Thursday, October 2, 2008

Darth Bader Strikes First

The 3rd Episode of Ultimate Fighter debuted on Wednesday. It is the fighters introduction to the house as the previous two episodes featured fighters fighting for their spot in the house

Unfortunately quite a few fighters were injured during the first round of fights to get into the house. I can see how that can happen with wanting to make it in the house, trying to impress the coaches and Dana White, and other factors will lead fighters to go all-out. Karn Grigoryan and Brian McLaughlin had very short stays in the house. Each sustained fractures to the nose which prompted 180 day suspensions from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. In addition, Krzysztof Soszynski noted in his blog that he had injured his hand during the KO of his first round opponent.

In to replace Grigoryan is Kyle Kingsbury, who fought hard in the opening round against one of the front-runners Ryan Bader. Replacing McLaughlin is originally a mystery fighter before Roli Delgado. Both fighters seemed very happy to be back, with Kingsbury sporting a little bit of a black eye.

Next, teams are picked with Mir using his first pick on Soszynski. Nogeria chooses Ryan Bader. Nogeria won the right to choose the first match as Mir got first pick.

Team Mir
Krzysztof Soszynski
Vinny Magalhaes
Eliot Marshal
Tom Lawlor

Junie Allen Browning
Shane Nelson
David Kaplan
George Roop

Team Nogueira
Ryan Bader
Shane Primm
Kyle Kingsbury
Jules Bruchez

Phillipe Nover
Efrain Escudero
John Polakowski
Roli Delgado

We got to see a decent amount of training time. Mir introduced Ken Hahn for stand-up and Robert Drysdale for BJJ as his two coaches. Drysdale is world class in his ju-jitsu game as he is a blackbelt and ADCC champ. Mir looked pretty good teaching technique to his fighters. He remarked that fighting is an individual thing, even though you are on a team, you are fighting for yourself.

Nogeria in contrast talks about having respect for the team and coaches. He wants to build team unity, reminding me of Tito Ortiz when he was a coach on TUF 3. Nogeria has dinner with the guys the day before the first fight and they all sit around a table like a big family. Nogeria has Daniel Valverde for his BJJ and a 67 year old maniac Al "Stankie" Stankiewicz.

In the meantime, Junie Browning got pretty drunk and Soszynski and others shrink wrapped Team Nogeria's undies to the diving board. Bader also had some clothes shrink wrapped to his bed.

The first fight is set by Nogeria as Ryan Bader v. Tom Lawlor are set to fight. Each has a pedigree in wrestling, but Bader has the 2X All American thing going for him. Neither fighter has a problem making weight as Lawlor looks to maybe have a little extra weight on him.

The fight starts with brief exchanges of punches. Bader next tried to get a take down and failed. After, Bader was able to get the takedown and was trying to work in some punches and another arm triangle, but Lawlor was able to escape back to his feet.

Lawlor next rushed in on Bader, however that is not a smart thing to do against a wrestler. Bader got the double leg slam take down that took the wind out of Lawlor's sails. Bader landed a couple punches, and then was standing holding one of Lawlor's feet. After an attempted up kick, Bader threw a nasty punch directly to Lawlor's face, knocking him out.

After the victory, Stankie led the cheers and Bader was eventually hoisted on someone's shoulders. Nogeria will be picking the first 155 pound bout next week.
*Picture of Ryan Bader from photobucket

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