reminds Goldberg to send some get-well wishes to Corey Hill. Johnson lands some punches from the top. Hard elbows from Burns from the bottom. Johnson in Burns’s full guard, throwing body-punches. Burns is stuck on his back. This would be a good time to try for some eye-pokes. Burns rolls looking for an armbar, but Johnson keeps out of danger and goes back to guard. The horn sounds. That’s two rounds for Rumble.
Round 3: "Great explosiveness," says the race-obsessed Mike Goldberg. Anthony Johnson with the head-kick knock out! Burns goes comatose. Goldberg, you forgot to mention athletic! Johnson def. Burns via KO, 0:28 of round 3. Johnson is tongue-tied. He just started working on his kicks two months ago. They show the replay and the crowd lets out a collective "OOOOOOOOOH!" Johnson can start counting his bonus money.
Rogan is hangin’ with Forrest Griffin and Frank Mir. I have a DVR…can I fast-forward live television? Mir acknowledges that Nogueira is unsubmittable and can’t be knocked out. Maybe he’ll succumb to flattery. Mir knows Nog better than he knows his own wife at this point, because of all the video he’s watched on him. As it happens, I’ve watched a lot of video featuring Mir’s wife lately, and I can comfortably say I know her better than Nog at this point.
Ryan Bader vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Oh yeah, baby! You can hate Vinny now, but he won’t stop now! Dude does some hardcore stretching after entering the cage. Bader enters to a rock remix of the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars. [Golf clap] Buffer: "Vinicius, Pezao, MAGALANUS!!!"
Round 1: Leg kick Bader. Body kick Vinny. Both throw some punches. Another body kick from Vinny, but Bader answers with a punch, then shoots in with a flying knee. Vinny avoids being taken down afterward. Bader lands a body kick, slips, and gets up, escaping punishment. Bader slips in a right straight. Bader NAILS Vinny with a right hand, and pounds Vinny out on the ground. Dunzo. Ryan Bader is the light-heavyweight Ultimate Fighter. Bader def. Magalhaes via KO, 2:18 of round 1. Shoulda used that jits, Vin.
K-Sos vs. Shane Primm (from the undercard)
Round 1: Primm takes K-Sos after absorbing some punches to the face. And then I got distracted talking to my fiance. But this fight already happened, so no biggie. K-Sos is on top after a slam, but lets Shane Primm up. Primm with some knees from a clinch. Primm looks woozy after getting cracked by K-Sos. K-Sos finds his way back on top. Sos works for an armlock, but loses it. K-Sos gets up, but divebombs with a heavy punch as the round ends.
Round 2: High kick Primm. K-Sos swingin’ some punches, and connects in the clinch. Sos looking for a standing guillotine but Primm slips out. Primm chases with punches, then shoots for a takedown and K-Sos sprawls. K-Sos on top. Hey, he’ll be on CSI with Sokoudjou! Anyway, he has side control now, working for the kimura. He locks it and Primm taps, in visible agony.
Sorry, apparently we had technical difficulties during the last fight of the night. But by now you all know that Efrain Escudero is the new lightweight Ultimate Fighter after controlling Phillipe Nover with wrestling for two rounds, then surviving an omoplata attempt in the third. (All judges scored it 29-28 for Escudero.) Big congrats to our lovable guest blogger. La Raza, baby.