Seconds after Nate Diaz is announced the winner by split decision over Josh Neer at UFC Fight Night 15, we’re treated to the season 8 premier episode of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike. After some highlight footage of season 1 contestants including now-light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin, we being to get our first look at this season’s contestants and coaches. For newcomers to the UFC and MMA in general, the first several minutes served up a good opportunity to acquaint one’s self with what the show’s all about and why it’s important to note the significance of Mir and Nogueira as coaches. Moving on…

While Dana didn’t deliver his famous “do you wanna be a f***ing fighter” speech (yet), the guys were introduced to the training center atmosphere. Coach Frank Mir described the situation as :”nervous” but seemed pleased with all the talent and enthusiasm of everyone. Not a show to ever be without surprises, lightweight hopeful Phillipe Nover passes out while White addresses the crowd. Mouthy Jose Aguilar chimes in with somewhat decipherable comments on possible carbon monoxide or anthrax problems within the training center, “dawg“. Clearly an intelligent, well-spoken young gentleman, who would go onto fight later in the episode.

Weigh-in and initial fight dates/times are delivered and we see Joe Duarte among others, cutting weight and being encouraged big Big Nog. After the weight cutting process and importance is talked about by Dana White, we get to enjoy Jason Guida hawking up most of his insides and near keeling over from the effort to shed 12 lbs. After much cramping, dehydration, and overall pain, Jason fails to make weight and doesn’t exit quietly. Although he is the brother of Clay Guida (who ground out decision win over Mac Danzig earlier tonight), his attitude and demeanor is hardly relative to Clay’s.

Dana says that the 16 fights will act as the coaches evaluations and the coaches’ cornermen will split up to corner each fighter per fight. Big Nog stresses the importance of being well rounded, to the camera. Frank is quite vocal and offering solid advice through the eval.s while Big Nog has small words and says next to nothing. Already we can begin to see a difference in personalities between these two legendary heavyweights, of which I’m sure more will become apparent as the season progresses. I was thoroughly impressed with Mir’s ability to size up certain guys without having seen much of them beforehand. Overall, the crowd looks solid and you can bet the farm we’ll see some fireworks in and outside the cage in season 8.

Without further ado, here are the results (in order of appearance) from tonight’s match-ups on TUF:

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Light heavyweight elimination bout: Mike Stewart (1-0) vs Krzysztof Soszynski (16-8-1)

(Soszynski by TKO)
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Lightweight elimination bout: Fernando Bernstein (2-0) vs Dave Kaplan (2-1)

(Kaplan by rear naked choke submission)
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Lightweight elimination bout: Joe Duarte (3-0) vs Phillipe Nover (4-0-1)

(Nover by rear naked choke submission)
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Light heavyweight elimination bout: Eric Magee (3-1) vs Jules Bruchez (0-0)

(Bruchez by rear naked choke submission)
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Light heavyweight elimination bout: Vinicius Magalhaes (2-2) vs Lance Evans (2-2)

(Magalhes by TKO)
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Light heavyweight elimination bout: Antwain Britt (4-1) vs Ryan Jimmo (6-1)

(Britt by majority decision)
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Lightweight elimination bout: Brian McLaughlin (5-0) vs Brandon Garner (4-1)

(Fight ruled no-contest, in McLaughlin’s favor)
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Lightweight elimination bout: Junie Browning (2-0) vs Jose “ay yo criminal dawg” Aguilar (2-0)

(Browning by TKO)

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Stay tuned for next week’s installment of 6th-Round.com’s chronicling of The Ultimate Fighter season 8.