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Team Mir Scores Four Wins in TUF8 Finale Prelims

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Members of The Ultimate Fighter season eight’s Team Mir got their UFC careers off to a solid start as Krzysztof Soszynski, Eliot Marshall, Tom Lawlor and Shane Nelson scored victories in their TUF8 Finale preliminary matches at The Pearl at The Palms Saturday.

By Thomas Gerbasi

LAS VEGAS, December 13 – Members of The Ultimate Fighter season eight’s Team Mir got their UFC careers off to a solid start as Krzysztof Soszynski, Eliot Marshall, Tom Lawlor and Shane Nelson scored victories in their TUF8 Finale preliminary matches at The Pearl at The Palms Saturday.

Team Mir light heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski earned his first UFC victory with a second round submission win over Team Nogueira’s Shane Primm.

After a quick exchange to open the bout, Primm (1-1) took Soszynski (17-9-1) to the mat.  The action stalled there and Primm stood, only to shoot for another takedown.  This time Soszynski wound up on top, and as Primm looked for a submission, ‘The Polish Experiment’ slammed his way out of trouble and stood up. By the three minute mark, the fighters were back on the canvas, with Soszynski working his way into side control. There, Soszynski worked on a kimura but was unable to secure it, but he did score with some hard ground strikes before the bell.

Primm entered the second round looking fatigued, and Soszynski capitalized with some standup strikes before being taken down. Soszynski kept the pressure on with some effective ground and pound and another kimura attempt though, and this time he got it, forcing Primm to tap out at 3:27 of the round.

Eliot Marshall gave Jules Bruchez a rude welcome to the pro ranks, dominating his foe en route to a 87 second submission victory in their light heavyweight bout.

Team Mir’s Marshall walked out of the corner at the bell throwing bombs, many of which landed.  After jarring his foe, Marshall then scored the takedown and got Bruchez’ back, sinking in a rear naked choke that ended things for the Team Nogueira fighter at the 1:27 mark.

With the win, Marshall improves to 6-2.  Bruchez falls to 0-1.   

In light heavyweight action, Team Mir’s Tom Lawlor pounded out a three round unanimous decision win over Team Nogueira’s Kyle Kingsbury.

Scores were 29-28 across the board for Lawlor, who improves to 5-1 with 1 NC; Kingsbury falls to 7-2 with 1 NC.

Lawlor took Kingsbury to the mat immediately, but the former Arizona State defensive tackle rose immediately.  Moments later, Kingsbury was on the canvas again and he wasn’t able to escape as quickly the second time around.  But the San Jose resident showed good poise from the bottom as he kept Lawlor from mounting any offense outside of the occasional strike. As the round entered its final two minutes, Lawlor started to pick up his work rate, and though Kingsbury made it back to his feet in the closing seconds, it was too little, too late.

It was more of the same in the second and much of the third, with Lawlor again controlling matters in steady, but unspectacular fashion. In the final two minutes, Kingsbury’s strikes at close range finally appeared to bothering the fatigued Lawlor, and though Kingsbury’s attack probably won him the round, he was unable to pu;; off the miracle finish.

It was a competitive lightweight battle between Team Mir teammates Shane Nelson and George Roop, but in the end, Nelson outlasted Roop via a three round split decision.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Nelson.

Roop (8-5) went on the offensive at the bell, throwing but not landing much.  Nelson (12-3) took his time, eventually getting Roop’s back and taking him to the mat. While there, Nelson searched for the choke while Roop tried his best to stay out of trouble. And though it took him the majority of the round, Roop did work his way free just before the bell.

Again working behind his kicks, Roop attempted to keep Nelson at bay, but he was only successful for the 45 seconds it took the Hawaiian to put him on his back against the fence. Midway through the round, Nelson got into the mount position and looked for the finish. Roop escaped the mount, but as they stood, he got caught in a guillotine choke.    Again he escaped, and with the crowd roaring, he fired away with strikes and even got a takedown of his own at the bell.

Roop fought well early in the third, scoring with strikes and then getting a takedown, but after what happened in the previous round, it would seem that he needed to finish Nelson to get the win.  And as Nelson tired, it looked like that was a distinct possibility.  But Nelson hung tough, and even got a late round takedown and submission attempt to seal the win.

Roli Delgado’s ground game proved to be the difference in the lightweight opener, as “The Crazy Cuban” submitted his Team Nogueira teammate John Polakowski in the second round.

Delgado (8-3-1) and Polakowski (2-2) fought tactically in the first two minutes, and surprisingly, it was Delgado scoring the first big shot as a flying knee dropped Polakowski.  The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt’s follow-up barrage came up empty, but he was able to secure side control.  After a brief stalemate, Delgado took Polakowski’s back and looked for the choke, but he was unable to get it before the round ended.

Looking for a repeat of his first round success, Delgado tried another knee but missed in the second.  The Little Rock, Arkansas resident didn’t give up his pursuit to take the fight to the mat though, and he soon got his wish.  Moments later he sunk in a guillotine choke and finished the bout via tap out at 2:18 of the round.