The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 11 Recap

Ben Grimm: We’re closing in on the end of our season, and this episode brings us a double Team Shogun showdown. So, on the bright side, at least Team Nog aren’t going to lose any fights this episode. On the downside, we’re going to have to sit through another episode of teammates talking about how much they hespect each other, but hey, it’s just a job, so they’ll get out there and do it anyway. Dare I say it, but after 25+ seasons, could TUF be a touch formulaic?

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

Alexander K Lee: Ah yes, the always tricky “two fight” episodes. I always think it’s a shame that every season of TUF ends with the least interesting programming. Yes, there was a time when any free televised fight was something to be excited about. But those days are long, long gone. Now, the final episodes are more like a whimper than anything else.

And as you already mentioned, the mutual admiration society that is TUF: Brazil is growing thin, even for my tastes.

BG: Anyway, at the Team Shogun training session, they announce that because they are so damn good at this, you guys, there’s too many of them in the semi-finals to coach individually. The coaches are stepping back from cornering, probably so we don’t get any Kajan Johnson-esque debacles. Nego and Netto BJJ are our first fight this evening. Netto BJJ plans to try and knockout his foe, and apparently, has great power in his hands, and less great grappling.


BG: Clearly, he goes to the Brad Pickett school of nicknames (Fun fact: “One Punch” Pickett has exactly one clean knockout win is his 34 fight career). Nego, on the other hand, is still huge, still very grapple-heavy, and could potentially be our Quadrary Tibau once the season is up.

Both guys manage to make weight easily, despite Nego being a huge lightweight making three hard cuts inside of six weeks (kidneys, we hardly knew ye). Shogun declines to pick a favourite, but Nog mentions he’ll be cheering for Glaico. And very soon, too soon, maybe, IT IS TIME…

Lightweight Bout: Team Shogun’s Nego (12-3) v. Team Shogun’s Netto BJJ (7-0)

AL: Fifteen seconds into the fight, Nego gets the takedown he was looking for. Post-fight, Shogun says that Nego surprised Netto with the takedown, a comment that makes zero sense since all they talked about before the fight was Nego’s wrestling. Nego shows perfect patient, picking his spots so he can land some big shots before improving his position during a scramble. At first, Netto is able to put up a good fight and stop Nego’s submissions, but eventually the bigger Nego overpowers him. A rear naked choke gets Nego the submission win in the first round. He’s going to the finals!

Nego BJJAgain, one of these guys has “BJJ” in their nickname and not the one you’d think based on this screenshot.

Nego Advances​Netto is incredibly gracious after. He insists that Nego is a much harder worker and that Nego deserved to win. Okay, I’m back on the love train. We’ll miss ya, Netto, contradictory nickname and all.

Next up is what I imagine to be the final game of the season, the Coaches’ Challenge! Titled “Dig This”, it is a variation on the construction vehicle challenge from TUF 17 (Jon Jones v. Chael Sonnen).

Dig ThisI’m glad they were able to save money on the challenges this season.

It’s different from the TUF 17 version in that there is less to do with carrying the tires. If I recall correctly, Bones and Chael had the super difficult task of having to stack the tires up to finish their competition; here, it’s more of a straight up race. Alas, no amount of editing could help out Big Nog here as it turns out exactly as you’d expect if you’ve been keeping up with this season.

Tire DropIn case you’re wondering, that is NOT the target area.

BG: Man, that challenge was embarrassing for Nog. They just cannot win anything. On every challenge, they’ve tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.

AL: Team Nogueira is officially one of the five worst teams in TUF history.

BG: Anyway, Team Shogun gets the cash, and we head towards the last fight. Matheus “Pretty eyes” Nicolau (NOTE: This is not his actual nickname, but it is an accurate representation of him) is fighting against Dileno Lopes.

AL: Ben, I bet we’ll see fighters stop using the nickname “Pitbull” before “Pretty Eyes” ever catches on.

Bantamweight Bout: Team Shogun’s Dileno Lopes (19-1) v. Team Shogun’s Matheus Nicolau (10-1-1)

BG: Following my prediction last week, I still think Dileno will secure the win, as he’s got a solid experience edge. Of course, in this situation, neither coach picks a winner for this fight, both preferring to stay on the fence. Coach Nog predicts that it’ll be a great fight. Things aren’t going great for Nog. His team isn’t winning, he isn’t winning, and now, he totally, completely picks the wrong outcome for this fight.

To put it simply, Dileno v, Pretty Eyes was not a great fight.

You guys all know what happens when two ground-savvy fighters match up, right?

That’s right. Three rounds of sub-par kickboxing.

So, full disclosure on this. I watched the fight normally the first time around, but when it came to re-watching for the recap, I sped it up to around triple speed. I’m not wasting a full 15 minutes on this fight again. So, I might have missed some details, but the gist of the fight is solid.

The first round begins uneventfully. The circle and feint for what feels like ages, even when it’s sped up there’s still not much happening. The whole round, Dileno stalks forward, and lands a takedown on the bell, so that’s enough for a round for him.

The tables turn slightly in the second round, as Matheus is consistently able to establish himself as the more aggressive fighter there. Well, it’s the same low-volume kickboxing match, but at least for this round, he does a bit more. He’s actually able to drop Dileno with a head kick, but it never does more than momentarily take away his balance. Matheus takes round two, thanks to the knockdown.

So we’re out to a third round, and this one is started with a long, lingering hug between our two fighters.

Hug It OutThe most physicality shown in this fight.

This round actually has some bright spots. Dileno is able to open up multiple times, and score a couple of hits in a row. This is outstanding, as this has been a fight of single shots, so scoring a combination is relatively exciting in this context. Neither fighter shows anything in the way of urgency, and I about halfwaay through the round, I was hoping for some wall and stall, just to mix it up from this woeful low output kickboxing. Well, leg-kicking really, as neither fighter did much more than that. No one really engaged, there was virtually no grappling whatsoever, and I don’t know, I think Dileno won the last round?

AL: I don’t care how Shogun and Big Nog try to sugarcoat it, that fight sucked. This is one time where I’d actually welcome the input of Dana “Always Keepin’ It Real” White. And my guess was as good as yours as far as where that fight went. Dileno ends up taking it and I’m just glad that’s over.  These two fight episodes can be a serious drag, eh?

Dileno AdvancesNext Week: Reginaldo Vieira v. Korea and Açougueiro v. El Tigre! Also, the fighters get to ride the world’s biggest Ferris wheel. And to think we were saying this show wasn’t ending on an exciting note!


The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 10 Recap

Ben Grimm: Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. Last week, Team Nog got their first victory in the house. No team has ever been swept in the first round in TUF history (although Wanderlei Silva, Rampage Jackson and Gilbert Melendez came close in TUF: Brazil 1, TUF 10, and TUF 20 respectively), this win did come about due to the two sweetest words in the English language: DE-FAULT.

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

Anyway, a win is a win, and we’re heading into the last quarter final fight of the season, and I have really mixed feelings about this fight. I’m firmly rooting for the underdog (or is it under-“Nog”?) on principle, as I don’t want to see Nog’s TUF record finishing at the same level as Rampage’s did. However, their last fighter Fernando Bruno “Açougueiro” is fighting the man with far and away the best nickname in this season, and perhaps any season of TUF: JACK GODZILLA. I can’t really cheer against Jack motherf**king Godzilla, can I?

Alexander K Lee: It would be unconstitutional.

BG: Starting back at the house, it seems that Reginaldo Vieira and Adamas are pretty ok with the results of their fight. If anything, punching each other in the face for 10 minutes has made them closer friends than before. They’re actually planning on introducing each other to their families, which is a huge thing for dudebros.

Next up are Jack and Açougueiro having a pretty cool chat about letting it all hang out, and going out and putting on a show. Jack gets a confessional too, and I think this is really the first we’ve seen of him this season. It’s a hugely missed opportunity, as we all have so many questions about Jack. Is he man, myth, or legend?

AL: All of the above?

Look, let’s just say it now. Short of springing off of the cage like Vega and chopping Açougueiro’s head off, there’s no way he’s going to live up to the hype of his nickname. It’s impossible. I’m happy just to see him avoid Açougueiro’s takedowns (a key point according to Shogun) and advance to the next round.

Before we get to the last fight of the first round, we get what should be our last challenge. Remember the “Log Challenge” from TUF Classic? It’s back.

Log ChallengeDéjà vu.

A quick refresher: the teams have to carry a log over to a station where they then must cut the log into four pieces. Those pieces are carried to the next stage where they are joined back together in a different order using special fasteners and screws. The recombined log is brought over to the finish line. This challenge is for lightweights only.

Kick & BreakF**k it!

As if things couldn’t get any worse for young Nikolas Motta on this show, he struggles to work the saw. I get the feeling that he mentally tuned out during the final weeks of filming. It gets so bad that his teammates actually have to cut his section for him. Oh Quejinho, what will we do with you?

Team Nogueira is able to make up some ground, but there is miscommunication and like clockwork, Team Shogun pulls ahead. They get to the finish line with the blue team nowhere in sight.

Red Team RulesThat about sums it up.

El Tigre explains that the key to victory was cutting faster and putting the log back together faster. As opposed to, you know, doing everything slower.

BG: This losing streak is just getting ridiculous. They haven’t even won a single challenge? That’s almost unfair. Also, Nazareno amazes me every challenge week with his ability to just straight-up beast through everything.

AL: The prize (as if Team Shogun needed anymore rewards) is a full massage session for the boys back at the house. Dileno Lopes acts like he’s shy about removing his trousers, as if the cast isn’t regularly in some state of nakedness.

If Jack is able to beat Açougueiro, that will mean that Team Shogun has defeated Team Nogueira in every phase of the opening rounds in which the two teams went head to head. This is history in the making.

The episode has been somewhat boring up to this point, but it looks like we’re saved by the girls coming by to provide some English lessons! Yeeeeessssssssss

This also serves as an advertisement for the Wizard line of educational books, which actually sound kind of cool. The books come with a pen that properly pronounces the words for you when you run the pen over them. Jack jokes that he’s too embarrassed to practice with anyone around him. Sadly, the segment ends way too soon.

English LessonsIf I had a tutor like this, it would most likely distract me from forming complete sentences.

BG: That was the most oddly placed bit of product placement I’ve ever seen. It was even stranger than D-grade Latin American soapie stars rocking up to the TUF: Lat-Am house. Hey, at least we saw the girls again.

AL: Speaking of the girls, we get to meet our last (but not least) Octagon girl hopeful.

BG: This week, we have the lovely Nathalia Ferreira.

She’s, um, she’s Brazilian, and um, very pretty? I dunno, I don’t normally write these segments.

Can you just chuck some pictures here?

AL: I’ll just add that she speaks Portuguese, meaning she is right up there with Elenita Machado on my personal list. Nathalia and Elenita should be the two finalists according to my very specific criteria.

Nathalia FerreiraQualified!

BG: Thanks.


Anyway, it’s fight time.

Lightweight Bout: Team Shogun’s JACK GODZILLA (11-4) v. Team Nogueira’s Açougueiro (15-2)

Both fighters start out pretty tentative, but eventually, Açougueiro bull rushes Jack, and pins him against the cage. He spends the next minute or so alternating between grabbing the fence to keep Jack in place, and landing some nasty shots. Interestingly, the ref speaks Portuguese, and continues to warn Açougueiro about 100 times to not grab the cage. If you’ve gotta warn him so many times, take a f**king point, a**hole.

Jack stays pinned against the cage for about half the round, stalling out as much as he can, until the referee resets the action. Despite being separated, there’s not much more action. Both guys circle, and land a couple of kicks, but it’s not high-octane stuff. They eventually clinch up again, with Jack in control. Açougueiro then proceeds to land, like a hundred knees that are about one inch away from Jack’s groin. The man’s really playing with fire there.

AL: Jack returns fire and for a minute there it looked like they were engaging in a roshambo.

BG: With three seconds to go, Açougueiro manages to ground Jack, but obviously has no time to do anything.

I’ve got Round 1 as 10-9 Açougueiro, more control, damage and aggression.

The second round starts at a higher pace, but ends up with more of the same. Açougueiro is able to eventually ground Jack, and work a tiny bit of G’n’P as the second round draws to a close. Similarly, Jack tries to remain active on bottom, but never is actively threatening with a submission.

I’m making this sound like a terrible fight, it wasn’t, but it was terribly average. Neither man was able to hugely threaten the other in the second round, and it showed.

After two rounds, it seems unlikely to need a third, and the judges agree, unanimously awarding Açougueiro the win, 20-18. Score one, finally for Team Nog.

AL: It’s nice to see the Team Azul locker room get to celebrate for once (Shogun pointed out earlier that even Reginaldo used their locker room before his win). They drench Açougueiro in sports drink which is both touching and disgusting.

On the other side, Jack is devastated. This is what it’s like when a radioactive lizard cries.

Let’s lighten things up by going over to the Octagon Girl finalists. I’m not going to lie, if Jennifer and Diana (the two girls who made kissy face with Korea and Dedé respectively) are the final two, that would be messed up. Reginaldo says that he voted for a Brazilian girl. Keeping it real!

The finalists are Elenita Machado (told ya) and Cindy Laura (speaks Spanish, close enough). Congratulations, girls! Now would probably be a bad time to mention that the previous winners of this contest were never seen again.

Octagon Girl FinalistsSeriously, we cover this show religiously and even we can’t remember who won this contest before.

Back to business, it’s time to announce the semi-finals and it’s laid out like this:


Dileno Lopes v. Matheus Nicolau

Reginaldo Vieira v. Bruno “Korea” Rodrigues


Joaquim “Netto BJJ” Silva v. Glaico “Nego” França

Fernando “Açougueiro” Bruno v. Nazareno “El Tigre” Malegarie

It’s nice to see that Team Nogueira at least got one fighter in each bracket. He could still win the whole thing with just two guys, kind of like how Matt Hughes (ugh) did it back on TUF 6. I got El Tigre winning the lightweight bracket and Korea shocking everyone in the bantamweight bracket. He’s going to take that trophy and Jennifer back to Brazil. What say you, oh Grimm one?

BG:  I have to agree with you for the lightweights, El Tigre is going to run house. He’s a strong wrestler with solid power. That’s game, set, and match for TUF. For the bantamweights, I favour Dileno. I think he’s crafty enough to get the next two wins. I even think Reginaldo makes the finale, being the sole Team Nog representative.

And hey, it’s crunch time now, with two fights an episode for the last two episodes. It’s time to bear witness to the fitness of the modern warrior (RIP TUF song).

Acougueiro VictoriousNext Week: Two, two, TWO semi-final fights! Netto BJJ meets Nego and top pick Matheus Nicolau tries to topple veteran Dileno Lopes. Also, we search for the missing TUF: Brazil Octagon Girl winners.


The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 9 Recap

Ben Grimm: Yo, I’m back for some more back and forth.

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

It’s kind of crazy that Soldado being sent home from the competition was the first setback for Team Vermelho. It seems really, really weird that they sent him home here. In TUF: Latin America, Chito was allowed to stick around, and he had a crazy skin infection, and was even allowed to return after being freaking quarantined for a few days. In TUF 11, for example, half the damn cast was walking wounded, and none of them were kicked out. I dunno, it seems odd that they straight-up booted him out.

In addition to this, the way they kick out Soldado is vicious. After he was forced to leave the gym in front of everyone, the guys get back to the house, and all of Soldado’s gear has been cleated away. He’s gone, as if he was never in the tournament. It’s brutal.

Alexander K Lee: We also get what might be the first farewell letter in TUF history.

Soldado LetterDear John…

BG: The guys are all pretty down about losing one of their teammates, almost moved to tears in some cases. It’s pretty harsh stuff.

AL: Netto BJJ and Índio Brabo rightfully give each other props over what was a hard fought battle. The quality of the fights this season has been good overall.

We move on to learning a little more about Reginaldo Vieira, who faces his best friend Adamas this week. He tells the story about how his father was killed by a neighbour in their backyard when Reginaldo was just a kid. And that’s all we get. They gloss over what sounded like an intense incident. Oh well, more time for them to dedicate to Reginaldo and Adamas’ friendship. Seriously, the whole episode they have to remind us how close these two are. Not to be rude, but…get a room, guys.

If you were wondering where all the pranks were this season, they get crammed into one episode. Team Nogueira gets the cute idea to dress up a dummy in Team Shogun colours and leave him out by the pool to represent “Team Pink”. This is foreshadowing for later, when more mischief ensues as a result of Bulldog being a bad, bad boy this week.

Team PinkI ask you this, Ben: What price rollercoaster?

BG: So, we’ve been promised the sight of this roller-coaster ride for about three episodes, by my reckoning. Team Shogun won it as a prize aaaages ago, and now they’re finally going on the trip.

Already, these excursions have been some of the most fun aspects of TUF: Brazil, and this one is off the charts. As Soldado has been unceremoniously booted from the competition, there is only seven fighters going, so there’s another spot. Team Shogun, out of the goodness of their hearts, bring Bulldog along. He’s apparently been keen on going on a roller-coaster since forever.

Team Nog doesn’t take it well. He’s sold out his entire team for a roller-coaster ride. It’s all in good fun so far, but Dedé and Açougueiro strip him of his Team Nog shirt, and there’s a rousing chant of “Bulldog! Bulldog! Butt kisser!” I’m sure it doesn’t translate that well from the original Portuguese.

AL: Dedé points out that it’s even more messed up because Bulldog is the one who actually lost the challenge for his team.

BG: They start the excursion on the Tower of Terror, and of course, Shogun and the girls are there too, so that makes this excursion even better. Bulldog is like, super-psyched, and manages to get more camera time than the rest of Team Shogun combined, talking about how much he enjoyed the whole experience.

Bulldog RideHe regrets nothing.

Holding HandsI just love these two.

RollercoasterNever let them see you sweat, Jack.

Fun NightThe most raucous TUF: Brazil cast since…the last TUF: Brazil cast.

However, pride always comes before a fall. Little does Bulldog know, but his erstwhile teammates are plotting his demise. Bulldog’s sleeping gear is brought out into the main hallway, and he’s excommunicated from the team.

There is no mercy for traitors.

The next morning, Bulldog is allowed to do his penance, and rejoin the team. They set the punishment as follows: each member of the team gets to slap him on the butt with a sandal twice…

Rite Of Forgiveness…then, he gets covered in ice inside the freezer…

Freezer…and finally, stripped nude, and thrown in the pool.

Naked TossIt’s all in good fun, and he’s welcomed back with open arms, but, as Dedé subtly puts it, the next motherf**ker to pull this s**t is absolutely dead.

Bulldog: They each slapped me twice. My butt is on fire.


Jokes aside, serious faces on again. It’s weigh-in time.

AL: And by weigh-in time, you mean ring girl time. This week’s contestant is the aptly named Diana Sparks, last seen making time with Dedé. I don’t know what it is about her, she just seems dangerous to me. She does have an attractive personality though, I can see why Dede went for her. That said, no Portuguese and you know what that means:

Diana SparksDisqualified.

We finally discover that Adamas means “Diamond” in Greek. It also roughly translates as “Man Who Dresses Like The Phantom Of The Opera For No Good Reason.”

PhantomNight time sharpens, heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination…

Bantamweight Bout: Team Nogueira’s Reginaldo Vieira (12-3) v. Team Nogueira’s Adamas (8-0-1)

They’ve been telling us all episode what great friends these two are and unfortunately, they approach the fight exactly as you’d expect: carefully. There is a sparring vibe to the whole affair and while everything is technically fine, there is a noticeable lack of aggression. I give round 1 to Reginaldo for managing some decent counters and controlling Adamas on the cage.

The second round is a lot more definitive for Reginaldo as he clips Adamas with a sweet counter left.

Adamas Gets DroppedAdamas tries to recover, but Reginaldo is quick to get him to the fence and then lift him for a slam. He manages to repeat this a couple of times and stay in control for the majority of the round. It’s a clear cut round 2 for Reginaldo and I have him taking the fight. The judges agree.

Much is made of Reginaldo deserving this spot in the semifinals. He stayed in shape, ate right, and by all accounts was a great teammate. I still can’t let go of the fact that they didn’t just choose him for this spot in the first place. Ah well, justice was served and Team Azul finally has a fighter advance to the next round.

Reginaldo VictoriousNext Week: Team Nogueira’s Açougueiro v. Team Shogun’s JACK GODZILLA. Also, the TUF Girl finalists are announced!