Not too many people gave UFC lightweight Efrain Escudero much of a shot at beating “Anderson Silva” at this past Saturday’s “The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale.” After all, Silva is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Luckily for him, he was simply facing Phillipe Nover, “The Next Anderson Silva.”
“There was a lot of saying about him being the next Anderson Silva and I wish him the best, but I knew that stepping in (Saturday night) he wasn’t going to be the next Anderson Silva,” Escudero commented. “I knew that it was going to be Phillipe Nover and me in the cage, so I just strapped them on and went out there and did exactly what I had to do.”
In Nover’s defense, it was UFC president Dana White that tagged him as “The Next Anderson Silva.”
From what Nover displayed on this past season’s TUF show, White thought that the young Filipino was set to become MMA’s next big star. At one point, White also likened him to a raw version of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Those are lofty expectations for any fighter to try and live up to, let alone someone making his UFC debut.
Fortunately for Escudero, Nover proved to be neither of those two fighters, as he was able to take him down at will.
“When he threw that overhand right, you know, (I) took him down and after a while, I knew he was going to catch on to it. So I allowed him to throw that knee and I would just catch that leg,” Escudero said of his takedown strategy.
Escudero couldn’t have dreamed of a better scenario. He earned himself the highly coveted six-figure UFC contract and beat “Anderson Silva” all in the same night. Well, at least he earned the contract.