`Darth' Bader Steps into the Octagon Saturday in the Ultimate Finale

Dec. 12, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. - For the second show in a row, the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) reality series, the Ultimate Fighter, will feature a former Arizona State University wrestling All-American fighting for a six-figure contract with the mixed martial arts organization as Ryan `Darth' Bader will fight Saturday night in The Ultimate Finale. The finale will air live at 9 p.m. from the Pearl inside the Palms in Las Vegas, Nev., with many of the fights featuring competitors from the eighth season of T.U.F.

Bader, who was a two-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 Champion for the Sun Devil wrestling program between 2002 and 2006, will put his unblemished record of 8-0-0 on the line against Vinny Magalhaes (3-2-1) in the final fight of the light heavyweight division (205 pounds). Bader, a wrestler, will have a tough fight with Magalhaes, who holds a black belt in jiu-jitsu and has submitted his last two foes. Bader is the second Sun Devil in a row to reach the final of T.U.F. after C.B. `The Doberman' Dollaway lost in the final round on season seven.

The State of Arizona will be represented in two other fights Saturday night. Former Sun Devil football player Kyle Kingsbury will face Tom Lawlor in a light heavyweight (205 pounds) bout while Efrain Escudero and Phillipe Nover square off in the lightweight finale (155 pounds). Escudero was an All-American wrestler at Pima College (Tucson) and is currently a full-time student at Grand Canyon University (Phoenix).

The Ultimate Finale also starts a string of three shows in a row with former Sun Devils fighting on the card. After this weekend's fights for Bader and Kingsbury, Dollaway (8-2-0) will return to the octagon on December 27 where he will fight Mike Massenzio (11-2-0) at UFC 92 - The Ultimate 2008 inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Then, on January 17, UFC 93 - Franklin vs. Henderson will take place inside the O2-Dublin Arena in Dublin, Ireland, with former Sun Devil `Dangerous' Dan Henderson (22-7-0) taking on Rich `Ace' Franklin (25-3-0) in the headline fight of the card.

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