The_Vortex: You can stop being disappointed guys, I’m back! And oh my god, it is good to be back. You’ve seen the previews, you’ve read the articles. Fight of the Season right here. The Brawl in the Hall.
To fill you in on the last couple of weeks, Team Wanderlei has won the first three fights, and all of the challenges against Team No Apology. Everyone’s arrived for Wanderlei Silva to pick the next heavyweight fight, but Wanderlei’s running late. Quite late, judging by how angry Chael Sonnen and Hortência are getting. Wanderlei finally rolls up, and Chael’s confessional blasts him for it:
Sonnen: Ultimately, he came in, he looked like he had just woken up. When I stood next to him, he smelt like he was drunk. You know, it seems like he had a long night.
Wanderlei picks Rick Monstro (Team Wanderlei, 5th heavyweight pick) against Cabo Job (Team Sonnen, 8th heavyweight pick). During the picking process, Chael remarks to Hortência that Wanderlei looks drunk. It looks like he’s trying to pick off another weak fighter again.
What do you think, NewChallenger? Is Chael just being Chael and trying to score some points even though his guys are losing, or is he speaking the truth there?
NewChallenger: This is textbook Chael being Chael. I’ve never read anything about Wanderlei being a party animal or anything like that. I’m not saying he’s a saint, but we know Sonnen isn’t either. He lives by the law of the pro wrestling heel and rule number one of the pro wrestling heel is this: nothing he says can be trusted. As much as I find the accusation to be entertaining in a twisted way, it isn’t true. He’s just taking advantage of the fact that we don’t have “Smell-o-vision” yet. Someday, Sonnen…someday.
You’re spot on about Wanderlei continuing to pick off Sonnen’s “weaker” guys. Since getting Wagnão to down Peregrino, Wanderlei hasn’t once matched up one of his guys against a higher selection. The strategy seems to be working though, so I don’t blame him at all. Did you notice Rick Monstro gave Hortência a kiss on the cheek, but not Isabel? Is there an inordinate amount of affection for her or am I just imagining things?
The challenge this week was “The Typewriter”, though Sonnen amusingly calls it “writing machine” (which seems to be the most literal translation).
How would you compare this week’s challenge to last week’s?
The_Vortex: It’s important to note that Chael even thanks Wanderlei for being on time to the challenge. Pro wrestling missed a champion heel when Chael P. Sonnen decided he liked hitting people in the face for real. The challenge is a funny one. Basically, each team is sitting in a circle, holding a rope, that’s connected to a pen. They’ve got to write TUF: Brazil legibly. It’s good for…control, or something, I guess? But anyway, woo, challenges!
Team Sonnen wins, and finally breaks the streak! They win a pajama party with the Octagon Girls, and Team Wanderlei gets to be locked in one small room the whole time the party’s going. Brilliant.
This prize is almost like a punishment for the married guys. Peregrino seems to be the token party guy, and twerks it out for the rest. The girls name him “Mr Charisma”.
So, NewChallenger, most awkward segment ever, or most awkward segment EVER?
NewChallenger: I have no idea what you’re talking about. I loved every minute of it, especially how Pezão is always pointing out how he’s married. You just know that he did that to remind himself as much as anyone else. He also says that he made sure to “get to know them to vote accordingly”. What a professional.
For some reason, I thought it would be fantastic if the prize for the contest was an antique typewriter. The actual prize was slightly better.
As you said, it’s hilarious how Team Sonnen can’t even enjoy it because of their wives. Warlley Alves is the only single guy and Patricia Andrade says “he’s avoiding the party”. Alves says that women are his “weakness”, so he decides to stay away to avoid doing anything stupid. Boo.
It can never be just fun and games in the TUF house though. We see tension building between Cara de Sapato and Borrachinha and, of course, Wanderlei and Sonnen. Did you find either of these feuds particularly compelling?
The_Vortex: To be honest, it’s beginning to look like the Sapato/Borrachinha feud is the only one that might end up with a fight. The Sonnen/Silva fight just seems to be getting so many delays. Borrachinha’s a big 185’er, and Sapato weighed in at 210 for a heavyweight fight, so they could easily meet at light heavy if they want.
NewChallenger: Apparently the feud stemmed from Borrachinha saying he was able to beat Cara de Sapato up when they trained together. Cara de Sapato isn’t satisfied with the apology (or lack thereof).
Jollyson Francino: What happens in the dojo stays in the dojo. You don’t say anything to anyone.
The_Vortex: Team Silva has a guest coach visit, Gabi Garcia. She’s an 8 time BJJ world champ, absolutely jacked, with a real champion’s attitude…and popped for… well, something?
NewChallenger: Come on, she can’t be that big I mean…
Garcia would eat Ronda Rousey for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then scatter the leftovers across the favelas.
The_Vortex: She ragdolls a couple of middleweights, and demonstrates how Wanderlei can’t stop a double leg.
The fighters get a little introduction, and Cabo Job gets the first segment. He’s a cop, and picked up martial arts as some on the job self defense. Physically, he seems like an actual heavyweight. He’s big, determined, and no doughier than Shogun Rua ever is.
Rick Monstro is a mechanical engineer, and describes himself as very aggressive.
But enough with this. Weigh-ins are up next, and we get Silva/Sonnen I. And it. Was. Glorious.
NewChallenger: I can’t make heads or tails of the climactic Silva/Sonnen brawl. I’ll say this: if it wasn’t real it was very convincing and very fun to watch. The confrontation seems to arise from a combination of the language barrier and Sonnen’s natural dickishness. Wanderlei is understandably apprehensive when Sonnen asks why they can’t be cordial on the show. He knows Sonnen’s act. We all do.
Oddly, it’s an innocuous question that sets Wanderlei off. As you mentioned, the fight keeps getting pushed back. During the filming of the show, they likely had no idea when the fight was scheduled so Sonnen straight up asks Wanderlei. Wanderlei perceives that as a challenge and spits at him. It’s too late to go back now. Whenever Sonnen tries to speak, Wanderlei answers with a hearty F**k you! It doesn’t help that Sonnen always has a hint of a smirk on his face. At some point, Sonnen has no choice to shove him away and it…is…on! Take it away Joe!
The_Vortex: After the shove, they circle briefly. Wanderlei is the first one to swing, and Chael cleanly ducks under the strike, changes levels and hits the takedown easily. Like, really easily. I worry about Wanderlei’s takedown defense. They’re both trying to hit each other, but, like, 2 seconds later, other people pile on. One of the Team Sonnen heavyweights is there trying to break up the fight, and one of the Team Wanderlei assistant coaches, Dida, is there to slug Chael from behind, and tear his shirt. That’s a pretty low moment.
Everyone’s pretty heated, but Chael takes the time to apologise to Cabo Job, for distracting him, and interfering with his focus. It’s a classy moment, and in complete contrast to the Team Wanderlei coaches’ thoughts. Dida’s unrepentant, and Wanderlei keeps talking about respect. Wanderlei’s lost my support now, from the way he’s talking, by respect, he means subservience. I’m not saying Chael didn’t have a large part in provoking the fight, but Wanderlei seems to think that he can disrespect Chael, and then expect Chael to respect him. It doesn’t work in my book.
Both fighters make weight. Rick Monstro is 223lb, and Job is 250lb.
Back over to you, man.
NewChallenger: Vortex, buddy, you sound shaken up by the whole incident. It’s all part of the show. You know Wanderlei and Sonnen are laughing it up on a yacht somewhere, partying with their wives (and maybe Hortência…) and celebrating how they pulled one over on all of us. Yes, I’m sure that’s what’s going on…seriously though, seeing Dida act so proudly about sucker punching Sonnen is just messed up. I doubt he lasts thirty seconds against Sonnen in a real fight.
This week’s ring girl is Thais Andrade, who doesn’t give us much to work with personality-wise. She does have one outstanding feature though…
The fight itself is another quick heavyweight bout. Rick Monstro misses a big right in the early going, though it’s really meant to set up a clinch which it does perfectly. He gets Capo Job down and starts to go to work with his submission game. At some point during a choke attempt, Capo Job is able to defend and get on top. In a flash, Rick Monstro is able to secure a fight ending arm bar from his back. That’s four straight wins by Team Wanderlei to start the season.
Not only is Wanderlei winning everything, Sonnen’s guys have looked bad. Capo Job has some excuse as he apparently broke his finger early on. Sonnen also points out that Capo Job’s long limbs made him more susceptible to an arm bar. Curse you genetics!
Final thoughts for this week?
The_Vortex: Yeah, that wasn’t an amazing fight. Heavyweights gonna heavyweight. 4-0’s a bad situation to be in, but Chael’s boys will claw back a win or two as the match-ups start favouring them.
Unfortunately, I think the rivalry has peaked with this. The coach’s challenge will be fun, but civil. Dana’s explosion is gonna be fun, and hopefully the previews haven’t lied to us, and it’ll be next week.
Final, final thought: Thais. I still think Rafaela’s in the lead, but Thais is solidly the second best so far, in my book. Can’t wait to see how this ultra-important tournament shapes up.