Don't call it a comeback.
Actually, that's exactly what you should call it when The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 winner Efrain Escudero takes on Jacob Volkmann at UFC 141, tonight (Dec. 30, 2011) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Escudero has been missing in action in the Octagon since Sept. 2010 when the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion cut him after failing (badly) to make weight, then losing to Charles Oliveira via a third-round rear-naked choke at UFC Fight Night 22 in Austin, Texas.
Since that point, Escudero has gone 5-1 for other MMA organizations. Most recently, he was able to defeat Cesar Avila by submission (guillotine choke) at Bellator 55 on Oct. 22, 2011, in Somerton, Arizona.
Can he keep the good vibes going tonight versus Volkmann? Let's take a look:
In 2008, Escudero entered onto the mainstream MMA scene by winning TUF 8 tournament with a win over Phillipe Nover. He quickly endeared himself to fans, getting attention for his massive heart and unwillingness to quit in the face of adversity.
Problems with injuries and inability to make weight, however, resulted in Escudero eventually needing to move on and go back to the drawing board.
His opponent this evening, Volkmann, may be best known (much to his chagrine) for being the guy that called out President Barack Obama after a win. He has won four fights in a row, winning his last fight against Danny Castillo by unanimous decision at UFC on Versus 5 on Aug. 14 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The bout will pit two very good wrestlers against each other, which generally means fans can expect a stand up battle.
Escudero has notched 12 of his18 wins by way of submissions. For Volkmann, six of his 13 victories were due to submissions.
On paper, this lightweight fight looks very even. It may end up being a matter of: "who wants it more?"
Will Escudero be victorious in his UFC return? Or will Volkmann, the full-time chiropractor, have his way en route to his fifth straight MMA victory?
Be sure to join MMAmania.com this evening for LIVE, detailed UFC 141 results of all the "Lesnar vs. Overeem" PPV action. It will include blow-by-blow coverage of the Facebook video stream, Spike TV "Prelims" bouts, and of course, the PPV broadcast. We'll start RIGHT HERE at around 7 p.m. ET and carry straight on through early Saturday morning.
See you then!