On Dec. 12 of 2008, Phillipe Nover seemed poised to enter the UFC with a serious bang. Nover had coasted through what appeared to be a deep class of TUF lightweights and seemed poised to win the final against wrestling and submission ace Efrain Escudero.
Nover was undefeated with a 5-0-1 record and this fighting nurse had an impressive array of weapons. Muay Thai Kick Boxing, Judo throws, excellent ground and pound and a brand new black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rounded out an arsenal many predicted would overwhelm Esudero.
Fast-forward five months and we find Nover with an 0-2 record in the UFC, reeling from a 1:00 stoppage loss to Kyle Bradley. Nover's mini-tail spin was started in that TUF final in which his lack of wrestling was put under a spot light by Esudero, who took Nover down at will in their three-round match and won a sound decision.
But some bright spots were found in the defeat, Nover seemed to improve with each round, becoming stronger as the fight progressed and it seemed that despite the loss he still may be on the track to the UFC Super-stardom that Dana White predicted after watching him fight in the TUF gym.
But that road held yet another speed bump for Nover, when Yves Lavigne stopped his match with Kyle Bradley. Nover and Bradley had clinched and after an exchange of strikes Nover was on all fours.
Bradley aimed a punch at Nover's head and connected, Nover dropped and then rolled over into guard. But as he came into his guard he found Yves Lavigne stopping the fight.
Lavinge later apologized to Nover for stopping the fight so early but the damage had been done. Moving forward Nover may be facing the 'win or go somewhere else' line from Dana. It is really shocking to see someone who look as honest to god talented as Nover did coming into the UFC with an 0-2 record.
Nover needs to grab the first available lightweight match he can to get back in the octagon and exorcise these demons. I would not be shocked if Nover was tapped to fill any vacancy in the next few events.
If not I wouldn't be shocked if Nover is paired with Junie Browning for an undercard matchup of the TUF Finale I think many fans wanted to see. In any event, it is clear that whoever Nover fights next, it is for his UFC life, and I think we will finally see him get that elusive W.
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