The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 12 Recap

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.

Eric's GlassesEric is the gift that keeps on giving.

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.

FFVEh, it’d be worse in Texas.

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!

Teammate LoveSuch a great reaction from Warlley.  That’s respect, right there.

Lyoto Moves OnI believe I can fly…

Lyoto & WarlleyWarlley:  “I’d like to apologize because I’ll be smashing your face.”

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…

Demente ShowersYou’re welcome.

…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.

Unique ExerciseNow this is rolling!

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.

Water SpitOr Kwang if you’re so inclined.

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.

Lex Luthor Moves OnHe could work on showing some emotion though.

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.

Rick Monstro & Lex LuthorNewChallenger: 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.

Group HugGet in here ya big lugs!

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.

KaPreview of the finale.

Air Up ThereShould he be doing this before the biggest fight of his career?!?

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!

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 11 Recap

Hair DidWe’ve come a long way from the days of Willa Ford.

NewChallenger: Alright, time for another exciting installment of the best TUF series around.  I…wait…what’s that…could it be…

The_Vortex: That’s right, I’m back! Hold your applause, please. Still no internet at home, but it’s important to prioritise some things in your life, and TUF: Brazil is clearly one of those things. Very excited here, we’ve got two fights in an episode, and, we start this episode with the most important thing first: that’s right, we’re deciding the finalists of Miss Ring Girl TUF: Brazil 3 2014!

Big DecisionAnd poor Lex is still petrified.

Because the guys might have been paying attention to other things at the fights (like, say the fights), they get to watch a highlight reel of the girls shaking it. Probably the best afternoon that anyone on this show has ever had, ever.

Any thoughts? Any early predictors of ring girl glory?

Also: please hold your celebration of my return until the end of the episodes. Don’t forget to go by the gift shop on the way out.

NewChallenger: Being a professional fighter is hard work, no?

Rafaela is not one of the two finalists so this whole competition is invalid.  Ana Cecília is the first finalist.  No lesser authority than Rick Monstro himself proclaimed her to be the prettiest, so I guess I can’t argue with that.  The second finalist is Fernanda Hernandes, a curvy blonde.  Magrão justifies the selection by saying she’s curvier than the American ring girls.  He put way more thought into that than he had to.

Fernanda And Ana CeciliaI guess this makes them the Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez of TUF: Ring Girl.

The weird thing is that neither Fernanda or Ana Cecília are on octagon duty later in the show; instead, we get the pros Camila Oliveira and Jhenny Andrade.  Maybe they already flew the finalists out to Las Vegas?  We should probably stop thinking about this and just move on.

In addition to the ring girl competition, I’m going to miss Chael Sonnen’s speeches.  I could be mistaken, but I think he gives Warlley Alves a variation of a speech he gave on TUF 17:

Sonnen: I know you get scared and I know you get nervous and I know you get excited and I know you feel every emotion that a human feels.  Not one of those emotions is going to help you in there.  The only thing that matters in sports or in life are your actions.  Actions is what wins fights.  This is the only thing that matters.  It is not the best fighter that wins, it’s whoever fights the best.


But who cares about that because we get possibly the best guest star of the season: TUF: Brazil 2 assistant coach Eric Albarracin!  I just love this guy.  Are you familiar with his work?

The_Vortex: Eric Albarracin: Team Nogueira wrestling coach.

Eric Albarracin: Former US Army Captain.

Eric Albarracin: Jumps one hell of a jump rope.

Eric Albarracin: Completely bonkers.

Size DifferentialOne of these men is an army captain.

Eric is fantastic. He was a key part of the best moment of TUF: Brazil 2, when Fabrício Werdum legitimately kidnapped him, and bombarded the house like an invading army.

Eric being here softens the blow of Rafaela losing the ring girl contest.

Eric brings a lighter side to Team Sonnen training (once again), with a jump rope exercise.

NewChallenger: An insane jump rope exercise.

Eric Shows OffI can barely double dutch.

The_Vortex: Team Silva, on the other hand, are taking no prisoners. They’re beating each other up, to simulate fight training.

NewChallenger: No kidding.  It’s in sharp contrast to Team Sonnen who are focusing on their cardio.  Wanderlei Silva even has Rick Monstro and Cara de Sapato going at it, which is interesting because they could potentially face each other in the finals.

The_Vortex: Both Warlley and Wagnão are ready for this fight, but we go to weigh-ins, and another surprise guest…

NewChallenger: You might say it’s tiiiiiiiime for another surprise guest.  Get it?  Get it?

It’s Bruce Buffer.

The fighters are over the moon that the voice of the octagon is at the facility.  In all these editions of TUF, he’s never made an appearance on the show.  It’s crazy what a legend he is in the fight business for someone who doesn’t actually compete.  I’ve always loved his enthusiasm for the sport and you can tell he’s having a great time on the show.  He handles the weigh-in commentary, referring to Wagnão as “Wagner”.  I’d make a Das Nibelung joke here, but my Portuguese pronunciation is suspect so maybe he’s doing it right.

They announce that the finalists will get an all expense paid trip to Las Vegas to see a UFC event.  Please have them travel with the ring girls and film it!  I will watch this!

The_Vortex: You’re forgetting the most important part of the weigh-ins. Eric brings Team Sonnen mustaches to wear, because “it’s a symbol of manly respect”. Brilliant.

NewChallenger: I feel like we should explain this further for the readers but…just watch the gif, folks:

Let's DanceNo further explanation needed.

TUF: Brazil…it’s so good.  As for the fight, I expected it to be a close one.  My prediction was slightly off.

The_Vortex: Whoah yeah it was. I thought we’d get a bit of a grinder of a fight. Instead, flash submission, They come out, exchange leg kicks, and Wagnão charges in. Warlley catches him in a guillotine, and sinks it. Wagnão can’t get his head back outside, and can’t get rid of Warlley. He taps within 25 seconds.

Warlley GuillotineOw ow ow ow ow ow…

Warlley’s stoked, and breaks out into a chorus of Viva Las Vegas.

Warlley Moves OnNo self-respecting bookie would take action on the winner not singing Viva Las Vegas afterwards.

NewChallenger: Lex Luthor points out that Wagnão is considered one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the house and he got subbed by Alves who is primarily a striker.

The_Vortex: Chael can’t stop extolling Warlley’s speed and techniques. The last time Chael was this excited about a middleweight prospect was Uriah Hall. Hmmm.

Chael even calls out 2015 Weidman. Hey, gotta aim high.

NewChallenger: You just had to bring up Uriah Hall, didn’t you?  Sonnen’s exact words are: Chris Weidman, you better get in the gym ‘cause somebody’s’ comin’ for ya!  Vintage.

The_Vortex: So, straight onto preparation for the next fight.

NewChallenger: The separation from family and personal issues with Pezão are taking their toll on Cara de Sapato.  He feels like his sense of humour has been misinterpreted.  The situation brings him to tears.  I look at it as Pezão just motivating himself, finding a reason to dislike Cara de Sapato.  Or maybe Cara de Sapato needs to stop touching him so much.  A call from Junior dos Santos lifts Cara de Sapato’s spirits just in time for him to get into the cage with Pezão.

His spirits might have been lifted a little too high.  Pezão has a considerable weight advantage, which doesn’t stop Cara de Sapato from throwing heavy leather with him!  Cara de Sapato goes for a takedown against the cage.  He’s able to avoid the guillotine choke that felled his teammate earlier.  To nobody’s surprise, Cara de Sapato has the superior cardio and he doesn’t give Pezão a second to rest.  He scores a takedown from behind then goes for a rear naked choke!  Pezão taps, but still goes unconscious.  Damn, another quick finish!

The_Vortex: Pezão going out was pretty crazy. It’s not like Sapato torqued the submission after the tap, or even held it awhile. Delayed reaction naptime.

Sapato looked good, and he’ll be a solid light heavyweight in the UFC. He weighed in at 212, so I don’t think there’s any chance he’s going to stay with the fat boys in the big show. Team Wanderlei is going bonkers at having snapped a five fight losing streak, but, continuing the good sportsmanship we’ve seen this week, Sapato still finds the time to speak to Pezão.

Pezão is understandably distraught, even saying that he needs to rethink his life. He seems to have calmed down in the confessional, and gives a great speech to Chael about what a fantastic dude Chael is, negative perceptions be damned. I think this bit is quite legit, as friendly Chael seems able to win anyone over, as well as coming across as really genuine.

NewChallenger: Loved, loved, loved Pezão’s reconciliation with Cara de Sapato and the heart to heart with Sonnen after.  It got real MTV up in there for a minute.  I don’t know if Pezão has a future in MMA to be honest, but I’ll remember him as a solid cast member.  As he said himself, just making it onto the show was a miracle for a guy whose life was going down a dark path just a few years ago.

The_Vortex: This was a great episode, entertaining as hell, some good action, and great guests. Robbery of the year goes to anyone not named Rafaela Machado continuing in TUF: Ring Girl, but I might, MIGHT be over it by next week.  Any thoughts NewChallenger?

NewChallenger: This was a great episode, wasn’t it?  Let us appreciate the show now while it’s still relatively fresh, before it goes the way of its over-saturated American brethren.  There is such a wonderful liveliness to the characters and a lack of cynicism, I’d recommend any of the three seasons for anyone who still likes the concept of TUF but is tired of what the original show has become.  I’m already sad inside that next week is the finale.

Cap off your triumphant return with some closing words, Australia.

The_Vortex: That was one hell of an episode to return for. We’re getting two fights again next week, and it’ll be sad to see everyone go. I’m definitely looking forward to whatever inspiring speech Chael has stored away for the season end, it’s going to be something else!

Cara de Sapato Moves OnNext week: Lyoto v. Demente and Lex Luthor v. Rick Monstro!

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 10 Recap

The quarterfinals come to a close with our last heavyweight match-up: Pezão (Team Sonnen, 1st overall) v. Jollyson Francino (Team Wanderlei, 3rd overall).  To recap, Pezão pulled off an upset by quickly submitting Bellator standout Thiago Santos with a guillotine choke.  Since Santos was the biggest name on the qualifying roster, that catapulted Pezão to the front of the line.  Francino was also a surprise, using beautiful jiu-jitsu to set up an arm triangle that put away tough talking riot cop Gigante.

Much of the spotlight this week is put on assistant coaches Isabel and Hortência.  Isabel gives a speech to help Team Wanderlei break out of their slump (they’ve lost three fights in a row).  You can tell there’s closeness between with her and the guys.  She’s not as loud and boisterous as Hortência, but she shines in some smaller moments.

Speaking of Hortência, she’s getting harassed by Team Sonnen as usual.  This week they encourage her to take an ice bath.  Even after she agrees to do some circuit training, the fighters are still on her case.  Warlley Alves in particular has a lot of fun with it.

Hortencia BoxingWell…yeah…

Chael Sonnen saves Hortência from the ice bath, which somehow leads to them dancing again.

More DancingAnd you wonder why there are rumours about them having an affair.

After all that, Hortência decides to hop in the ice bath anyway.  There’s nothing she won’t do for her boys.  Can we get female assistant coaches on future American TUFs please?  Like, Kristi Yamaguchi and Kerri Strug or something?  I don’t know.  Isabel and Hortência bring both an outsider perspective and a much needed female touch to the proceedings.  It’s like when they put Liv Tyler in that first The Lord of the Rings movie or when Brad Pitt goes to see his ex-wife in Moneyball so you know that he and Jonah Hill aren’t up each other.

What was I talking about again?

Oh, right, the ice bath.  Hortência reacts as you’d expect (“Everything hurts.”) for a former athlete who probably never did anything like that in training.  She also has immaculate eyeball control.

WonkyHortência is the best, you guys.

The first thing she does when she gets out is walk over to the sauna to hug Sonnen for warmth.  I joke about them fooling around, but they really do have a cute relationship.

The profile on Francino presents him as a calm, easy going guy.  He looks like he’s in better shape than when he was in the first episode.  All this training is doing wonders for him.  Wanderlei is convinced that he’ll be able to outlast Pezão in a drawn out fight.

Pezão is a more conflicted, serious individual.  He used to live on the streets doing drugs and fighting for no reason.  His father used his brother as an example to challenge Pezão to live to a higher standard.  Something must have clicked because here he is with an opportunity to fight for one of the biggest sports organizations in the world.  They show a lot of footage of him practicing his guillotine.  If it was good enough to get into the house, it might be good enough to advance him in the tournament.

Our last quarterfinal fight also means our last ring girl contestant.  Big sigh.  Wendy Meira (or just “Wendy” as she introduces herself) is an expert at communication and socializing.  I doubt those are skills that most fighters can relate to.

Wendy MeiraShe’s certainly speaking my language.  Heyo!

The fight

Let’s see if Pezão can live up to the hype here.  He has some thunderous kicks and looks the part of a top pick as he shrugs off Francino’s takedown attempts.  A stiff left jab shakes Francino forcing him to clinch up.  Pezão jumps for a guillotine, but Francino is able to slip out of it and Pezão falls to the mat.  Francino moves into Pezão’s guard without much confidence.

Back on the feet, Pezão punishes Francino every time they get close.  The constant pressure allows him to lift a tired Francino up in the air for a slam.  Then things get really weird.  Francino plays a dangerous game pawing away at Pezão’s face, specifically his mouth and eyes.  An alarming cry from Francino forces the referee to call for a “time out” (is that even allowed?).  They think Francino dislocated his finger, but he says Pezão bit him!  He’s calling for Pezão to be disqualified!  That’s not a good look for Francino who was clearly losing the fight up to that point.

Despite the complaints, the referee tells both men to stand up and return to their corners.  The fight just continues without any clarification.  They don’t even mention it in the post-fight breakdown.  Absolutely bizarre.

Francino is able to end the round in full mount when Pezão goes for a sloppy takedown.  I could be mistaken, but it looked like Francino went for a chest smother in the closing seconds.  What the hell is this guy doing?  This is one of those times I wish The_Vortex were around to provide a second set of eyes.

Chest SmotherI’ve seen this referred to as “Mother’s Milk”.  Ew.

The second round is awful for both men.  They take turns looking exhausted.  There are no actual takedowns, just collisions between their bodies with one man tripping and falling.  In this case, it’s Pezão who ends up on top more often than not.  He does throw some nice short punches and elbows.  Too bad there isn’t much behind them.  Fortunately for Team Sonnen, Francino presents zero threat for the last three minutes of the fight.  I don’t see why this should go to a third round.  Even Isabel agrees.

Rough OutingWanderlei Silva, MD

Pezão takes the fight via unanimous decision.  Ironically, it was Francino who gassed out, not Pezão as Team Wanderlei anticipated.  Pezão isn’t too happy with himself, which I find encouraging.  He should recognize that it will take a much better effort than that to compete in the UFC whether he wins the tournament or not.  I also like how he took his and teammate Lex Luthor’s portraits and placed them on the “Final” section of the tourney board.  Presumptuous?  Maybe.  But you gotta believe, right?

Pezao VictoriousYou can’t do that on television.

Just like that it’s 4-4 going into the semi-finals.  This leads to one of my favourite segments: “Who do you want to fight?”

  • Wagnão wants Lyoto
  • Lyoto wants Wagnão
  • Alves wants Demente
  • Demente wants anybody
  • Cara de Sapato wants anybody
  • Lex Luthor wants Rick Monstro
  • Rick Monstro wants anybody
  • Pezão wants Cara de Sapato

That last one is interesting because Pezão’s reasons for the callout have nothing to do with a potentially entertaining fight or the easiest path to the finals.  He says “We’re not fond of each other and I want to get it over with.”  Dana White inquires further and Pezão explains that he isn’t fond of Cara de Sapato’s ass slapping.

Based on the fighter and coaches’ comments, the match-ups look obvious buuuuuut…


Wagnão v. Alves
Demente v. Lyoto

…I guess White wanted to f**k with the middleweights for whatever reason.


Pezão v. Cara de Sapato
Lex Luthor v. Rick Monstro

I got Demente and Cara de Sapato going all the way.  Who you got?

Semi-FinalsIt is so on.

Next week: Two, two, TWO fights in one week: Wagnão v. Warlley Alves and Pezão v. Cara de Sapato!  Also, I assume we’re going to get some progression in the ring girl competition too.  It matters!

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 9 Recap

(Internet issues will be keeping The_Vortex out of action this week, so you’re stuck with me again.)

As anticipated, Wanderlei Silva’s strategy of targeting Team Sonnen’s lower ranked fighters could only be effective for so long and “The Bad Guys” have rallied back with two straight victories.  The last middleweight quarterfinal fight sees Warlley Alves (Team Sonnen, 5th overall) v. the ever serious Marmota (Team Wanderlei, 8th overall).  Marmota has been mean mugging everyone the whole time he’s been in the house so now he gets a chance to show what he can do.  Chael Sonnen is so confident in the match-up that he says he’ll call Dana White personally and tell him to sign Marmota if Alves loses.

We get a lot of differing opinions on Alves this episode.  Up until now, he’s come off as friendly if somewhat aloof.  Apparently he’s rubbed his teammates the wrong way.  They warn him about how unpleasant he can be.  Peregrino dances around the wording until Pezão just comes out and says he can be “a prick”.  Alves doesn’t understand and Pezão says he’s not doing it in front of a mirror so of course he doesn’t see it.  Ouch.  Geez, a guy doesn’t want to party with the octagon girls one time and this is what he gets?

If there’s anything seriously wrong with Alves’s behaviour, Sonnen is unaware of it.  He’s hyping him heavily as being in perfect, peak condition for his upcoming fight.  I’ll leave it to him to explain it:

Sonnen: You know how sometimes you’ll eat a piece of pizza and then you’ll tell everybody that’s the greatest pizza in the world even though there’s plenty of other pizza you haven’t had?  But, you just know there’s no pizza better than this pizza I’m eating right now.  I told them that’s Warlley.

I hope the translator got paid overtime for that one.

Listening IntentlySo…you want me to eat Warlley?

On the other side, we learn more about why Marmota has developed such a hard shell.  He was adopted at age 7 and his father passed away when he was 14.  His family has never supported his fighting.  He and Isabel hit it off from day one, probably because they’re both so dour.  He tells her that he’ll become completely focused and intense on fight day.  You know, because he’s such a warm and cuddly teddy bear normally.

One GloveShout out to Art Jimmerson.

They do an excellent job of hyping the fight this week.  Most of the cast is convinced that the fight will be an exciting one, whether it’s a quick finish as Peregrino predicts or a thriller that will need an extra round according to Lyoto.  I have no idea what to expect since Marmota got into the house when his opponent suffered a freak injury and we only got to see the highlights of Alves’s entry fight.  Sonnen’s coaches have been high on Alves since they first saw him though.

In case you forgot that this was TUF Brazil, it’s game show time!  I don’t want to alarm anyone, but the TUF Brazil Coaches’ Challenge involves football.  Take a second to recover from the shock, please.  In addition to a cash prize for the coaches and the fighters, the winning coach will also receive a jersey autographed by Pelé.  Whoa!

Signed JerseyOkay, that’s pretty good.

Proving once and for all that the tides have turned, Sonnen does amazingly well.  I’m not surprised since Sonnen strikes me as the kind of guy who’d be interested in a variety of athletics.  Wanderlei has always been about one thing: destruction.  He looks sluggish and disinterested, knocking over pylons as he tries to hurdle them.

It’s another win for Team Sonnen.  They’re going streaking!  Er…they’re on a win streak.  Though this is TUF so it could go either way.

The SpoilsFirst I mock your entire country, then I take your money and a trophy from one of your national heroes.

It’s party time back at the house (it’s always party time back at the house), a Hawaiian themed brouhaha complete with bad shirts and hula girls.  Everyone agrees that Marmota’s grim attitude makes him fun to laugh at.  Jollyson Francino suggests TRUTH OR DARE and I think I just peed a little.  The only question they show is him asking Patrícia Andrade who the prettiest and ugliest guy is.  She says Cara de Sapato is the prettiest, but they don’t say the ugliest.  Come on!

The game takes a strange, yet obvious turn when people start getting called out to kiss each other.  Wagnão has to give Patrícia a kiss, which is uneventful.  Then Rick Monstro gets to kiss Ana Cecília.  The house is delighted.  They chant “On the mouth!” and taunt him about being so into it.  Rick Monstro is happy he got to kiss the prettiest one.  Then everybody jumps in the pool.

AlohaSeriously, how much does the American TUF experience suck compared to this?

Reports say that Sonnen is winning the popularity contest in Brazil, something that would have been unfathomable a year ago.  The editing certainly portrays him in as positive a light as possible.  He’s frequently visiting the house to buddy up with his team.  He goes to check on Alves’s weight and the staff is pleased to see Alves a couple of pounds under.  Sonnen tells him he can have some more pasta.

On fight day, it’s Hortência’s turn to support for the boys.  She wakes Alves up by rubbing his chest and then slaps Lyoto on the ass.  And to think, all Jason Thacker ever got was pee on his sheets.  Alves doesn’t seem like he’s that into it.  He says he dreamed about the fight.  He doesn’t say whether he won or lost.

Bedside MannerJust let me sleep, woman.

Octagon girl contestant Fernanda Hernandes knows that her job is to “make the event prettier and more feminine”.  That’s a nice way of saying it gives guys something to look at in between all the dry humping.  Thank goodness the quarterfinals are almost over because I’m running out of superlatives to describe how attractive these women are.

Fernanda HernandesYou know, if Rafaela hadn’t gone first I’m not sure Fernanda wouldn’t be the champ right now.

Master Dória and Dedé Pederneiras, two TUF Brazil staples, are brought in to give Marmota’s training a boost.  Dória is the boxing coach for Team Nogueira and a mentor of Cara de Sapato.  Marmota is enamoured by Dória’s striking expertise, he only wishes he could have come sooner.  Dedé is Marmota’s coach from back home.  Everything is in place for him to succeed.

Fight InfoYour first name is not a nickname.

The fight

As promised, the fighters come out aggressively.  They attack each other with kicks.  Marmota backs Alves up and lands an overhand right.  Alves shakes it off then clinches up.  The action moves to the cage with Alves putting on the pressure.

Marmota gives Alves too much freedom in the clinch.  He eats a big knee that drops him into a crouch.  A second one catches him square on the chin.  It’s a miracle that he’s able to stand up after that.  A third knee makes sure he goes down and stays there.  A fast, brutal finish.

Wanderlei offers a harsh appraisal of Marmota’s performance. He says that he didn’t show up and that he “zoned out”.  Marmota always looks the same to me so I don’t know if that’s the case.  Even in the locker room after, he’s stone faced.

Alves is so pumped that he rips his portrait right off the dressing room door and slaps it onto the tournament board.  You can’t blame him for being excited.  After that knockout, he looks like one of the favourites to win the tournament.  Vinny Magalhães wants to sing a song, but Hortência cuts him off.  This is the first time I’ve ever disapproved of her actions.

Alves VictoriousNext week: That’s three straight wins for Team Sonnen and he still has his top heavyweight lined up to fight.  It’s Team Sonnen’s Pezão versus Team Wanderlei’s Jollyson Francino for the final spot in the heavyweight semifinals!

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 8 Recap

The_Vortex: Finally, the waterworks have begun. It’s not TUF: Brazil without tears, and this episode is really the most teary of them all. We start by getting back to Lyoto’s foot (disclaimer: not actually Lyoto Lyoto, just a rangy Brazilian karateka that also strikes reasonably well). It’s not broken, which is a relief, but he’s going to have to rest it for a few days. I’m not convinced he’ll be fully healthy for his next fight, and he’s pretty evasive about his recovery time.

NewChallenger: It’s not looking good for our boy Lyoto.  Shame too since he’s interesting to watch and seems like a cool dude.  First Capo Job, now this?  I don’t think I have any tears left.

This week’s heavyweight match-up is Montanha (Team Wanderlei, 7th overall) versus Vitor Miranda aka “Lex Luthor” (Team Sonnen, 4th overall).  I still can’t believe Team Sonnen lost this pick because of one of those ridiculous challenges.  If they’d kept it, maybe we could have avoided some of the drama this week.  As it turns out, Montanha and Lex Luthor are friends who have trained together in the past.

Neither guy is too happy about it, but they don’t protest.  It’s Vinny Magalhães who brings up the season 1 incident where Vitor Belfort picked Rony Jason to fight Gasparzinho.  Those two actually lived together and were like brothers, so it was extremely distressing when Jason ended up breaking Gasparzinho’s arm.  Wanderlei Silva threw a s**t fit at the time, though he doesn’t seem to have a problem with it now.  Hypocrite much?

Magalhães: He’s a false moralist.  He says one thing, but he does another.

I’m with Vinny on this one, which is weird because I don’t like Vinny all that much.  Do you feel Wanderlei was able to justify the selections?

The_Vortex: The biggest crime of this series is making Vinny seem likeable. Everyone seems a bit disappointed by the selections, including the fighters, and Wanderlei seems to be the only one unaffected.

Back at the house, it’s the “filthy house” episode. Unsurprisingly, sixteen combat athletes, focused only in punching each other in the face, are really bad at doing their dishes. Cara de Sapato is the one that get aggravated, strutting around and whinging at the whole green team about disrespect. Wagnão, Peregrino, Lex Luthor and Demente end up cleaning everything, whilst Sapato sits outside and has a bit of a b*tch fit. He doesn’t touch a dish.

Next up, Yushin Okami (THANK YOU!) joins Team Sonnen for some training. He always seems so happy to be everywhere, and joins them in sparring. We see him training with everyone.

Okami ChokeChael faces off against an old nemesis.

Hortência also learns some more jiu-jitsu, and again, it’s Bomba who’s the lucky victim. He collapses when she sinks in a choke, and everyone plays along, getting the medics ready. It was pretty obvious, but even so, hilarious all the same.

Sleeping BombaIt works better if you don’t smile the whole time.

NewChallenger: Okami looks bigger than some of these heavyweights, doesn’t he?  Massive dude.

These training segments with Hortência just slay me.  I can’t explain it.  This Brazilian cast is the best.  Isabel seems a lot more reluctant to join in on the fun and games, though her personality is more reserved overall.  Nothing wrong with that.  Here, we get to see her learn some striking from Marmota.  He says that she’d be able to beat up Hortência with her long limbs.

The_Vortex: Hey man, Isabel’s almost got Dan Kelly level striking! (too soon?)

NewChallenger: This week’s challenge is “The Bridge” and I’m already excited because it involves the octagon girls.  The fighters have to stand in a line holding planks while the ladies walk over them.  The pair holding the planks have to move to the end of the line to keep the bridge going and so on and so forth.  The winning team gets a day at the spa.

Odd CoupleThese two would make some beautiful babies.

I feel like the girls themselves could affect the results.  It would have been hilarious and cruel if the teams had to pick the girls like it was a recess kickball game.  However they chose the girls, Team Wanderlei wins handily again.  Why are they so much better at these games?

The_Vortex: Team Wanderlei’s got the skills that kills. Maybe not all the fight skills, but they’re clearly training hard to win these wacky minigames. Team Wanderlei certainly enjoys their time off, and maybe Marmota enjoys it a little too much…

Marmota SpeaksTranslation-Phrasing – Boom! 

NewChallenger: It is a crime, a crime I tell you that they didn’t show us more of the fighters’ day at the spa!  This could have been half an episode right here.  At least what we got was spectacular.  And Jollyson Francino certainly made the most of it:

Francino: This is so great.  Too bad our friends couldn’t make it.  They didn’t win this prize.  We won.  But that’s fine.  I’ll enjoy it in their place.

Spa DayJollyson: “I’m a new girl!”

The_Vortex: Afterwards, Chael Sonnen shows up at the house with a sh*tload of food. It’s for fun, and Borrachinha ends up asking Chael about his opinion on Brazil. Chael’s evasive, in a fun way, and promises to tell him his real opinion before he leaves. Marmota’s having none of this. Something something loyalty something patriotism something team something something.

Not much of a fan of Marmota, his confessionals are painting him as way, way too obnoxiously serious.

NewChallenger: Methinks that Marmota is auditioning for the role of Dida in Wanderlei’s gang after the show is over.  He’ll fit right in with all that nonsense.

The_Vortex: Montanha used to be a fat kid. He’s turned that around, and describes himself as very competitive. The training’s harder than the fight, in his opinion, and because of that, it doesn’t really bother him that he’s fighting a friend.

NewChallenger: Lex Luthor comes from a basketball background, which makes me like him even more.  I’ll be sorely disappointed if we don’t get to see him play some pick-up ball with Hortência at some point.  He experienced a great tragedy in 2011 when his 4-year old son passed away in a pool accident.  I’m surprised that he’s able to recount this story with such composure.

The two friends agree to wear sunglasses and a cap to the weigh-in to make it less awkward.  It may have had the opposite effect.

Friendly FaceoffTwo crude dudes.

There’s not a lot of suspense for heavyweight weigh-ins, is there?

The_Vortex: Fantastic weigh in there. It really highlights how ridiculous the whole damn thing is. Lex is smaller and has a shorter reach. Again, he’s probably a light heavyweight, but being nine years older, and having nine more pro fights, he’s got an experience edge.

NewChallenger: This week’s octagon girl contestant is Camila Bortolazzo.  She’s hoping this gig will open up other opportunities for her.  I don’t like that.  You should aspire to be an octagon girl FOR LIFE.

Camila BortolazzoAlready looking beyond the cage…

Back on TUF 17, Sonnen helped Tor Troéng warm up by using his body like a human rolling pin to massage Troéng.  He continues that tradition here by massaging Lex Luthor’s head and ears.  Weird.  I’m not a professional fighter.  What do I know?

The_Vortex: As the fight begins, they circle for a while, and Lex lands a heavy leg kick. Montanha bulls him against the cage, and holds him there for a while. Lex Luthor lands some hits and is eventually able to reverse position. Montanha eventually re-reverses, and still tries unsuccessfully for a takedown. Eventually they break away, and Lex Luthor is able to maintain his range and strike a little. Montanha trips over himself, and falls down into butt-scoot position, where he remains for a minute or so, while Lex kicks his legs, and lands one sick looking body punch, unwilling to jump into his guard. With just under a minute to go, he’s stood up. They circle, until Montanha is backed into the cage. Lex Luthor lands a beautiful three punch combination that drops Montanha like a rock, and punches him until he gets the stoppage.

NewChallenger: I was really impressed by Lex Luthor.  Calm, composed and patient…he waited for an opening and that was it for Montanha.  With all due respect to Montanha, it didn’t look like he had much to offer offensively and it was only a matter of time until Lex Luthor found a way to put him down.

The_Vortex: Lex Luthor doesn’t seem overjoyed, fair given the circumstances, and the green team cheer for Montanha as the results are read, which was some really nice sportsmanship.

Happy TeamThis isn’t where Yushin parked his car…

And now, as promised, and for very good reason really, the tears begin…

NewChallenger: Montanha, Lex Luthor, Hortência, Francino, me…everyone is crying.  It’s glorious.  Lex Luthor is actually loudly sobbing, just overcome with all kinds of emotions.  He even apologizes to Montanha after.  Montanha, showing what a star he is, tells his team that they should focus on the upcoming fights for Marmota and Francino.  Oh man, here I go again…

Team Sonnen finally gets to pick a fight!  Yay!  Hmm…what’s that?  There’s only one possible match-up left in each division?  Oh.

Lex Luthor VictoriousNext week: Is it time for the Coaches’ Challenge already?  This season is just flying by.  I guess that’s how it is when TUF is actually good.

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 7 Recap

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.

GrudgeLooks like he’s forgiven and forgotten.

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.

Peep ShowBomba…what the hell are you looking at?

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.

ManscapingHard to argue with that.

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.

Patricia AndradeBOO-YAH!

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.

MummificationI had a dream like this but it was sexual.

Total domination once again by Team Wanderlei.  They should be testing these guys for PEDs immediately after the challenges.

The EntanglerSeriously, who comes up with this s**t?

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.

LyotoNext week: Not only did Team Sonnen lose the fight pick, Lyoto might be out of the competition.  Did this week’s fight even matter?

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 6 Recap

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!

Maquina de EscreverI heard they do this every morning at Black House.

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.

First WinMore like “The Ultimate Writer”, AMIRITE?

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”.

Mr. CharismaThe “Peregrino dance” is SO good.

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.

Pajama PartyIf only my teachers had stressed the importance of good handwriting more.

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.

Pillow FightI heard they do this every morning at Black House.

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?

She’s huge.

NewChallenger:  Come on, she can’t be that big I mean…

Gabi GarciaJesus t**ty f**king Christ.

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…

Thais AndradeIf this were all about volume, Thais would take the contest hands down.

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.

Rick Monstro VictoriousNext week: Dana White is in the building…on a big ass TV screen.

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 5 Recap

(Note: The_Vortex was unavailable this week, so I’ll be providing a quick recap…though since it’s so late, think of it more as a refresher before you watch the newest episode.)

I am not happy with you TUF: Brazil.  Not happy at all.

I was promised Isabela and Hortência doing MMA.  I was promised accusations of alcoholism!  Neither of these things has happened yet.  Perhaps last week’s teaser was meant as more of a preview for the rest of the season, but I do not enjoy being led on.  Et tu, Brasil?

On the bright side, what we do get this week is pretty good, including the kind of unique frivolity only our Brazilian counterparts are capable of.  There’s a raft race challenge straight out of Survivor with an accompanying prize for the winners and punishment for the losers.  They have to put the rafts together themselves using large sticks and swim rings.  Lyoto is excited because Team Sonnen has Cabo Job, a marine.  Peregrino says he was a boy scout, which I didn’t even know they had in Brazil.  Despite having those two wilderness experts, Team Sonnen looks to be falling behind in the building stage.

Cara de Sapato and Hortência exchange some trash talk, not that it matters since the race doesn’t start until both teams are finished.  Just putting the thing together looks a lot harder than most TUF challenges I’ve seen.  This is the kind of game I love.  It’s physical, it’s fun and the chance of injury is minimal.

Sadly, once the race begins the teams don’t engage in any aquatic Ben Hur shenanigans.  Maybe Team Sonnen should have thought about that because they’re falling behind again!  Is it the quality of the raft?  The bickering between Lyoto and Peregrino?  Did they make a mistake leaving Pezão and Bomba behind?  They’re the lucky guys who get to sit this one out and hang with the aspiring octagon girls.

Beach BoysDon’t strain yourself, fellas.

Team Wanderlei wins again!  They taunt their rivals, asking if they need a towboat.  Ugh.  I never want to lose to a Brazilian in anything ever.

Raft Race WinEven Team Wanderlei loves Hortência.

The losing team has to prepare a feast for the winners.  This sounds like an opportunity for spunk sushi.  Thankfully, the Brazilians are an honourable lot and they don’t do anything worse than putting too much salt on Marmota’s meal.  I really hope that’s not a euphemism for spunk sushi.

Distressed WarleyThey even get a cake for Demente who is missing his son’s birthday.  It’s a touching moment and it ends the way all good things in Brazil end: with stripping.

Waiter ShowBorrachinha’s reaction is delightful.  “F**k this, I’m outta here.”

Oh TUF: Brazil, how can I stay mad at you?

The match-up for the week is Demente (Team Wanderlei, 2nd overall) versus Bomba (Team Sonnen, 7th overall).  Wanderlei’s plan is to send his aces to take out the lower picks so that he can keep control and boost the confidence of his fighters.  Bomba expected the match.  He used to train with Demente and he speculates that maybe Demente asked to fight him.  He feels that Team Wanderlei is underestimating him.

Demente is coming down a class and he looks jacked.  Bomba weighs in at just 182, so there will be a noticeable size difference.  Wanderlei says that weight and height are an important factor in his fight picks.  It remains to be seen what’s going to happen as his options are winnowed, but for now he couldn’t have given his boy Demente a much bigger advantage.

We have a strong contender this week in the octagon girl competition.  Ana Cecilia is a taekwondo practitioner with Disney eyes that are nearly enough to make her the frontrunner.  Nearly.  I’m still riding with Rafaela.

Ana CeciliaDon’t look at me like that, Ana!  I’m not changing my mind.

The fight

The initial exchange goes badly for Bomba, and Demente smells blood.  Demente gets a trip and moves to mount almost immediately.  Both men boast world championship jiu-jitsu credentials, leading to some entertaining scrambles.  Bomba is able to get back to half guard, then back to his feet.  He’s fast, but wild.  Demente slips most of his punches until Bomba ducks under and hits a beautiful takedown.  He follows up with solid punches, but Demente survives and it’s his turn to use his jiu-jitsu to stand up.  He maintains a hold on Bomba as he does so and transitions into a big slam!  Demente is active going for a choke and ground and pound, leaving room for Bomba to scramble for a single leg.  Bomba lands a knee on the way up.  It’s an excellent first round that has me leaning towards Demente 10-9 due to his takedowns and a couple of close submission attempts.

Demente’s corner asks him not to strike anymore.  He listens.  A patient approach leads to him scoring another takedown, though he still can’t control Bomba.  I’m really impressed by Bomba being able to defend himself effectively especially when Demente looks like he weighs about three hundred pounds when he’s on top.  As expected, Bomba pushes the pace whenever they’re on the feet.  Demente is visibly fading.  His mouth hangs open, making it an easy target for Bomba’s punches.  On the other hand, Bomba isn’t exactly fresh himself.  All that work from the bottom has taken its toll on him.  Bomba goes all out for a takedown, but Demente gets a whizzer and manages to avoid any major damage.  He ends the round by dragging Bomba back down to the mat.  I have Demente taking the second round 10-9 and the fight 20-18, even if the second round wasn’t always pretty.

The judges agree and that makes it 3-0 for Team Wanderlei.  Considering Wanderlei has already used his top middleweight and heavyweight, it would be premature to predict a sweep.  Still, it’s a great start for Wanderlei.  Team Sonnen better start winning some of these game show challenges or this is going to get ugly.

Demente VictoriousNext week: If it’s anything like last week, pretty much nothing in the preview will actually happen.

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 4 Recap

The_Vortex: Last episode, Team Wanderlei took first blood, with Wagnão grinding out a three round split decision over Team No Apology’s Peregrino.  Even though they’ve won the first fight, things are not all unified joy in the Wanderlei rooms.  Apparently, during the fight, Borrachinha said that he thought Wagnão (his teammate) lost the first round (which he did, pretty clearly).  Marmota thinks Borrachinha’s betraying the entire team, and bringing down them down with his attitude.  It gets settled quickly, but going against the team is basically a death sentence in Brazil, and Borrachinha’s going to need to watch himself in future.

Stylish BorrachinhaBorrachinha remains stylish the entire time.

It’s bizarre that despite getting the first heavyweight pick, Wanderlei Silva still gets to pick the first heavyweight fight.  I don’t get this.  Chael Sonnen should either have this pick, or should have picked the first heavyweight for this to be fair.

Nevertheless, Wanderlei picks Cara de Sapato, who looked extremely dangerous in his prelim to square off against Edgard Magrão”.  What do you reckon, NewChallenger?  Good matchup, weird circumstances?

NewChallenger: Wanderlei getting to pick the fight is completely unfair.  Luckily, there are usually game show style challenges that can shift control of the picks.  That might sound silly in comparison to, you know, the winning team getting to keep control, but I think it’s a good idea because TUF: Brazil that’s why!

Cara de Sapato was the 1st heavyweight taken overall while Magrão was the 6th, so Wanderlei is more focused on advancing his top guy than taking out one of Sonnen’s.  It’s a sound strategy.  Get as many wins for your fighters as you can, build their confidence and maybe better prepare or get a more favourable match-up for some of your lesser skilled fighters.  I’m down with it.

For reasons that will become clear later, they have a lot of time to spend talking about Magrão and Cara de Sapato’s backgrounds, though we don’t get anything particularly interesting.  Magrão is spending his time in the competition instead of with his wife who is expecting their first child.  I think he speaks English too, since we see him conversing with Sonnen a couple of times throughout the episode.  As for Cara de Sapato, he’s refreshingly honest about how he doesn’t come from the impoverished background that many Brazilian fighters have in common.  He’s had a comfortable life and fighting is just something he loves and that he’s good at.

The real story this week is the emphasis on Isabel and Hortência.  I think a lot of viewers (particularly us non-Brazilians who had never heard of these women before the show) were questioning the necessity of having these two around despite their incredible athletic accomplishments.  Here, we see them both come up with some, um, interesting drills to keep their team motivated.  Isabel says that hers is a “motivational activity” while Hortência is more concerned with keeping the team loose and happy.  I’m not gonna lie, for an older bird I think Hortência is kinda sexy.

HortenciaIt’s the skirt that does it for me.

What are your thoughts on these segments?  Did they have any merit?

The_Vortex: I can’t really see the value overall in having team building exercises in what is probably the most individual sport out there.  I’ve got to agree, Hortência’s got it going on, Stacey’s Mom style.  After the fun and games, Chael P. Sonnen, smooth operator extraordinaire teaches Hortência about American swing dancing. Yes, you did read that sentence correctly. This is my new favourite moment from the season, although I’m sure it’ll get replaced by something even better soon.

DipChael, you sly dog.

After this, Wanderlei joins his team in the house for some foosball, and to do a bit more coaching. He’s really there for the food, though.

Eating HabitsHow, precisely, does a motherf… eat?

There’s a bit of dissent in the Team Sonnen ranks.  Half the team are hanging by the pool, discussing the coach.  The consensus seems to be that he’s a great guy, but they’re not sure who they’re going to root for at the eventual Coaches’ Fight.  Bomba, in particular extolls the virtues of their coach, and I have to agree, Chael always looks like an excellent coach.

I don’t think this is going to cause problems in the future, but who knows?

Possible NudityYou can’t prove that Bomba isn’t naked in this shot.

NewChallenger: I like how Pezão showed great respect for his coach Sonnen while at the same time reaffirming that he is rooting for his idol Wanderlei.  That’s a professional attitude and I think it will do him good in his career.

Overall this episode was mostly focused on training and gym time, with no house drama to be seen (unless you consider “how many BBQ ribs can Wanderlei eat?” to be drama).  This is in line with the direction the American version has shifted in and I can’t help but lament the homogenization of this series.  Let the Brazilian show be the Brazilian show, damn it!  If someone isn’t crying or making up a song for no good reason at least once per episode then you’re doing it wrong.

As we all know, finding good heavyweights is hard to do.  That’s why you don’t see too many TUF seasons featuring heavyweights.  They’re just not out there.  Thus, it’s no surprise that Cara de Sapato and Magrão come in just over the qualifying limit for the 265 and under division.  They’re light heavyweights masquerading as fat boys.  Don’t expect either of them to stay in this class after the show is done.

Pre-fight, we get to see Sonnen work his magic.  He came up with some phenomenal speeches for TUF 17 and the trend continues here:

No one has the right to beat you.  This guy is not entitled to beat you.  God has not chosen him to beat you.  He’s giving you the choice.  You decide when we walk through these doors if you win or not.  Only you.

If that doesn’t get you pumped up, I don’t know what will.  Perhaps this week’s ring girl, Francine Pantaleão?

Francine PantaleaoReady for her close-up.

As for the fight itself, I think it’s fair to say that it was *ahem* less than epic…

The_Vortex: It took me longer to type this sentence than the whole fight took.  In all honesty, I’m not a very fast typist, but still, 12 seconds is not a long fight.  Cara de Sapato lands his first strike, which is a big right hook.  It hits flush, Magrão goes down, and CdS (that’s what I’m calling him now…) lands some follow up strikes to get the T.K.O win.  To compound Magrão’s bad day, it even looks like the referee knees him in the head as he dives in to stop the fight.

Adding Injury To InjuryIt doesn’t get much worse than that.

CdS is obviously overjoyed, and Magrão is devastated.  He says he’d rather have been beaten up than crunched down like that.  It must suck to go out like that.

The fight placement in this episode was very tricky.  It’s all over, they’ve finished the obligatory fight recap, and there’s still five minutes to go?  I was pretty confused by this, but we get some wacky TUF: Brazil hijinks to fill put the rest of the episode!

Cara De Sapato VictoriousI might as well jump!

NewChallenger: Ah yes, the first of the now infamous TUF: Brazil games.  Right away we’re going big and I use that word literally.  The challenge is mud soccer and it involves pushing around an enormous soccer ball through a mud pit.  You would think this was a team challenge, but instead Pezão and Jollyson Francino are selected to go one on one.  I have a theory about what happened here.  It looks extraordinarily difficult to the point that officials can clearly be seen helping the fighters to control the ball after they start gassing.  The first round probably took forever so everyone just agreed to let that lone point count for the win and to move on.  The whole affair was disappointing.

Soccer GirlsEven more disappointing?  Only the guys get in the mud.

Anything else important to discuss?

The_Vortex: The most important thing: I think Rafaela’s the current winner. Francine’s definitely hawt, but Rafaela is in the lead in my opinion.

NewChallenger: I concur.  For those of you playing at home, that means Rafaela gets to hold the TUF Brazilian Octagon Girl Championship belt for another week.  Can she pull off an Anderson Silva like run of dominance?  Gotta keep tuning in to find out!

Next week: Another challenge, Sonnen accuses Wanderlei of being an alcoholic and the tables turn for Isabel and Hortência when they get in on the martial arts training.

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3: Team Wanderlei v. Team Sonnen – Week 3 Recap

The_Vortex: We’re back for another week.  It’s going to get exciting from here.  Last week, after all of the preliminary fights were done, the show itself kind of stalled out a little.  Wanderlei Silva is demanding that Chael Sonnen apologise about statements he made about Brazil in the leadup to the Anderson Silva fights. He can’t understand that Chael won’t apologise, and is threatening to quit.

I am beside myself with joy.  This is the insanity I expected to see Chael involved in during the Jones season, so to have Wandy potentially quitting literally 5 minutes into their first joint coaching duties is genius drama right here.

All the talk of apologising puts me in mind of Chow Yun Fat’s scene from A Better Tomorrow 2, where he demands that gangsters “Apologise to the rice!”

Chow Yun FatSeriously, watch this movie.

Unfortunately, the Brazilian version of the Ultimate Fighter theme is gone for this season (BOOM! YOU’RE GONNA GET HIT), and we’ve got a stare-y dramatic version of the current theme in Portuguese.

And, over to you NewChallenger.  Are you as excited about the chaos as I am, or just ready for some serious fight picks?

NewChallenger: As expected, the whole situation was defused rather quickly so I have to say I’d like to just move on and see these teams put together.  Speaking from the perspective of someone who was never picked last during recess kickball, I’m eager to see who goes first.  There aren’t too many surprises.  Sonnen takes Lyoto first overall, while Wanderlei picks his boy DementeCara de Sapato ends up being the first heavyweight taken overall (by Wanderlei).  He looked deadly in his qualifying fight.  The only one I didn’t see coming was Pezão being the first heavyweight picked by Team Sonnen.  His fight with Thiago Santos was so quick and Santos looked so bad.  Even Pezão is surprised that he was the top choice.  They must know more about him than we do.

Here’s a rundown of the picks (Wanderlei won the coin flip and opted to take the first fight, so Sonnen got the first choice of middleweights while Wanderlei got the first choice of heavyweights):

Team Sonnen


Lyoto (1st overall)
Peregrino (3rd overall)
Warrley Alves (5th overall)
Bomba (7th overall)


Pezão (2nd overall)
Lex Luthor (4th overall)
Magrão (6th overall)
Cabo Job (8th overall)

A couple of things here.  Shouldn’t Sonnen have got to pick the first middleweight and the first heavyweight?  It should work out fine as long as he gets to pick the first heavyweight fight.  Also, Sonnen refers to his team as “Team No Apology”, which is hilarious.

Team Wanderlei


Demente (2nd overall)
Borrachinha (4th overall)
Wagnão (6th overall)
Marmota (8th overall)


Cara de Sapato (1st overall)
Jollyson Francino (3rd overall)
Rick Monstro (5th overall)
Montanha (7th overall)

For some reason, Wanderlei calls out Jollyson as Jollyson “Silva”.  Brazilian naming conventions continue to mystify me.  We also get this delightful exchange:

Sonnen: Don’t call it “TUF 3”.  Call it the “Wanderlei show”.  Call it what you think it is, stupid.
Wanderlei: Man…
Sonnen: Tell ‘em what you think it is.
Wanderlei: Motherf**ker…stop that…stop now!  Stop that s**t, mother**ker.  You…you so close to stopping s**t, man.  You so close to stopping s**t.

Okay, maybe I did enjoy more than just the fight picks.  Initial thoughts on the teams and the ongoing s**tstorm between the two coaches?

The_Vortex: I was also confused by Wanderlei picking the first heavyweight, and I’m not sure…

My favourite part of the team picks is that Bomba and Borrachinha are on opposite sides, so hopefully we’ll get the most attractive fight in TUF history (unless Elias Theodorou from Team Canada picks a fight with a mirror).

Right now, I am totally buying into the Chael and Wanderlei heat. I want to believe. I can’t wait for the fight to be so astonishingly disappointing.

Sorry NewChallenger, you’re going to need to recap first section of the ring girl contest. It’s just so ludicrous, that I couldn’t even put it into words properly.

NewChallenger: We should give credit to Isabel and Hortência for their stunned reactions to the whole affair.

Shocked AssistantsOh no he didn’t!

Ah, the ring girl pageant.  This really could have been its own episode, hell, it’s own show, couldn’t it?  Not only do the boys get to sit in the backyard and watch a parade of sixteen bubbly beauties, they also get to mingle with them over BBQ.  I once wrote about TUF 18 that every guy from the previous TUFs must have been jealous that they didn’t get to hang out with female fighters.  Imagine how they must feel about this episode!  Peregrino proclaims them to be gorgeous, though “not as gorgeous as my girlfriend”.  He’s a smart one.  Pezão does his best to play it cool.

Pezao SurroundedI’m a happily married man…I’m a happily married man…

Hortência tells them matter of factly that the girls will be graded on a scale from 1 to 10.  For the sake of posterity (and possibly googling purposes), here are the girls that make it through: Patricia Andrade, Fernanda, Rafaela Machado, Tais, Camila Bortolotti, Ana Cecilia, Wendy, and Francine.  If they let these girls visit the house regularly, I might explode.

*deep breath*

Is there, like, a fight this week or something?

The_Vortex: Wanderlei picks the matchups.  It’s a middleweight fight, and he picks Wagnão to take on Peregrino.  Chael’s a bit surprised by this turn of events.  In his eyes, Peregrino’s younger, hungrier and faster.  Wanderlei backs Wagnão thanks to his strength and size advantage.  Team Sonnen echoes the words of their coach.  Peregrino was in a crazy three rounder against one of the tougher qualifying losers.  It seems like an odd choice.  I was pretty impressed by the highlights shown for Peregrino’s fight, and I don’t think he’ll be quite so easy to pick off first.

“The Pelegrino” (as Chael calls him) is only 21, and despite having 10 pro fights, he’s pretty nervy about all this.  He throws up in training (thankfully we don’t see the footage), but Hortência is there to coach him through it, and calm him down.


S. PellegrinoAnd now I’m thirsty.

Nice to see Hortência putting her own experience with vomiting to good use.  The Team Sonnen coaching staff is solid so far, especially Sonnen himself.  He effortlessly switches from being The Bad Guy to Mr. Nice Guy when it’s time to get down to business.  He brings his wrestling expertise to the gym, which is going to be huge for a lot of young guys.  The only thing more dangerous than a Brazilian fighter is a Brazilian fighter with a solid double leg.

Sonnen shows a good understanding of the Brazilian TV game when he gives the house a surprise visit.  He heads right to the product placement for a delicious “TNT”.

TNTI don’t always drink Brazilian energy drinks, but when I do…

The_Vortex: Chael really does seem like a pretty good coach.  He also shows up to the house to check that all his guys are on weight, which really seems like a great idea.  I just can’t get enough of the product placement in TUF: Brazil.  It’s just on another level completely.

Now, we head over to the weigh-ins.  Both guys make weight and Peregrino’s a touch under.  He says that he usually fights two categories down, and it’s pretty surprising to see a lightweight in a middleweight contest these days.  Peregrino puts on some sunglasses and moves around for the staredown, but Wagnão isn’t intimidated.

(Wagnão staredown image)

NewChallenger: I’m glad you mentioned Peregino’s natural weight class because damn Wagnão looks big.  Wagnão definitely wasn’t intimidated, saying “My opponent put his glasses on, but I stared right into his eyes and into his soul.

Before the fight, we get to a chance to acquaint ourselves with the first would-be Octagon girl, Rafaela Machado.  I said it before, we couldn’t have just kept Camila Oliveira around?  I mean…she…

Rafaela Machado…who were we talking about again?

Please, get the fight analysis started otherwise we’ll be here all day.

The_Vortex: Peregrino showed some very average fight IQ.  After the first couple of clinches and takedown exchanges, he must have noticed that Wagnão held a decisive strength advantage.  Wagnão was able to ground him, keep him there and grind him down.  Wanderlei was right, it was a bad match up for Peregrino.  Peregrino shoots for too many takedowns, begins too many clinches, when he should have kept on the outside, stuck Wagnão with his jab, and scored slowly, like he did in the start of the first round.

NewChallenger: I found the whole affair to be really boring.  Neither guy seemed particularly interested in finishing.  Peregrino seemed convinced that all he had to do was push the pace and that would be enough to take Wagnão out, but Wagnão was really patient and used his size well.  The writing was on the all early even though the action was close enough to warrant a third round.  Peregrino couldn’t push Wagnão around like he wanted to and it was Wagnão who got better positions time and time again.  Team Wanderlei takes first blood in less than thrilling fashion.  Yuck.

Wagnao VictoriousThe_Vortex: There’s nothing too special happening after the fight.  Wanderlei’s happy that Wagnão stuck to the gameplan.  Peregrino’s still young, so it isn’t all over for him yet.

We get an awesome “coming up this season” montage, showing more ring girls, challenges, some in house drama, and Wagnão making a terrible life choice.


This is going to be a fun ride, folks.

Next week: Round 2 of TUF: Brazil – The Search For The Next Ring Girl!  Also, fighting.