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Bader, Escudero win contracts at 'TUF 8 Finale'

Ryan Bader and Efrain Escudero emerged victorious in the season eight competition finals of "The Ultimate Fighter" Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Each walked away with a trophy and more importantly, a six-figure contract with the UFC.

In the light heavyweight final, Team Nogueira's number one pick, Bader won by TKO over Vinicius Magalhaes, who was Team Mir's number two light heavyweight pick.

Bader, who drew criticism for his over reliance on wrestling in his semifinal matchup, kept the fight on the feet against Magalhaes to not only avoid going to the ground with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt but to also show off the boxing skills he's been developing with his camp, Arizona Combat Sports.

Bader put Magalhaes away with an overhand right, which despite being blocked, was enough to fold the Brazilian.

"My right hand is pretty powerful," Bader said. "Just [been] working [a lot] on my boxing. I'm not just a wrestler, and hopefully you can see that."

Magalhaes couldn't recover and Bader added hammerfists to signal the referee over to stop the fight at 2 minutes and 16 seconds of the first round.

Bader remains undefeated with a record of 8-0.

Unlike the light heavyweights, the finalists for the lightweight competition, Escudero and Phillipe Nover, were late selections for Team Nogueira. Still, they came into Saturday's fight with high expectations.

Escudero, who trains under Drew Fickett, submitted Team Mir's number one lightweight pick Junie Browning in the semifinals, while Nover drew comparisons to both Anderson Silva and Georges St- Pierre by UFC president Dana White and coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

The All-American wrestler Escudero controlled the fight against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Nover with takedowns.

"I knew Phillipe was a very good striker so I knew he was going to come out with that strong right, so as soon as he threw it I shot right under it," Escudero said.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Escudero, who dedicated his win to his father who passed away before Escudero joined the show.

Play-By-Play Results

Preliminary Bouts:

1. Lightweight Bout
Roli Delgado def. John Polakowski via submission (guillotine choke) - R2 (2:18)

2. Lightweight Bout
Shane Nelson def. George Roop via split decision

3. Light Heavyweight Bout
Tom Lawlor def. Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision

4. Light Heavyweight Bout
Eliot Marshall def. Jules Bruchez via submission (rear-naked choke) - R1 (1:27)

5. Light Heavyweight Bout
Krzysztof Soszynski def. Shane Primm via submission (kimura) - R2 (3:27)

Televised Bouts (Spike TV):

6. Lightweight Bout
Junie Browning def. David Kaplan via submission (armbar) - R2 (1:32)

7. 189-lb. Bout (Gouveia didn't make weight)
Wilson Gouveia def. Jason MacDonald via submission (strikes) - R1 (2:18)

8. Welterweight Bout
Anthony Johnson def. Kevin Burns via KO (head kick) - R3 (0:28)

9. TUF 8 Light Heavyweight Final
Ryan Bader def. Vinicius Magalhaes via TKO (strikes) - R1 (2:18)

10. TUF 8 Lightweight Final
Efrain Escudero def. Phillipe Nover via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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