The_Vortex: We can’t escape from last week’s Brawl in the Hall. First thing we see this episode is Wanderlei Silva getting his hand checked out. Apparently, Wanderlei’s damaged one of the ligaments in his hand. He strained it punching Chael Sonnen, which is just hilarious.
The bad news continues on from there. Cabo Job damaged his hand in his losing effort last week, and because of this, they’re kicking him off the show. It sucks, but he’s all bandaged up, and in no position to re-enter as a substitute. He’s devastated, but he gives an inspiring speech to bring the team together. A few of the team members are tearing up, and so is Chael.
Yeah, I have no doubt that he’s playing it up a bit for the cameras, but Cabo Job is still very impressed with Chael as a coach, and a person, so there’s definitely some genuine feeling there.
NewChallenger: Cabo Job is such a nice guy! It definitely got dusty in my house seeing him go.
Team Wanderlei gets to pick the fight AGAIN and they’re running out of favorable middleweight options. Wanderlei goes all out sending 4th overall pick Borrachinha to take out #1 overall pick Lyoto. It’s pegged as a grappler vs. striker match respectively, which is interesting considering the styles of their respective coaches.
Before we can learn more about the fighters though, we have business with the big boss to take care of. Dana White is on a satellite call…and he ain’t happy. He’s got that “I’m so mad that I can’t believe it” smirk on his face and he lets them have it.
Dida? Gone. And rightfully so. He’s the one who White says should be arrested. I’m assuming Sonnen didn’t press charges. Not that it would matter since it’s Brazil and if I learned one thing from Fast Five it’s that Brazilian police are corrupt as s**t.
It bothered me that Wanderlei and Dida were still trying to justify their actions after. These kinds of people never learn. What do you think? Is this over for now?
The_Vortex: Wanderlei has no intention of burying the hatchet, I reckon, unless he gets to bury it in Chael’s skull. Wanderlei’s got a bit of a gang mentality going, he seems to be the only one invoking the whole “Chael vs. Brazil” thing.
We see a bit of training, and Hortência’s taking a more active role in learning the fight game. She was surprised at Cabo Job getting tapped out last fight, even though he had the advantageous top position, and is learning some Jiu Jitsu. Bomba’s the lucky man, and he’s got Hortência locked firmly in his guard.
For what it’s worth, Bomba is a highly accomplished Jiu Jitsu player, so it’s not all fun and games. This segment was brilliant. There are a lot of people that don’t really know much about the fight game, and, speaking from experience, it’s really hard to get a solid grasp of all of these MMA things without taking classes, or becoming a super hardcore fight watcher. I think there’s some merit in pushing the educational angle of TUF. Don’t cut out the drama, but show us something basic each time.
NewChallenger: The show has dabbled in educating viewers on the finer points of grappling, striking, weight cutting, etc. in the past, though for whatever reason they’ve never committed to that aspect of the show. I agree that this was a neat look at the basics of jiu-jitsu and educational. The sort of segment that might get someone to take a few lessons. Is it weird that I found it cute when he made her arm pop? I swear that’s not as weird as it sounds.
When Wanderlei and Sonnen are not embarrassing themselves, they do a fine job of bigging up there fighters. Wanderlei thinks that Borrachinha is a shoo-in to get a UFC contract due to his talent and good looks.
Sonnen hypes up Lyoto’s undefeated record. 12 wins, all finishes. He asks him about the Lyoto Machida influence and tells him not to keep his hands down like Machida does. I was just re-watching some Machida fights the other night. It astounds me how unique his stance and movement is. Lyoto would be wise to keep in mind that there’s only one Machida. This kid has promise though. Sonnen issues one of his pre-fight gems to get him hyped:
Sonnen: There’s six billion people on Earth and they never found one that can beat you so far. Today’s not gonna be any different.
There’s also a pleasant surprise for Team Wanderlei when Shogun Rua makes an appearance. The dude is just so humble and so positive. I want Shogun to be my friend.
Our octagon girl contestant this week is Miss Patrícia Andrade. We’ve got an actress on our hands with dreams of making it to Las Vegas. I like her. I like her a lot. Rafaela is still the best, I think. She might be retaining on a draw this week. A split draw.
The_Vortex: I reckon Patrícia is way up there on her way to TUF: Ring Girl glory, as coveted a title as that may be!
NewChallenger: Prior to the fight, Borrachinha expressed his concerns about making weight. He did so, though I think it’s fair to say that it affected his performance.
The_Vortex: Gotta agree with that. I’ve said it before, Borrachinha’s a big middleweight. There might be a little bit of beach muscle there, and as the fight went on, he slowed quickly.
Round 1: Borrachinha executed a pretty smart gameplan in this round. He closed distance quickly, and spent most of the round using his size to bully Lyoto. He hits some nasty ground and pound, and spends a large amount of the round sitting on Lyoto’s back, hunting for a choke. After Lyoto shakes him off, Borrachinha catches him in a very loose standing guillotine, and spends the better part of a minute trying to close it. The last minute of the round is just Borrachinha lying in Lyoto’s guard. He’s done more than enough to win the round, but he is exhausted. 10-9 Borrachinha, for positional control, and sub attempts.
Round 2: Lyoto takes the initiative early with some nice kicks, mixing low and high. Borrachinha is just shot, he’s moving much more slowly. Lyoto’s not Mighty Mouse speedy, but he’s moving better. This round is fairly uneventful. Again, a fair chunk of the round is spent with Borrachinha pressing Lyoto against the cage. Lyoto’s in better form, hits a very nice trip, manages to hunt for a submission, and is able to keep his range and strike more effectively. 10-9, Lyoto for activity.
Annoyingly, this round featured multiple “don’t hold the cage warnings”. Like, so many warnings. Take a point, jeez!
I’m calling it one apiece, but, after watching it again, I can see how someone could score that for Borrachinha. Fortunately, the judges see it as split, and call for a third round.
Round 3: Borrachinha is exhausted. Hands down, staggering around. He still manages to clinch up a few times, and drag Lyoto around. It’s not enough. Lyoto keeps his feet impressively, and manages to knock Borrachinha down. At one point, after failing to complete a takedown, Borrachinha falls flat on his face. He’s got no more gas left at all, and the clock runs down with Lyoto on Borrachinha’s back, hammering away. 10-9 Lyoto, probably the clearest round, as he circled around his slower opponent, and was able to pick him apart.
The judges call a split decision victory for Lyoto. Not an especially pretty fight, but Team Sonnen has their first win.
NewChallenger: Here’s my justification for the split decision. If the final round isn’t scored separately and instead included with the other rounds, then perhaps it only went to a third because of a majority draw. So the judges could have scored it 20-18 Borrachinha, 20-18 Lyoto and 19-19 draw. Then even if all three judges gave the third round to Lyoto (as they should have), then the scores would be 29-28 Borrachina, 30-27 Lyoto and 29-18 Lyoto. That’s assuming that the scores are added together, which I doubt. And that somehow Lyoto was somehow able to win the first round in someone’s eyes. I’m not sure this explanation was useful.
The gritty battle takes its toll on both fighters. Lyoto might have injured his leg on a checked kick (it’s an epidemic!). Borrachinha isn’t doing so hot either. In the recap, the coaches point out that he might have worn himself out with poor submission attempts. He can’t even stand up, despite Wanderlei barking at him to do so. Borrachinha exhausted, Lyoto reduced to one leg. What price victory, eh?
The challenge is shown after the fight. You know how much I love when they mix up the format of the show. It’s called “The Entangler” and it involves a lot of inappropriate touching…mostly from their own teammates.
Total domination once again by Team Wanderlei. They should be testing these guys for PEDs immediately after the challenges.
The_Vortex: This result just sucks for Team Sonnen. By losing this pick, they effectively lose the pick to the other heavyweight fight.
NewChallenger: For Sonnen’s sake, I’m just going to focus on Lyoto’s victory.