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