For the fans that watched this past season’s “The Ultimate Fighter 8,” they saw lightweight finalist Phillipe Nover as a quiet and unassuming person. With vivacious contestant Junie Browning hoarding the spotlight with his antics, many never gave Nover a chance at being a finalist, let alone the show’s champ. However as soon as he stepped foot into the Octagon, Nover became a completely different person, proving that he is a force to be reckoned with.
“I flip this switch somehow,” Nover said. “I don’t really know how it happens. I just turn in to more of this predator mentally. My mental focus is turning in to this animal.”
The “animal” didn’t get off to an impressive start, as he fainted in front of all of his fellow cast mates and UFC president Dana White on the show’s debut episode. In fact, White nicknamed Nover – “Fainting Phillipe.”
However, after Nover unleashed the “animal” in his first fight to get into the TUF house, White quickly changed his stance on the 155-pounder.
“If you corner an animal — and you’re threatening its life — it’s going to fight its hardest, no matter what, to the death,” Novar stated about his Octagon mentality. “And that’s kind of what my mentality is. It’s like I’m this cornered animal, and the only way out is through beating Efrain, or beating whatever opponent stands in my way. That’s my mentality when I get in there.”
Nover never dreamed that he would have the opportunity that he is being presented with. With the biggest fight of his career just hours away, he knows that all of the sacrifices that he has made will allow him to succeed.
“If you’re a young athlete, or you have any dreams — if you train every day and you sacrifice, if you cut out the people that you don’t need and you link up with people you do need, and you link up with positive things in your life and just sacrifice and every day work towards that dream — it can happen,” Nover said. “If you just keep thinking about it and keep doing it, it’s going to happen.”
Novar will be facing Efrain Escudero tonight on “The Ultimate Fighter 8” Finale to become the show’s lightweight champ, earning him a six-figure contract with the world’s biggest MMA organization.