*Some of you more hardcore TUF fans might be thinking: “Wait a minute, TUF: Brazil is already in its third week! What is this nonsense?” Well, real life has caused a slight delay in our usual on-point coverage and we weren’t going to just skip ahead, so here we are catching up with a recap of the first two episodes. Be assured that we will be caught up with the program shortly, real life be damned.
You may also notice that we’re going by our real names now. Beneath our respective masks are Ben Grimm (a.k.a. The_Vortex) and Alexander K Lee (a.k.a. NewChallenger). Nice to meet you.
Ben Grimm: We back.
Alexander K Lee: Oh, we back.
BG: Hold your applause, because we’ve only just started.
AL: Hold onto your butts. Tightly.
BG: Strap yourselves in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
You are now about to witness the finest bi-continental reviews of any pugilistic reality show taking place in a language entirely different to our own.
TUF: Brazil is back, and I could not be happier. Whilst it’s going to have to try really hard to beat last season’s Wanderlei Silva meltdown, I’m looking forward to an entirely new cast of Brazilian fighters willing to train all day, praise Jesus all the time, and shed manly tears about their families.
I love TUF: Brazil, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
AL: And TUF: Brazil loves us back.
BG: The best part of TUF: Brazil has always been the cast. They love TUF, they love the UFC, they love their coaches and they’re all ready to scrap. These first two episodes are both prelim episodes, cutting 32 fighters in half (not literally), and promise 8 sub-par fights an episode. Bring. It. On.
Interestingly, these opening fights, and the whole season are taking place in Las Vegas, in the UFC training centre. Fighters always look excited when they enter the set, and these guys are no exception.
AL: I like seeing the guys walking around and stomping on the mat, as if they can’t believe it’s real.
BG: They even make a toast, with the usual TUF: Brazil product placement at the fore. This is the best.
AL: Previous TUF: Brazil contestants had to advance to the finals before being brought to Las Vegas, but this year it’s where everything is happening. As is typical of Brazilian culture, the celebration is defined by calmness and restraint.
Someone alert the authorities.
We get to meet the coaches, Anderson Silva and Shogun Rua, who between the two of them have fought and beaten almost every big name in MMA history. Anderson says he’s a much better teacher than a fighter. It is such a bummer knowing that he doesn’t end up coaching the rest of the season due to his PED scandal.
The fighters get invited to UFC 183 to watch Anderson fight Nick Diaz! The boss is spoiling these guys right out of the gate. Oddly, it sounds like the show dubs over Bruce Buffer so we get Brazilian Bruce.
I have to respect the show’s commitment to all of this Anderson footage despite knowing how things turned out. They’re telling the story honestly even though we all know it ends up with everyone having egg on their face.
That kind integrity is rare in this sport where so oftOMG THEREIS A GUY WITH THE NICKNAME JACK GODZILLA
If he doesn’t make it into the house I may actually cry. Speaking of getting into the house, shall we move onto the elimination fights?
Fight 1 (Bantamweight): Franklyn “Arrocha” Santos (4-0) v. Bruno “Korea” Mesquita (4-0)
Arrocha is from Rio, and dropped out of college to be a pro fighter. That’s all we learn of him. Korea has a taekwondo base, so I’m pretty excited by that. Last season, we had a karate guy go to the finals, and there are plenty of fighters with a TKD base. Let’s see what happens.
Korea takes the centre of the Octagon quickly, and then we get a lot of circling. Three strikes are thrown in the first minute. Yes, I counted. It picks up a bit from there. They flurry a bit, and Korea throws one very cool spinning head kick that connects just above the neck and basically knocks Arrocha dead. It’s an amazing kick, and no follow up was needed. Dana’s impressed, Shogun less so by Korea’s passivity. Korea landed three strikes that fight, and one was the killing blow. Sick.
Winner: Korea via KO
Fight 2 (Lightweight): Joaquim “Netto BJJ” Silva (7-0) v. Carlos “Mistoca” Costa (7-1)
Like so many fighters, Netto got his start watching tapes and wanting to be Royce Gracie. Mistoca’s deal is that most of his childhood friends are dead. As Ben mentioned, we’re only getting about 45 seconds of background and then it is right into the fights. They’re not giving these emotional moments much room to breathe.
Mistoca gets straight cracked after motioning for Netto to bring it on. That causes Mistoca to go for a takedown but quick. Both guys keep taunting after they get hit, which seems like a silly way to go about fighting someone. Mistoca comes out in the second hooting and hollering and Big John has to tell him to get his ass back to his side of the octagon. Real professional so far.
There is so much horsing around on Mistoca’s part, but from what we’re told he is winning the fight. However, he completely gasses in the third round and eats enough punches without responding to have Big John call the fight off in favour of Netto. Anderson lets it be known that he wasn’t amused by Mistoca’s antics.
Anderson: “He was winning, but he started kidding around and ended up injuring himself and losing his greatest opportunity ever.”
Winner: Netto BJJ via TKO
Fight 3 (Bantamweight): Renato “Franguinho” Mônaco (10-1) v. Dileno Lopes (19-1)
Franguinho is the brother of Tiago Mônaco Tosato, another MMA fighter, with a record of 34-19, that consists entirely of beating up debuting fighters. Also, he’s a ranga.
AL: I actually don’t know what that means.
BG: I don’t care for him too much. Dileno Lopes fought Rony Jason on the elimination round of the first season of TUF: Brazil and got TKO’d. He’s hoping this one goes better.
Franguinho is a big bantamweight. Both fighters come out strong. Dileno gets the better of the early exchanges, chopping away at his opponent’s legs. He eventually trips the ranga down, and lands in side control. He mounts really quickly, and when Franguinho rolls, he sinks in the RNC. Really strong performance against a larger opponent.
As he’s announced the winner, Dileno manages to cry, thank Jesus, and his whole family. That’s the real holy trinity of TUF: Brazil.
Winner: Dileno Lopes via submission
Fight 4 (Lightweight): Nazareno “El Tigre” Malegarie (28-3) v. Edson “PC” Pereira (12-2)
El Tigre is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the same country as one of our favourites, Guido “Ninja” Cannetti. You might actually recognize Malegarie since he fought for Bellator against the likes of Daniel Straus and Marlon Sandro. He’s certainly a favourite going into this competition.
No joke, PC explains that he got his nickname because he would skip training to play games at cyber cafés.
The highlights don’t give us much to work with. All we learn is that PC tired himself out going for takedowns and El Tigre cruised to a decision. You have to think that’s the veteran savvy of Malegarie at work, not wanting to potentially injure himself or show too much of what he can do before he gets into the house.
Alas, he does not celebrate by yelling out “I’m a Mac, bitch!” in Portuguese.
Winner: El Tigre via decision
Fight 5 (Bantamweight): Matheus Nicolau (10-1-1) v. Mateus “Pitbull” Vasco (12-1)
Matheus Nicolau moved out of home, to live in a slum, so he could be next door to the gym he trains at. He also has very pretty eyes.
“Pitbull” is our season’s token Pitbull. Given that he is yet another Pitbull, I refuse to learn anything about him apart from the fact that he couldn’t think of an original nickname.
The fight’s alright. Matheus “Pretty Eyes” nearly gets caught by an early armbar, but bulls his way out of it. He leaps into Pitbull Version 25.0’s guard, and they grapple around, with Pretty Eyes eventually getting full mount, only to be thrown bodily off. In the resulting scramble, he takes Mr. Worldwide’s back, and it’s only a matter of time before he locks up another RNC.
Matheus has been pegged as a potential finalist by Coach Shogun.
Winner: Pretty Eyes via submission
AL: It looks like there’s a bunch of TUF alumni in the building, including Amir Sadollah, Gray Maynard, Uriah Hall, and Heather Clark…either that or I’m being mad racist as usual and all y’all white/black/women folks look alike.
Fight 6 (Lightweight): Raush “Cavalo de Guerro” Manfio (6-1) v. Glaico “Nego” França (12-3)
As his nickname says, Cavalo de Guerro is the “War Horse” of Team Nogueira.
Nego describes himself as a big lanky dude, making him this year’s Corey Hill/James Vick. I’m disappointed when he enters the cage and looks kind of like a normal 155er. False advertising, bro!
What were we talking about? Oh, Nego wins with a rear naked choke.
Gleison Tibau might have to sue Nego for rocking that shoulder/arm tattoo.
Winner: Nego by submission
BG: Dude, when we split up the fights, I had no idea that you’d end up recapping so many clipped together fights. This is hilarious to me.
AL: Laugh it up.
Fight 7 (Bantamweight): Bruno “Bulldog” Silva (8-2) v. Gustavo Sedório (4-0)
Bulldog is a capoeirista and hip hop dancer. Heck yeah! I did capoeira for three years and still love it. He’s the guy that’s been walking around wearing a large chunk of chain and he promises entertainment.
There is just…no possible way this can be useful, right?
Gustavo Sedório trains with Team Checkmat, and had nothing else interesting to say.
Bulldog’s first kick in the fight is a snapping front kick that connects with Gustavo’s face. As we find out later, the kick actually broke his jaw. To his credit, Gustavo fights the whole round out on a broken jaw, but he never comes close to controlling, let alone winning the fight. Bulldog may not have realised the damage he did, as we don’t really see him grinding on the jaw during the fight. Apart from the first kick, and a couple of other fun grappling exchanges, there’s nothing remarkable about this fight. It wasn’t a bad fight by any means, just fairly average.
The fight is waved off when the doctor discovers Gustavo’s injury.
For real, I’m a check on my opponent after I do my flips.
Winner: Bulldog by TKO
Fight 8 (Lightweight): Erick “Índio Brabo” da Silva (17-5) v. Gabriel Macário (3-0)
Índio Brabo (roughly translating to “mad Indian”) could not be more indistinct. He says something about being well rounded and zzzzzzz…
Gabriel Macário is both new to the sport and allegedly a rich kid. Sounds like shark bait to me.
Gabriel is in great shape and has hard punches, but Índio Brabo is too well-rounded for him and zzzzzzz…
Winner: Índio Brabo by TKO
We close out the first episode with a clip of Anderson saying we should expect surprises this year. Sad face. Let’s just move on to the week two fights, eh?
BG: So we enter episode two with a few nice fights under our belt, and one very slick K.O. from Korea. I know it’s been a long read so far, but we’re only halfway there (whooaaah, living on a prayer).
Fight 9 (Bantamweight): Matheus “Adamas” Mattos (8-0-1) v. Marcos “Majú” Lima (9-2)
Adamas is here to hammer his opponents into the canvas. His recap/promo video even has him brandishing a sledgehammer, proving that maybe this guy could be a decent WWE heel if this MMA thing doesn’t work out.
AL: Ben, there’s no way that Triple H would allow that blatant gimmick infringement.
I think they call that “murder”, Adamas.
BG: Majú has been fighting since he was 17, and is not getting a winner’s edit right now. I’ll be surprised if he pulls this one off.
We don’t see this whole fight, but the bits we get are action packed. Adamas shows some great boxing, and Majú appears to gas really hard at the end of the first round. At the start of the second, Matheus is moving better, and way faster than his more tired foe. He backs Majú up against the cage and unloads on him, eventually forcing the TKO stoppage of a crumbling Majú. Matheus is screaming in happiness, T-Rex style, but Dana White’s also impressed by the way Majú WAR’D. He basically promises Majú a spot as an alternate if someone drops out because of injury.
Winner: Adamas via TKO
Fight 10 (Lightweight): Adilson “Jack Godzilla” Fernandes (11-4) v. Arlen “Benks” Viana (8-1)
JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA
Winner: Jack Godzilla via arm triangle
Fight 11 (Bantamweight): Reginaldo Vieira (12-3) v. Peter Montibeller (7-0)
Reginaldo Vieira trains out of some guy’s kitchen. It’s hilarious. There are heavy bags hanging next to the fridge. It’s pretty crazy.
AL: They do this sequence of zooming shots that end on a cat for no good reason. I don’t know why, but that killed me.
BG: He desperately wants to get into the UFC so that he can fight an American, which is a really weird life goal to have, in my opinion.
Peter Montibeller used to train with his brother, until he unfortunately passed away in a motorcycle accident. Peter got his brother’s face tattooed to his arm, as a memorial piece, and whilst it’s not as bad as the Johnny Cash-esque abomination on Alan Belcher, it’s seriously not great.
AL: I just want it on the record that my Australian counterpart is a heartless monster. I don’t care how clearly awful that tattoo is.
BG: The first thing Reginaldo does in this fight, is shoot for a takedown whilst he’s up the other end of the cage from Peter. He obviously doesn’t sink it, but isn’t punished enough for such a bad attempt. They strike a bit, with the wild swings of Reginaldo having some decent effect, until Reginaldo grinds his opponent against the cage, and eventually gets him down. They scramble a bit, and Reginaldo catches Peter in a guillotine
Seconds before this tap, Peter’s corner was telling him he wasn’t in danger.
Winner: Reginaldo Vieira via submission
Fight 12 (Lightweight): Fernando “Açougueiro” Bruno (15-2) v. Bruno Murata (6-0)
Açougueiro is a new dad, so we all know what he’s fighting for. Bruno Murata, on the other hand, comes off as a cold-blooded killer.
A straight left by Açougueiro knocks Bruno down early. You get the feeling that Bruno never recovered and Açougueiro gets a takedown to clinch the first round. Bruno is able to keep it on the feet in the second round and we’re going to extras. It’s revealed that Bruno broke his hand, which may explain his ineffectiveness in the final period. Açougueiro slams him to the mat and wins with a rear naked choke.
Winner: Açougueiro via submission
Fight 13 (Bantamweight): Eduardo “Cabelo” Diez (4-0) v. Giovanni “Soldado” Santos (15-1)
Cabelo does pilates for core strength, and has a totally banging MILF for a mother.
AL: I knew you were going to go there. I refuse to provide a screencap.
BG: Soldado fought in the elimination round of TUF: Brazil 1 at featherweight, and got armbarred by John “Macapa” Teixeira, a fighter I thought was going to do way better in his career than he has.
AL: I agree, Macapa looked like a killer to me.
BG: Soldado has the tips of his hair frosted like it’s the early 2000’s all over again. Yeesh.
This fight goes to a decision, and from the few clips we get, it looks like Soldado is a lot stronger than his opponent, and is able to control where the fight goes. He doesn’t seem to ever be in much danger, and pushes the pace accordingly. Cabelo eventually opens up a cut on Soldado, but it’s never big or scary enough to end the fight.
Winner: Soldado via decision
Fight 14 (Lightweight): Alexandre Cidade (11-1) v. Nikolas Motta (6-1)
Alexandre Cidade says he would watch Bruce Lee and then go outside and fight his friends. Good role model.
Nikolas Motta is a straight up baby! I want to just pinch those cheeks!
The highlights don’t give us a good gauge of who is capable of doing what and both fighters look to have their moments. Motta finds a second wind, which helps him to take the third round.
Winner: Motta via decision
Fight 15 (Bantamweight): Leandro “Pitbull” Higo (13-2) v. Maycon “Boca” Silvan (7-2)
AL: Now who’s laughing?
BG: Surely we’re past the point in MMA history where a young fighter is seriously willing to call himself “Pitbull”. It’s been done to death, and it’s well past any semblance of uniqueness as a nickname. Boca get about a ten second life preview, so I wouldn’t bet on this guy to take it.
Again, this one is a clip show. Mr. Worldwide fights pretty well, and he’s able to get Boca down in quick order. From there, it’s simple for him to lock up an arm-triangle choke, and win the fight.
It doesn’t stop.
Winner: Pitbull via submission
Fight 16 (Lightweight): André “Dedé” Ricardo (3-1) v. Jeferson “Batata” Negrini (10-0)
Dedé is Anderson’s student and Batata is apparently nobody. Can you guess where this one is headed?
Batata actually makes a good accounting for himself in the short time we get to see him. It’s not like Dedé comes out guns a blazing, though his mentor never does that either so maybe that is the gameplan. Dedé outlasts Batata and finishes him with a nice bodykick.
Winner: Dedé via TKO
As you can tell from our somewhat sparse fight coverage, everything is starting to blur into this indistinct blob of corner shouting, slow motion replays, and Pitbulls. Let’s get to the finish before someone gets hurt.
Minotauro is on hand for the ceremonial coin toss. It’s a shame they haven’t adopted the tournament format for these international editions yet. I know it made more sense with TUF 20 since you had the top ranked women in the world there, but it’s still a cool way to mix things up.
Shogun wins the toss and chooses to pick the first fight.
To nobody’s surprise, Anderson selects his boy Dedé first overall. He goes with young Motta second, referring to him as “Quejinho”. Did he pick up that name between the fights and the team selection? A quick Google search reveals that Quejinho is some kind of cheese. Let’s stick with Motta for now until the nickname gets more traction.
Jack Godzilla is the last lightweight picked! Gah! Even worse, Shogun calls him “Jack Fernandes”, as if he is refusing to acknowledge that redonkulous nickname. He’s probably just jealous of it.
Adamas is the first bantamweight picked and I have to point out that they did a really poor job of emphasizing who is in what weight class and they don’t make a big deal out of where guys are picked. I’m disappointed in the coverage of the fighters overall, especially since the only reason for TUF to exist these days is to give character exposure to young up and comers.
Soldado is the last bantamweight remaining and Shogun says he picked him because he’s a great cheerleader. You didn’t have a choice!
- Dedé (1)
- Nikolas Motta (3)
- Índio Brabo (5)
- Açougueiro (7)
- Adamas (1)
- Pitbull (3)
- Reginaldo Vieira (5)
- Bulldog (7)
- El Tigre (2)
- Nego (4)
- Netto BJJ (6)
- Jack Godzilla (8)
- Matheus Nicolau (2)
- Dileno Lopes (4)
- Korea (6)
- Soldado (8)
Next week: Team Shogun’s Matheus Nicolau v. Team Anderson’s Reginaldo Vieira. Also, they’re bringing back the Ring Girl Competition! Because that produced such memorable results last time.
And remember…the cat is watching…the cat is ALWAYS WATCHING.