Fil-Am Phillipe Nover battles Russian Tukhugov at UFC Fight Night 80

Nissi Icasiano

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Fil-Am Phillipe Nover battles Russian Tukhugov at UFC Fight Night 80
The 31-year-old Brooklyn native faces Zubaira Tukhugov in December

MANILA, Philippines – After pulling off a successful homecoming bout this past May, Filipino-American fighter Phillipe Nover returns to action against highly-touted prospect Zubaira Tukhugov on the undercard of UFC Fight Night 80 on December 11 (December 10 in US).

Nover (11-5-1) is coming off a split decision win over Korean stalwart Yui Chul Nam at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first Philippine live event last May.

The 31-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York gained prominence in 2008 when he joined season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television series as a lightweight contestant. 

Nover forced Joe Duarte to wave the white flag with a rear-naked in the preliminary round of the show before using the same submission hold on Dave Kaplan in the first phase of the tourney.

“Super Nover” was able to get a slot in the finale by coercing George Roop to tap with a Kimura lock in the semi-final round, but the Filipino fell short in his bid to become “The Ultimate Fighter” winner as he dropped a unanimous decision to Efrain Escudero.

Renzo Gracie’s pupil eventually received a UFC contract after his decision setback to Escudero, but his next two outings also resulted in losing efforts. 

Due to his disappointing 3-fight losing skid, he was released from the UFC in February 2010. 

Nover revitalized his prizefighting career by making sporadic appearances in different promotions such as Bellator MMA and piling up 3 consecutive victories, which included a lightweight title-winning performance in Ring of Combat.

After five years of wandering outside the confines of the UFC, Nover received a second opportunity to strut his wares again in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization four months ago. 

On the other hand, Tukhugov (17-3) is riding high on an 8-fight winning streak, with 4 coming by way of first-round knockout.

The 24-year-old Russian had two triumphant Octagon outings last year, outpointing Douglas Silva de Andrade in his February 2014 promotional debut before scoring a first-round stoppage of Ernest Chavez 8 months later. 

UFC Fight Night 80, which takes place at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, is headlined by a strawweight showdown between Paige VanZant and Joanne Calderwood. –

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