The_Vortex: This is it. The final episode. We’ve got two exciting fights here, and a whole lot of emotion (from us, the episode’s kinda straightforward). Whilst the winners of the fights might be apparent to those of you that have seen the main card for this Saturday’s fights, it’s still a fun couple of fights, and a solid season finale.
We hit the ground running here, straight into the weigh-ins for the Lyoto-Demente fight. There’s very little in the way of extraneous interviews or training montages, which is fair enough; we know the guys, we know what they’re gonna do. Lyoto says he’s going to sprawl and brawl, and Demente wants to drag it down to the ground, where he can work his superior jiu-jitsu.
Weigh-ins go off without a hitch, both guys weighing in at 184lbs. Eric is there, looking as fabulous as ever.
Well, NewChallenger? You ready to bear the final witness to the fitness of these modern warriors?
NewChallenger: I am not ready. If we don’t recap it, it can go on forever. Right? Right?
Thank you for those beautiful lyrics though, that made me feel better.
As you mentioned, this is a prototypical striker v. grappler match-up. Lyoto is moving a lot and striking from distance, Demente is doing everything he can to get in close. According to the subtitles, someone calls for a “Twizzler collar choke”. Eddie Bravo in the house? There is some interesting, uh, foot fighting as Demente presses Lyoto against the cage. Lyoto makes expert use of a whizzer to avoid being taken down, even getting a trip of his own to set up some punches. That failed attempt seemed to take a lot out of Demente or maybe it’s the snapping body kicks that Lyoto keeps connecting with. You can see Demente visibly wince. I know I did.
Demente looks so heavy, I’m blown away by Lyoto’s ability to stop the takedowns. I gave Lyoto the first round 10-9, but the second was a different story. It’s dirtier and uglier and Demente takes full advantage of it. Lyoto said he had trouble making weight and I think we see the effects of that here. How’d you see the fight?
The_Vortex: I think the first round was definitely won by Lyoto for using Demente’s aggression against him. Demente’s a very strong dude, and he’s pretty relentless in pursuing takedowns. Whilst he did lose the first round, he sapped a fair chunk of Lyoto’s energy. Maybe we didn’t notice in his last fight, because Borrachinha gassed way, way harder than Lyoto did, but there is a very noticeable slowdown in Lyoto’s movements, and way less pop to his punches. Demente lands some nice clean strikes in the second, and is able to bully him a little as well.
Because we’re in the semi-finals, we go straight into the third round. The third round not the prettiest. Lyoto moves well, and apart from a few seconds where Demente connects with some big swinging hooks, is able to stay out of range, and nail him with jabs and high kicks. Demente was definitely more aggressive, but it didn’t always work out.
NewChallenger: I actually had Demente taking the last round with his berserker style. Making Wanderlei Silva proud! Lyoto was running out of gas. He should be fine once he hooks up with a top shelf nutritionist. Good, gutty performance from both guys.
The_Vortex: The pre-score recap is pretty interesting. Once again, Lyoto hurt his foot during the fight. FFS. Wandy mentions that the huge body kick in the first round nearly knocked Demente out, and yeah, I was very impressed at his toughness. It really, really looked like it hurt.
Lyoto wins in a split decision, and funnily enough, every three round fight so far has ended in a split decision.
Demente is tough, and he’s fighting Wagnão this weekend. That’s a winnable fight, and hopefully he’ll be able to hang in the UFC for a while. I’m pretty excited for the all Green Team middleweight finale, they’re both solid fighters.
NewChallenger: You’re not the only one who’s excited about it!
The_Vortex: Ready for the next fight?
NewChallenger: Almost. I realize that we don’t put enough emphasis on the ladies sometimes With that in mind, here’s a shower scene with Demente…
…followed by the guys deciding to get TUF tattoos. It’s Jollyson Francino’s first. No regrets!
The_Vortex: Oh man, how great was the tattoo artist segment? Chael Sonnen goes into this later, but everyone here is pretty united and supportive, and getting tattoos really cements that.
NewChallenger: I was really disappointed that they had to explain the tension caused by Lex Luthor calling out Rick Monstro instead of having it unfold on the show. The beef is completely squashed by the time the Nogueira brothers show up (both Lex Luthor and Rick Monstro train with them). With all that out of the way, the two friends are free to concentrate on the fight.
You know Lex Luthor is focused because he enters doing his best Triple H impression.
This one didn’t go to a decision. Hell of a round though, don’t you think?
The_Vortex: That was a fantastic fight. Both guys just went at it in search of a finish, and Lex Luthor walks out with his hand raised. He looks very well rounded, and man does it seem like he hits hard. Even though he survived into the second round, Rick was done. He shoots at the start of the second round, gets stuffed, and GnP’d out.
NewChallenger: It bears mentioning that at one point Rick Monstro was straight windmilling punches like Bart Simpson. The way these two went at it, it is hard to believe they are friends!
I was thrilled by Lex Luthor’s performance. He has a natural killer instinct. Rick Monstro was coming at him hard and he weathered the storm until the other man gassed out and then he went in for the kill. That’s the kind of thing Dana White likes to see.
The_Vortex: Rick Monstro has probably the most gracious approach to defeat I’ve ever seen. He says to anyone listening, that they should be happy, because he’s happy, and he did his best (praise God). He says he’ll come back stronger, and I believe him.
I am just blown away by that, way to be a man about it. He’s fighting Pezão on the finale card, so he might end up in the UFC. Best of luck to him, lotta respect there.
NewChallenger: And much respect to Sonnen who has now coached five out of a possible six finalists in his two TUF gigs. They should bring him back every year. Here he is doing a beautiful job of summing up the class and character of the TUF: Brazil 3 cast:
These guys looked after one another…and it’s really easy to do in victory but you find out who your friends are in defeat. The support on both sides of the aisle was incredible. It’s not something I’m used to. It’s not done like this in America. They look after one another in Brazil. They take care of one another. They care about one another.
The_Vortex: Big emotions coming now. Isabel and Hortência are giving goodbye speeches. It’s amazing how much of a presence they’ve been. Over the last few episodes, Hortência is easily the loudest voice heard cheering for her team. All the guys talk about the advice they’ve been given. I’m gonna miss this side of TUF.
NewChallenger: Honestly, if you watched that fond farewell and didn’t feel anything I don’t even want to know you! I’m not sure if there is actually a closer connection between these people or they just don’t show us these gushy moments in the American versions. Regardless, it’s always a welcome sight.
All four guys deserve the lavish Vegas vacation they are treated to. Cara de Sapato describes the experience as “presidential”. Lots of good stuff here. Cirque du Soleil and the UFC (there’s something I never thought I’d type), a shopping trip and the guys getting flown around in fighter planes. This could have been an entire episode. I feel robbed that we only get about 10 minutes of footage. This is the kind of stuff they should put on Fight Pass. Just 24 hour coverage of these Brazilian monsters romping around the strip. What was your favourite part?
The_Vortex: That was just fantastic. The Cirque du Soleil section involved the heavyweights learning fight choreography, and was just brilliant to watch, but easily the funniest moment is watching the guys go on a fighter jet ride. Not only is it great to watch them having so much fun, but Lyoto legit passes out, just straight up faints. I can’t imagine the jokery he had to endure after that.
After all of this, we get the standard promo talk for the card this weekend. “I’m hungry for the win”, “He’s never fought anyone like me” yadda yadda yadda. The finals fights should be interesting, and I think Sapato and Lyoto will walk away with the titles. I know, Warlley Alves is the best pizza, but he’s just been too dominant for me to trust that he’ll do the same thing again.
NewChallenger: Damn, you’re picking Cara de Sapato and Lyoto too? This is a bad sign for you. I am one of the worst people in the world at picking fights in general, but particularly TUF finals. Chris Holdsworth broke a streak of incorrect picks for me (and yes, that includes me picking Jessica Rakoczy to beat Julianna Peña). Nevertheless, Cara de Sapato has been dominant and Lyoto has found a way to eke out decisions. Lock it in!
(to anyone actually putting money down, this definitely means you should pick Lex Luthor and Alves)
The_Vortex: Augh, yes, people should definitely pick other winners, I got BOTH TUF: Nations winners wrong.
Now, we have to talk about the coaches’ fight.
Oh, what? It’s not happening? After Chael hinting at this for the entire season? Really? Colour me shocked.
I dunno man. Either Wandy is too injured, or too substanced up for the fight to go ahead. I’m leaning on the former (be funny if he broke his hand during that s**t stupid brawl in the hall), mostly just because. Anyway, it’s a really bad look for Wanderlei, who has effectively lost his entire home crowd support (and the support of like, all 15 foreigners watching this show). Not a good look.
Thoughts and summary NewChallenger?
NewChallenger: I still love Wandy. I don’t know what the hell has been going on with him for the last few years, but I’ll never turn on the guy. That said, Sonnen won me over during his first TUF coaching gig and this second one was even better. I want a reality show of him just training and bonding with Brazilian fighters. Or any fighters for that matter. When it comes to television, Sonnen rules.
It sucks that we won’t get to see these guys throw down. It joins an infamous list of coaches’ fights that will likely never happen. This was easily one of the most anticipated even before they appeared on this show. The UFC injury bug cares not for justice or entertainment.
Overall, this was an incredibly enjoyable season and as much as I’m harping on TUF 19 in my other reviews, TUF: Brazil 3 actually continued a decent trend of entertaining TUFs. TUF 17 and 18 were both really good, TUF: Brazils are always fun to watch and even TUF: Smashes and TUF Nations: Canada v. Australia had their moments…though we might be biased on that last front. Even the guys who didn’t make it past the first round left an indelible mark…Peregrino, Borrachinha, Bomba…I love ‘em all. It’s going to be hard to let these guys go. I hope they all get signed. I really do.
And thank you Mr. Vortex for agreeing to do this collaboration. For a minute there, it looked like we’d have to continue the TUF Nations feud, which would have torn the Bloody Elbow community apart! Somehow, through cultural differences, time zone issues, and faulty Australian internet, we managed to put this series together. I can say without question that it made this awesome show even better. Now play us out before I start bawling like Hortência.
The_Vortex: This has been an excellent way to look at an Ultimate Fighter season, and, in all honesty, I’d place it as one of the best I’ve watched. Being a part of this definitely made the season a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
I’m really hoping we see more of these guys in the UFC. Chael keeps mentioning how good these guys are, and it’s not all hyperbole. There was some good talent there that might end up as stalwarts anywhere from welterweight to heavyweight. We’ve just recently gotten a TUF winner as champion, so anything is possible.
Thanks to everyone for reading these recaps, they’ve been heaps of fun to work on. Seriously, everyone should watch this show. It’s been fantastically entertaining, some of the fights were great, especially Monstro-Lex Luthor. It was an experience.
Saturday, May 31st: The TUF: Brazil 3 finale featuring Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva Stipe Miocic and Fabio Maldonado!