LAS VEGAS – Long-time fans of the UFC and “The Ultimate Fighter” should remember the name Phillipe Nover.
He was the kid from Brooklyn with the unique backstory of being a registered nurse. He reached the Season 8 finale of “TUF” in 2008.
Seven years later, he’s still fighting in mixed martial arts, he still works full time at Brooklyn Hospital and he’s still in the UFC (after a five-year absence).
“Occasionally, you do get patients who want to snap a picture with me,” Nover said. “‘I can’t believe my nurse is Nover, he’s in the UFC, this is crazy.’ I get that about once every couple of months.”
A good showing Thursday could up that frequency. Nover, 31, fights Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC Fight Night 80 at The Cosmopolitan.
Nover (12-5-1) called his return to the UFC “a dream come true to be back.” He made his return last May when “The Filipino Assassin” won a split decision over Yui Chul Nam in the UFC’s first card in Manila in the Philippines. It was his first official win in the UFC.
Nover’s life is a balancing act as he progresses in both of his careers.
“I’m not only pursing my career in fighting, I’m also trying to pursue and secure my career in nursing,” Nover said. “Fighting is my passion, it’s always been my passion. As far as its stability and future, it probably doesn’t have the brightest future unless you’re the champion. I’m gunning to be the champion, to be in the top 10, but you have to have the backbone and something to fall back on.”