The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 11 Recap

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

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

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

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

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

AL: WHY IS HE CALLED “NETTO BJJ”?!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hug It OutThe most physicality shown in this fight.

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

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

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

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 10 Recap

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

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

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

Alexander K Lee: It would be unconstitutional.

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

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

AL: All of the above?

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

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

Log ChallengeDéjà vu.

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

Kick & BreakF**k it!

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

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

Red Team RulesThat about sums it up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you just chuck some pictures here?

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

Nathalia FerreiraQualified!

BG: Thanks.

Ahem.

Anyway, it’s fight time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bantamweight

Dileno Lopes v. Matheus Nicolau

Reginaldo Vieira v. Bruno “Korea” Rodrigues

Lightweight

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 9 Recap

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

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

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

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

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

Soldado LetterDear John…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulldog RideHe regrets nothing.

Holding HandsI just love these two.

RollercoasterNever let them see you sweat, Jack.

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

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

There is no mercy for traitors.

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

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

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

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

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

Ahem.

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

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

Diana SparksDisqualified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 8 Recap

This season has been so lopsided and yet still so entertaining. I’ve found that it usually doesn’t matter how competitive a season is, it’s more about how the respective teams handle the situation. The same was true of TUF 20 (Team Pettis v. Team Melendez), which we slyly referenced in our last recap. If anything, it is fascinating to me how a team can dominate in this setting with an unfamiliar training environment and such little preparation for their contests.

In this case, it’s fair to say that Team Nogueira has been in turmoil ever since Anderson Silva had to bow out. The ensuing dysfunction has been too much to overcome and it doesn’t help that The Spider might not have been the best judge of talent. And Shogun’s fight selection has been on point. He has a great feel for putting his guys in the right place at the right time. Like, I didn’t think Korea would be able to handle Pitbull, but that’s why Shogun is Shogun and I’m writing about TUF on my computer.

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

The pre-show narration offers the sobering reminder that Adamas is the last chance for Team Nogueira to advance a bantamweight to the next round…or at least that’s the case when the episode starts. DUN DUN DUN!

Pitbull apologizes to Korea for not congratulation him after their fight. Another fine showing of etiquette that probably wasn’t necessary considering how chaotic things can be before and after a fight. The positivity is flowing as Soldado addresses the house. “I look around,” he says. “And I don’t see any losers.”

(Of course, that’s an easy sentiment to express when your team has won everything).

Adamas echoes the statement. This cast is really close, even by TUF: Brazil standards.

SelfieI want to live in the TUF: Brazil house someday.

Representing Team Vermelho this week is Netto BJJ. Don’t ask me why he is called that. All they seem to talk about is his knockout power. Netto believes his style can nullify Team Azul adversary Índio Brabo.

Like many who have appeared on TUF, Netto talks about how hard it has been to leave his family to pursue this opportunity. I don’t mean to sound jaded, but I wish they would give us more specifics about their struggle, like maybe some kind of anecdote. Even though it would lead to static, talking head segments, it would also help with differentiating the fighters and their backgrounds.

Índio is from Manaus, the Amazon, hence the nickname that translates to “Mad Indian”.  He got the name for being an absolute animal in practice, something we get a glimpse of in his training montage.

Flip & ThrowThat almost ended horribly.

Okay, I have a stupid question to ask now. Are natives in South America also referred to as Indians? Why would that be? My gratitude to anyone who can help me with this. History and geography are not my strong points. Be gentle.

Indio SignatureÍndio’s “bow and arrow” pose is dope.

The main storyline this week revolves around the accumulating medical issues of Soldado. Not only are his injuries worsening, he has also contracted a bacterial infection. Next week’s fight with Adamas is in serious jeopardy. He returns from his latest trip to the doctor’s office with a new fashion accessory.

Michael JacksonKind of mean.

The doctor prescribes him antibiotics to combat the infection, which wreak havoc on Soldado’s body. He can’t train at all. Back in the locker room, he breaks down into tears. They calm him down and tell him that he needs time alone to think about whether he is truly able to continue. The coaches worry that his “mind-set is gone”.

Soldado confirms the worst: he won’t be ready in time for the fight. Everyone starts bawling (author included). Even Shogun can’t escape the emotional outburst.

Shogun's TearsShogun crying. Something I never wanted to see.

Respect & LoveTeam Vermelho bids farewell to one of its leaders.

Dana White shows up to ask Soldado if he is quitting. After Soldado exits, Dana says that Soldado “couldn’t make it here”. That is harsh. Is it possible that they didn’t inform him of the circumstances of Soldado’s departure?

Things only get more awkward when Dana asks Pitbull if he wants to fight again. Pitbull explains that he’s both hurt and heavy. It sounds like one of his teammates cusses him out (“Leandro, what the f**k?”) and when he eventually agrees to fight it is without any conviction. There is no explanation given as to why Pitbull was chosen over Bulldog or Reginaldo Vieira. Vieira’s exclusion is particularly glaring since he was the only one of the three Nogueira bantamweights to go to a decision and he’s had the longest rest period.

I’m going to give Dana the benefit of the doubt here and say he was the victim of bad editing, because he comes off as a super dick with the way he dismissed Soldado and put Pitbull on the spot. A rare TUF: Brazil segment that left me cold.

Here to raise the temperature (ugh) is Noelle Freeman. She believes she has what it takes to be a UFC octagon girl and, pardon my crudeness, does she ever. Noelle is very much my type and I like her energy…which makes it all the more difficult for me to cut her for being yet another non-Brazilian.

Noelle Freeman*sigh* Disqualified.

Lightweight Bout: Team Shogun’s Netto BJJ (7-0) v. Team Nogueira’s Índio Brabo (16-4)

Team Shogun’s strategy is obvious: Netto needs to stay calm and counter while Índio tires himself out. It leads to a good first frame for Índio, who is more than happy to juke and jive while scoring with leg kicks. When Netto gets impatient, the two end up trading with no conclusive winner. The round ends with Netto pressed against the cage. I lean towards Índio (10-9) for the effort.

Índio is noticeably slower in the second round and that is bad news for Team Azul. We find out later that his nose was broken in the first. Air is at a premium for him and as the round goes on he becomes a stationary target. Netto rocks him.

Big Netto PunchNetto has a heck of a chin himself, absorbing hard shots from Índio who is still winging punches even though he’s hurt. Still, it’s only a matter of time until Netto starts to pull away. He avoids Índio’s sloth-like overhands and connects with anything he wants. With two minutes to go, I’m not sure Índio would be able to get off his stool for a third round. He’s moving with his back to the cage, as if he needs it to stay upright. I’m surprised Big John doesn’t call it off.

Instructions are flying from the perimeter of the cage. Shogun wants Netto to finish Índio with a Muay Thai clinch and the Nogueiras want Índio to get off the fence so he can take Netto down. Both men have taken a lot of punches to the head, so I doubt all the signals are coming in loud and clear.

They need a third round to settle things. I saw Índio as being a dead duck, but he comes out firing and actually lands several times. He’s giving as good as he’s getting. The turning point comes when he goes for one last takedown, expending a lot of energy to drag or lift Netto off of his feet. The end result is Netto still standing and Índio bent over with his hands on his knees.

It’s a great fight, one that goes to Netto for being more precise in the final round. Índio showed incredible heart throughout. The judges make it official and Netto dedicates the win to Soldado. That’s six straight wins for Team Shogun.

The episode ends with both good and bad news for Team Azul. The bad news is that Pitbull is out. There just wasn’t enough time for him to recover from his injuries (again, why was he chosen when they knew he was hurt?). He is replaced by Reginaldo, who should have been the pick in the first place. So I guess everything worked out…?

As for the good news: Reginaldo is facing his teammate Adamas, so Team Nogueira is guaranteed to have at least one fighter in the semi-finals. Default! Default! Default!

Netto BJJ VictoriousNext Week: Team Nogueira’s Adamas v. Team Nogueira’s Reginald Vieira. Also, we get the rollercoaster ride we were promised.

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 7 Recap

Ben Grimm: It’s not looking great for Team Anderson/Nog, is it? They could end up getting Melendez’d.

Alexander K Lee: Ben, you never go full Melendez.

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

BG: The show begins this week with a bit of a recap for last episodes fight, and also gives us a glimpse of the completely bonkers challenge that happens later in the show. It’s too good to ignore, so I’m going to give you a small glimpse too.

Suspended Cable ChallengeThere you go.

Looks pretty crazy, huh? Trust me, it was awesome.

Anyway.

One thing this season has shown us a few times is the competing fighters chatting in the house after they’ve recovered. It’s pretty cool, and it kind serves as a great contrast to the faux-douchiness present in some other seasons of TUF. Nikolas Motta even compliments the double-leg that Glaico França essentially used to win the entire fight with. It’s humbling stuff.

AL: I think it made Nikolas feel better that Glaico was selling the effects of the fight too.

Double Ice BagsBarely felt it.

BG: We’re only about 5 minutes into the episode, and we’re already getting a run-down on who each of these guys are. This week, Korea, our lucky lad who has snared the heart of Jennifer Giacotto, is fighting Leandro Higo, who goes by the totally unique MMA nickname of Pitbull.

According to Sherdog, Leandro trains out with the Friere brothers, which means that there’s a minimum of three people in this one fight team with the nickname of Pitbull. The first thing highlighted is that there’s a huge experience differential. Korea has only four fights, whereas Leandro (not Pitbull, never Pitbull) is 13-2 in his pro career.

Turns out that Leandro has been training with Team Nog for the last three years (Sherdog strikes again!), and the Nogs are pretty high on his talents. Leandro was even offered a spot in the UFC, but turned it down to go on TUF. It might seem like an odd choice, but at least instead of being “random guy on Brazilian undercard”, he’ll at least be “random guy on Brazilian undercard that was on TV a few times”.

(Editorial note: It was at this point that Ben was unable to continue our correspondence due to the demands of real life, so it will just be Alex from here on out. Do not be alarmed.)

AL: I think that also speaks to the popularity of TUF: Brazil in their native country. It’s not the punchline that it has become over in North America.

The vibe in the house is all Team Shogun, and understandably so. El Tigre says they are thriving on the other team’s hatred and even Team Azul’s Índio Brabo is happy for Nego since they train together outside of the show. They have to find a way to turn this around and PITBULL sounds like just the man to do it. I mentioned last week how serious he looks and his story reflects that. He moved to Natal from Mossoro, which causes him to miss time with his wife and child.

Big Nog praises Pitbull and Adamas for their athleticism. He also believes that they’ve seen most of what Korea has to offer. Pitbull is the favourite going into the fight due to his experience and more well rounded game.

As for Korea, his father left him when he was nine and his mother had to raise him and his two siblings. That included his sister who passed away from a kidney disease. Korea has a daughter of his own. It sounds like there has always been a strong female influence in his life. You can see why Jennifer is into him.

Soccer PracticeGOOOOOOOOOOAL

Despite their dominance, not everything turns up aces for Team Vermelho. Pitbull stiffens up during training. You know something is wrong when he refuses headgear and just paces around the cage in a daze. He looks awful. The coaches give him something small to eat to restore his energy. He’s been going non-stop since the show started, which isn’t conducive to the TUF schedule.

Also ailing is Soldado, who has a hurt foot and a busted up shoulder. The diagnosis is negative as far as broken bones go. He’s got some aches and pains and strains, but he’s good to fight.

Soldado & DoctorOne of these guys is thrilled to be on television.

Unsurprisingly, Shogun wants to focus on Korea’s taekwondo. I still remember when I first started watching mixed martial arts, everyone telling me that taekwondo was useless but there are so many fighters who have a background in it even if it isn’t a major part of their arsenal.

We also get to see Korea’s highlight reel kick from the elimination round again from a few different angles. I’m not complaining. That was right up there with Vitor Belfort on Luke Rockhold and Uriah Hall on Adam Cella.

TKDKOA reminder.

And now, onto the Suspended Cable Challenge.

A lightweight will be suspended in a harness above a pool, and a bantamweight will use his jiu-jitsu grappling to hold on to his teammate for dear life. After five minutes, water guns are handed to the fighters at poolside so they can spray the opposing team. After 20 minutes, the lightweights can’t hold on to the bantamweights. After 30 minutes, the bantamweights can only hang on with their arms. The winners get go to the Stratosphere hotel for a rollercoaster ride.

Team Nogueira goes with Bulldog (the smallest guy in the house) and Açougueiro. Team Shogun picks Matheus Nicolau and Nego. Then all the ring girls take their tops off.

GratuitousJust making sure you’re still paying attention.

I’m disappointed that we don’t get to see much canoodling between Korea and Jenny. They’re Brazil’s/America’s/Canada’s/Australia’s sweethearts!

Fast forward to the end of the challenge, Bulldog drops and that’s another win for Team Shogun! There was some controversy with Matheus not releasing his legs right away at the 30 minute mark, but the result stands. Cue up the latest Team Shogun smash hit: “We’re winning everything!”

They say that Pitbull is having a hard weight cut compared to someone like Dedé who, um, has more obvious fat to get rid of. Thankfully, Pitbull does make it and he promptly starts crying his eyes out. TUF: Brazil! The warm fuzzies are short-lived as they soon show us what this week’s competitors think of each other.

Pitbull: I’m facing Korea and I do not like him. He thinks too highly of himself and he’s a snob. That’s the way he is.

Korea: Leandro and I have no friendship whatsoever. We hardly exchange words in the house.

Lip To LipI mean, were talking Vin Diesel/Rock close here.

Your ring girl for the week is Isabel Amado, a Columbian business manager and actress. She is an absolute stunner…however, this is TUF: Brazil, not TUF: Latin America.

Isabela AmadoDisqualified. Say “hi” to El Profe and Rolo for me.

Bantamweight Bout: Team Nogueira’s Leandro Higo (13-2) v. Team Shogun’s Korea (4-0)

The TKD is out early as Korea cracks Pitbull with a nice spin kick to the body followed by a straight right. Seconds later, he gets a body lock and transitions beautifully into a takedown. He follows with ground and pound. The first minute is all Korea.

The action does not slow down on the ground. It is non-stop with Pitbull on the attack, forcing Korea to escape from both a choke attempt and a mount position.

Back on the feet, Korea is able to stop Pitbull from slamming him, but Pitbull is glued to his back.

A badly timed knee by Pitbull catches some of Korea, but the Team Azul fighter slips and ends up on his back where Korea tags him with more G n P. Pitbull looks completely exhausted and Korea is able to pretty much use him as an apparatus before finishing with a choke. It seems that the weight cut just destroyed Pitbull’s stamina. Great action while it lasted though!

Korea Choke Team Shogun huddles up after yet another win and we get an emotional speech:

Korea: I’d like to thank everyone. You’re all special to me. Before I got here, people told me not to make friends here. But they were wrong. I’ll never forget any of you. You are part of my history. Thanks for everything. God bless you and your family.

It is getting so, so dusty in here.

Korea VictoriousNext Week: Team Shogun’s Netto BJJ v. Team Nogueira’s Índio Brabo. Also, the Nogueiras go three-fourths Melendez.

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 6 Recap

Alexander K Lee: We’ve been spoiled by two weeks of frolicking and romance, so don’t get your hopes up for any hanky-panky on this episode! In fact, it’s right down to business as we are already learning about this week’s competitors to start the show.

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

Nikolas Motta is from Governador Valdares in Minas Gerais. He moved to Rio by himself to pursue his mixed martial arts dreams. We finally learn why Anderson Silva called him “Quejinho”. It is a reference to a cheese that is produced in Minas Gerais. I can sleep now.

Unfortunately, Nego’s story is less charming. I can tell they struggled to find a way to showcase him. He’s been studying martial arts for 16 years. He’s tall. His family supports him. That’s all we get.

An uncharacteristically slow opening for the show, but then I remember that there is a challenge this week! That explains why they got all the boring stuff like the fighters’ lives and motivations out of the way.

You know, we joked about them recycling old Survivor props in a previous post. Now they’re actually recycling props from TUF 1!

Ben Grimm: This challenge is bananas.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Basically, four guys from each team are tied to something, that, as my Canadian counterpart pointed out, hasn’t been seen on TV since the early 2000’s. It’s a giant metal octagon, with a huge UFC logo in the middle. The objective of the game is to drag the other team around, and grab four of the eight flags that are on the edge of the area.

Octagon ChallengeSomewhere, Sam Hoger just woke up in a cold sweat.

The winner gets to pick the next fight, which is the production team’s way of acknowledging that Nikolas is basically screwed, and that they want to give the pick to Team Azul. The Nogueira’s are super fired up, and I think it’s Matheus Mattos that leads the team on a pretty cool fire-up chant.

AL: For anyone wondering why Team Vermelho should care about this prize since they already have control, a victory would allow them to retain the fight selection the next time they lose it.

BG: The teams picked are pretty interesting. Personally, I’d just take all four of the lightweights, as they’re by definition bigger and stronger than the bantamweights. Also, Dedé having jumped a few weight classes in the last couple days would have helped too. Unfortunately for Team Azul, they get steamrolled, once again. Team Vermelho grabs four flags to their one, despite the best efforts of Reginaldo Vieira who is constantly grounding the disc and doing his best to grind out the win. Nazareno Malegarie manages to drag all seven other men wherever the hell he chooses. Seriously, he has some crazy strength.

AL: I can still remember the first time I watched this challenge on the inaugural TUF and I couldn’t stop thinking: “Holy s**t someone is going to get seriously injured.” The second time around, my feelings were unchanged.

Hazardous GamePerfectly safe.

BG: Tensions are kinda rising, as Team Nog is getting tired of losing. However, as a reward for making it this far, both teams are given a day to chill, and drive around in dune buggies. The mere existence of dune buggies makes this episode more fun than the entire season of TUF 21, and on that note, I’m going to pass it on to our resident TUF 21 sufferer…. I mean recapper.

AL: More like reCRAPper, amirite?

El Tigre caps off his dominance of the challenge by announcing that Team Shogun is up “80-0”. The sad thing is he’s not exaggerating that much.

I’m glad you brought up TUF 21 (never thought I’d ever have a reason to say that) because one of the key differences between the two series’ is that they do random stuff like send the Brazil cast out on dune buggy trips for no reason other than it is something fun to put on television.

Isn’t that the point of reality programming? Fun! Not everything has to have some sort of deeper meaning or purpose. I just want to see these guys have a good time and boy, do they!

Mad AdamasAdamas, homicidal as always.

Tipped OverThat was predictable.

That evening, there is a minor scuffle between Açougueiro and Nego. Much like myself, Nego is a procrastinator and he puts off his weight cut until the last minute. That means pulling an all nighter in the tub with Jack Godzilla watching over him (stop fantasizing, ladies) to get him down to a reasonable weight for the next day’s cut.

Açougueiro gives Nego crap about disrupting everyone’s sleep, but Team Nogueira lets their friend know that he was out of line so he goes to apologize to Nego at the training center the next day. A short chat later and everyone is cool again. Man, I wish these guys were more like the d**kholes on TUF 21. Oh wait, no I don’t. Nobody does.

Açougueiro jokes that the mayor of Minas will give Nikolas lots of cheese if he wins. Once these guys get a hold of something, they really just don’t let it go.

Cheese CheerGuys…give it a rest.

BG: First up, let me comment that Nego is crazy tall for a LW, and Nikolas seems to be a touch on the small side. It’s a large height difference.

Second, this week’s ring girl is one to get excited about. We’ve all met her before, she’s our new favourite super-clingy ring-girlfriend – Jennifer Giacotto!

Don’t ask me how I know she’s clingy, she just looks like a friends’ girlfriend who is like super-clingy.

Anyway. If you didn’t know, Ms. Giacotto (or maybe the future Mrs. Korea?) is an aspiring actress.

AL: Aspiring actress, huh? I’m sure all the camera time she is getting with Korea is in no way related to that career choice.

BG: This is glorious. Everything from the thumbnail of the black eye, to the dude exasperatedly talking about how he gave up gluten for her. It’s magical.

Jennifer GiacottoNo Portuguese, but she gets a pass because of her relationship with Korea. It’s like a TUF green card.

Lightweight Bout: Team Shogun’s Nego (12-3) v. Team Nogueira’s Nikolas Motta (6-1)

The fight starts out pretty crazy. Nikolas’ plan is apparently to stand around and flail at Nego as best as possible. Nego, channelling the spirit of Gleison Tibau via his shoulder tattoo, uses the Tibau-est gameplan possible, and tries to grind his opponent against the cage, land some shots, and eventually ground him. I’m making this sound bad, but it’s actually a good fight.

Nikolas does get pinned up against the cage for a while, but once he escapes, he lands an amazing head kick, which floors Nego.

Head Kick No SellHe’s up almost instantly, but it looked great.

Nikolas is wild on the feet, and he lands some good shots that put Nego in trouble, but he’s got no real semblance of take down defence. Nego’s just too big, and able to pin him up on the cage, or dump him to the ground, and slowly control the fight. It’s a tough round to score, as Nego had control for a lot of the round, but I’d score it 10-9 Nikolas on damage and aggression.

Nikolas is exhausted heading into the second round, and it’s really the death knell for his fight. Being the bigger, slightly fresher man, Glaico is able to execute his gameplan without being in nearly as much danger as he was in the first round. He was able to wear out his opponent, and at around the halfway mark of the second round, he eventually takes Nikolas’ back, and sinks in the choke. It’s all over.

Nego ChokeNot the best game face I’ve seen.

Team Azul is down four fights and two challenges. That suuuuucks so much. Nikolas strikes well, and he’ll be ok if he can make it down to 145, or not get matched up with physically dominant fighters like that. Great fight from Nego too, he was able to come back from some heavy damage and work hard to secure a win.

AL: Everyone seems to really like Nikolas. Fighters and coaches from both sides offer words of encouragement. It’s moments like this that remind you that even though he’s a professional mixed martial artist on a television show being watched by millions, he’s still just a kid. Best of luck to him and his pinchable cheeks.

The next fight sees loverboy Korea facing off with Leandro Higo. I like Leandro because he’s the only guy on the show who is taking the show so seriously. He’d fit right in on TUF 21.

Nego VictoriousNext Week: Team Shogun’s Korea v. Team Nogueira’s Pitbull. You know the one.

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 5 Recap

Ben Grimm: First up, before I get started on the recap, I’d like to thank It’s Always Raining In Negadelphia for googling the colour red in Portuguese for me. It’s things like this that make the world go round. In the future, I will also accept solutions like this one: Let me google that for you.

Anyway.

This episode, Team Azul is trying to break out of their losing streak, and claim their first victory. Unfortunately, given the nature of TUF, they haven’t been able to pick a favourable match-up yet. Who knows? Maybe this is their chance.

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

We begin this episode back at the house, as Nazareno Malegarie and Dedé chat about their fight. This must be total bizarro-land for fighters, having to live with the dude you spent the better part of ten minutes trying to remove from their consciousness.

Alexander K Lee: El Tigre celebrates in a fashion typical of his people, singing “Argentina will be the champion!”

BG: The recaps from the fighters highlight that Nazareno was able to impose his takedown and ground game really well. Dedé wasn’t completely helpless, as he apparently did big damage to Nazareno with an elbow on the ground, but he couldn’t remain on his feet long enough to capitalise. To his credit, Dedé doesn’t want to get back into the tournament, as that would mean someone else has been injured, and is now out. That’s an astonishingly selfless way to think of it all.

AL: It’s also astonishingly selfless of him to scarf down a tub of ice cream to let everyone know he doesn’t want back in the competition.

BG: The contrasting attitudes of both teams are highlighted, and it’s pretty interesting to see. Team Vermelho is definitely more laid back. Whether or not it’s because they’ve been winning is very hard to say. They’re goofing off, having fun, whereas Team Azul is hardcore into their training, even sparring inside of the house to stay sharp.

What do you reckon, Alex? Are some guys taking it too easy, or others playing it too tough?

AL: Team Shogun just look like the most fun, positive people to be around. It’s easy to be like that when you’re winning, but I have to give credit to Shogun Rua for putting together a team with a good mix of veterans and youngsters.

Shake It Off​Loosen up, fellas.

As we touched upon last time, it’s unclear exactly what Anderson Silva was planning to do outside of picking people he was familiar with (apparently Bulldog is also an associate of the Nogueiras). Unity is a key to team Shogun’s success.

MasseuseI’ll bet the free massages don’t hurt either.

Meanwhile, it definitely looks like they’re playing it too tough over at Team Nogueira. The footage of their training is incredibly unflattering with teammates arguing and literally falling all over themselves. There is also some crying, and not the usual fun TUF: Brazil kind. The sad kind.

In contrast to Team Shogun, Açougueiro says “We’ve got no close friends here.”

Watch Your StepThat about sums up the Team Azul experience so far.

As if to drive home the mood disparity between the two squads, the Team Shogun boys decide to compete against each other in the “first international billiards championship”. They go all out, including pre and post-fight rituals. The clips of the tournament are interspersed with shots of Team Nogueira fighters looking sullen and serious. They look like the saddest bastards ever. Team Shogun couldn’t be having a better time.

Billiards ResultJack Godzilla does not take kindly to losing.

Soldado wins, but they don’t let him enjoy it for too long.

The PrizeCongratulations Soldado, for your hard earned victory you get…a gang beating!

I think it’s best now if we fast forward to the next appearance of the ring girls, a house visit that threatens to shatter the record for most screenshots and gifs in a single post.

BG: I don’t think any amount of pictures and gifs will do justice to this situation. All of the ring girls rock up to the house, ostensibly to play poker with the guys, and basically hang out for the whole day.

AL: Açougueiro goes from “I don’t know how to play poker” to full-on Phil Laak.

UnacougueiroThat escalated quickly.

Seriously, if you were an American TUF participant, how jealous would you be of the TUF: Brazil setup?

BG: It’s glorious. Matheus Nicolau tries to pretend that playing poker is actually quite helpful in terms of fighting, something something about learning about bluffing and your opponent, but I’m not really paying attention to him right now.

AL: It’s an even more strained analogy than those old UFC/Assassin’s Creed tie-ins.

BG: Jenny and Korea continue to act like that one freaking couple you all know that can’t keep their hands off of each other. Every second he spends talking, he’s got this slightly guilty smile on his face. It’s great.

Korea and JennyKorea: “I’m locked in here with 16 guys, so it’s great to have a girl.”

Poor Bulldog gets questioned over his choice of seasoning on the meat, which is apparently only salt. Salt. The secret ingredient.

Eventually, dinner winds down, and the lay-dees decide to get in the hot tub. Because of course they do. This is tough for some of the married or committed guys, and poor Açougueiro even comments that his marriage will be completely over if he steps foot near the tub.

AL: Over on my TUF 21 recaps (remember those?), I joked that since the fighters don’t know who they will be matched up with until the weigh-ins, it was like TUF meets Blind Date. I was wrong. This is how you do TUF meets Blind Date.

BG: Of course, with the hot tub in play, shenanigans ensue. Dedé ends up making out with Diana, another one of the American ring girls. I guess this is one of the better ways of soothing the loss from his last fight. However, the language barrier is still definitely in play, and I’m noticing a bit of a trend here…

Dede and Diana 1

Dede and Diana 2THAT escalated quickly.

AL: It should be noted that it looks like Dedé has jumped a couple of weight classes in the last few days. Not that Diana seems to mind.

BG: The guys had a great time relaxing, the girls had fun, and now we’re back to the serious fight business. That is, it’s time to watch shirtless guys flex on a scale. It’s weigh-ins time! Fortunately, both guys make weight. Dileno Lopes gets the towel treatment, but there’s no implication it was a hard cut. There’s a tiny bit of heat in the staredown, and Bulldog spends the whole time wearing the type of chain you would use to lock up your bike. It’s hilariously stupid looking.

AL: We learn that Bulldog first met the Nogueiras by winning a contest based on who could sell the most bodybuilding supplement. Minotauro took a shine to him immediately because he was the only one of the finalists who was in decent shape. A few backflips later, he was officially part of the team.

Dileno speaks proudly of his hometown of Manaus, the breeding ground of several UFC fighters, most notably José Aldo. He wants to follow in the featherweight champ’s footsteps.

Dileno: It has been a huge sacrifice up until now. My family is back home. My daughter and my wife are back there. Las Vegas is so far away from home. I really miss them. I’m sacrificing myself and suffering and I’ll make someone pay for that.

Bulldog? Check. Dileno? Check. Ring girl? You’re up this week, Ben.

BG: This week we have the lovely Elenita Machado. She’s part of a rare breed this year, in that she’s actually Brazilian. Her idea is that ring girls are sexy, but not vulgar. No disagreements here.

AL: At last, the sweet, sweet sound of a woman speaking Portuguese. My ears thank you, Elenita. Consider yourself the frontrunner in this competition.

Elenita MachadoHot dog! We have a weiner.

BG: It’s now on to fight time, and both guys are well prepared. We see them running down some last minute preparation, and Bulldog gets advice on avoiding guillotine chokes. Could this be a case of foreshadowing?

AL: Bulldog also explains the origin of his nickname: he’s little and strong and vaguely resembles a bulldog. If only there were another small, fierce canine that he could be named after…

Bantamweight Bout: Team Nogueira’s Bulldog (8-2) v. Team Shogun’s Dileno Lopes (19-1)

Bulldog EntranceThis has to be useful in a fight, I’m just not sure how exactly.

BG: Dileno has a serious experience advantage over Bulldog, as well as a reach and height advantage too.

The fight starts out at breakneck speed, with both men storming across the cage to meet in the middle. They are constantly springing back and forward for the first thirty seconds or so, and I had to check and make sure that my video wasn’t running in fast forward. About 50 seconds in to the first round, Bulldog shoots in for a takedown, gets stuffed enough that he manages to lose his footing, and stands up into a full guillotine choke.

Dileno locks it up tight really, really quickly, and Bulldog has to tap out after just a little more than the first minute. Many props go out to the editors, landing in that guillotine foreshadowing. Nice, I liked it.

Dileno Guillotine Finish​Bulldog going for a takedown was his first mistake. Trying to slam his way out of hit was his second and his last.

Bulldog is obviously devastated about his loss, but he’s able to cope pretty well. The Nogueira brothers are piiiiiissed off, man.

Frustration Sets InNow you know what a pissed off Minotaur looks like.

The mood in their locker room basically resembles that of a graveyard, but the Nogueiras talk about their own TUF coaching history, and how they’ve always been able to turn it around. No speculation, just cold, hard facts.

Shogun picks Glaico “Nego” França, his number two pick, to take on Nikolas Motta, Team Azul’s number two lightweight pick as well. On paper, that’s an intriguing choice. We’ll have to see how it plays out next week. Any finals thoughts, Alex?

AL: Did Anderson pick any grapplers? Reginaldo Vieira, I guess? It feels like it’s the same story every week. Somehow, Team Shogun once again ends up with the bigger, more experienced fighter in Nego. I’m not betting against them losing the advantage anytime soon.

Dileno VictoriousNext Week: Team Shogun’s Nego v. Team Nogueira’s Nikolas Motta. Also, we investigate if Anderson Silva went to the Ted Stepien school of team building.

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 4 Recap

Ben Grimm: First and foremost, I can promise that this episode doesn’t have the same emotional impact as last week’s did. In my mind, that’s a good thing, I can’t go through that kinda stuff too often. There’s still drama, but while last episode was like, an 8 on the drama scale, this is closer to a 5.5/10.

Alexander K Lee: You know, it has to be mentioned, for some reason they thought it would be a good idea to throw random noises into the intro. I’m talking these generic screams and shouts that you’ve probably heard in countless movies, television shows, and video games (no Wilhelm scream though). Who thought this was a good idea? It’s silly and amateurish.

Team Colours

Team Nogueira
Team Shogun

BG: Team Blue’s still reeling for a couple reasons. Obviously, Anderson Silva being forced to leave still has some effect, given that his pupil, Dedé, is fighting this episode. Also, they lost a close decision, and a really good chance to eliminate a solid fighter in Matheus Nicolau. Reginaldo Vieira, our first loser of the tournament is a bit bummed out. He tries to be the good guy, and has a chat with Matheus (who still has really nice eyes), but still mentions that he thought he won the first two rounds.

Pretty EyesSee? Really pretty eyes.

Dedé’s in a bad way, though. He was really, really rattled by Anderson’s exit from the house, and in my mind,

a.) there’s no way his head is still in the game to the same level as it was before, and
b.) there’s no way he doesn’t know the truth of the whole situation.

Dede FarewellThat moment where a hug gets uncomfortable for one of the participants.

He is pretty out if it, but just in time, the entire remaining coaching staff of Team Blue shows up for a bit of a pep talk. They also stick around to make sure he’s on weight. Right now, Dedé is 10 pounds over, and Nazareno Malegarie is only five pounds over. Dedé’s gonna have a harder cut, but it’s not impossible.

AL: The good thing about living in the TUF house though is that the fighters are able to focus on their duties free of distraction.

BG: Aaaand then, the girls show up…

House GuestsOoooooh s**t.

The visit is a major bummer for Team Nogueira because the girls bring them scarves for the winter trip…the only problem is that it’s Team Shogun going on the trip, not them. We find the red team upstairs and all is well, except for the fact that I hear more English speaking from one of the ring girls. What do I watch TUF: Brazil for?!? Reginaldo jokes that “Back in Brazil, their girlfriends are all breaking up with them.”

We take a quick second to check in on the blue team training. Adamas says that nothing has changed with Anderson gone, so this is time well spent. They do tease Dedé not cooperating fully with the Nogueiras as if he’s their petulant stepchild, but it doesn’t go anywhere and everyone remains buddy buddy.

Back to the main event, Dileno Lopes says he’s loving the climate change on Mount Charleston. Team Shogun and the girls looks like they are having a wicked time, learning to snowboard and sliding down in giant swim rings. One of the ring girls jokes that Shogun ran her over.

Korea puts the moves on one of the ring girls and they can’t even communicate with each other (he doesn’t speak English, she doesn’t speak Portuguese)! Her name is Jennifer Giacotto and I’m pretty sure that’s all he knows about her.

Tube RideBest…reward…eveeeeeeer!

Korea Explains LoveI think that’s how babies are made.

Bro SupportI wish Shogun were around to cheer me on every time I hooked up.

Aaaah, l’amour, it is sweet, no? What do you say, Ben? Did this put you in the mood?

BG: This was freaking adorable, and the rest of Team Shogun did their best to hang in the back and poke fun like awkward schoolboys. Also, someone in the production team must be weeping sweet tears of joy, now that their ‘put guys and girls on TUF’ gamble is -finally- paying off.

We cut back to some training and intro to our fighters. Nazareno is actually from Argentina, just like our favourite contestant from TUF – Latin America.

El Diablito KOWho didn’t love the Ninja?

Anyway, there seems to be some crazy serious Brazil/Argentina heat. Does it cover every aspect of life? I’m genuinely curious, as I’ve never been to either country. Nazareno describes himself as an all-rounder, standing if it’s standing, going to ground if it’s on the ground, whatever. Also, his nose is hella off-centred and broken. Just sayin’.

Weigh-ins go off without a hitch, as both guys easily make weight, and it seems like this is going to be a real style v. style fight. Dedé is very much a Muay Thai guy, whereas Nazareno has the clear grappling advantage.

El Tigre Dede FaceoffCome on Dedé, show off that beach body.

It’s almost fight time, and both guys are prepped and ready to go. However, before we can get to the fight, there’s one more person to introduce.

AL: This week’s octagon girl contestant is Cindy Laura, who is bringing it back with the Portu…oh…wait, is she speaking Spanish? She’s from Cuba! Do any of these women speak Portuguese? Come on!

Cindy LauraDisqualified.

Lightweight Bout: Team Nogueira’s Dedé (3-1) v. Team Shogun’s El Tigre (27-3)

Slight experience disparity here. Someone with 30 fights going up against someone with less than five sounds like…exactly how matchmaking works in Brazil, actually.

Shogun believes that if Dedé gets taken down once, El Tigre will have the fight in the bag. That is the story of the opening round as Dedé is unable to fend off the first shot of the fight. He’s pressed against the cage and eventually dragged down by a persistent Nazareno. Right away you can see how much more adept Nazareno is on the ground. He is aggressive and on the attack, unafraid of anything Dedé has to offer from his back.

Seriously, El Tigre’s vaunted ground game is no joke. He times everything perfectly. There’s almost no wasted energy when he pounds Dedé with punches and elbows. It is a clear cut 10-9 first round for El Tigre, and I could even go 10-8.

BG: I agree, Nazareno completely dominated that first round. Dedé’s corner really highlights the need to come out strong, and win the round. To his credit, Dedé looks good in the first minute or so, landing some punches, and stuffing some takedowns.

With three minutes to go, Dedé sprawls excellently on a takedown, but he’s unable to punish Nazareno enough. Dedé’s slightly winning the standup, but he’s not dealing a lot of damage, and Nazareno is able to connect with some swinging overhands. Unfortunately for Dedé, Nazareno is just too dogged. Eventually, he’s able to easily stifle Dedé against the cage, and dumps him to the ground. From there, Nazareno works for position, and constantly lands a steady stream of right hands to Dedé’s head that he’s just not fighting against. The referee calls the TKO at 4:28 of the second round, and it’s a good stoppage.

El Tigre has some wicked G n’ P.  He’s gonna do well, I reckon. Team Shogun is pretty stoked with the win, obviously. Shogun declares his entire team to be samurai, and, given that he is indeed a Shogun, this is a promotion that’s well within his power.

The mood is grave-like in the other room, as the coaches desperately try and keep morale high. They want their team screaming and cheering more, and surely getting more enthused isn’t going to be too hard for a group of Brazilians?

Team Red gets to pick for next week, as is custom for the winners, and they select their bantamweight Dileno to take on Bruno “Bulldog” Silva of Team Blue. Dileno was pick four, and Bulldog pick seven, so they’re still playing it safe according to the pick order.

AL: I thought that Shogun’s team had already used their killers, but I forgot about Dileno. These sides are looking lopsided. Maybe Anderson shouldn’t have used the top pick on his best bud? And it’s the Nogueira brothers who got stuck with him!

Does picking a friend ever work out? Just off the top of my head, I can name a couple of guys who were picked first because of their relationship with a coach and none of them worked out: Joe Scarola (TUF 6, via Matt Serra, lost in the first week and left the house a few weeks later) and Marc Stevens (TUF 12, via Josh Koscheck, lost in the first round and as a wild card).

On the flip side, I guess you could say James McSweeney (TUF 10, via Rashad Evans, made it to the semifinals) and Cezar Mutante (TUF: Brazil 1, via Vitor Belfort, won the middleweight division that season) did well enough.

I’d still lean towards picks based on personal relationships being a negative though, particularly in season where superior talents are passed over. For example, Serra could have ended up with Mac Danzig and George Sotiropoulos (Matt Hughes was infatuated with unproven muscle head Dan Barrera for some reason) while Koscheck missed on Michael Johnson, eventual winner Jonathan Brookins, and Alex Caceres.

Friends are worthless and that is why I don’t have any.

BG: One last question: How do you say ‘red’ in Portuguese? I know blue is azul, and I’d like to use the Portuguese words for colours here, mostly because ‘azul’ sounds like a cool word to say.

Anyway.

AL: You never stop trying to edutain the masses.

El Tigre VictoriousNext Week: Team Shogun’s Dileno Lopes v. Team Nogueira’s Bulldog. Also, we find out if Jennifer takes another trip to “Korea”. I’m not proud of that one.

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 3 Recap

Ben Grimm: In addition to a fight, we get a whole bunch of other things this episode. As you’ve no doubt seen and heard, this is the episode where Anderson Silva gets pulled from the show. This whole situation bums me out so much. I’m a huge Anderson fan, the first UFC PPV I ever watched was UFC 101, which partly explains why I’ve always been in awe of this magical Brazilian cage wizard.

Team Colours

Team Anderson/Nogueira
Team Shogun

The guys have taken over the house, as is their right, and they’re super stoked about being there.

House PartyYour home could be next.

We only see a little of the first night there, though. The first training sessions get way more focus. Given that Reginaldo Vieira is the first fighter from Team Anderson, he gets a bit more focus here, with Anderson showing him some elbow and knee techniques. Both teams take it relatively easy during training, given that the guys fought the day before. Team Shogun does the same kind of thing, as they make it clear to the team that whoever is up next gets priority, and y’all gotta help them cause they’re all family-team now. Ace.

AL: I’d like to point out that Team Anderson employs TUF: Brazil 3 alum Rick Monstro!

BG: Next up, the boys get dressed up for a night on the town (including those weirdo Octagon shaped necklaces that no sane person would ever wear, right?), and this is where I’ll hand over to Alex.

AL: Oh, they get dressed up alright. They are taking to the Vegas lifestyle like ducks to water.

Looking Sharp

Gun fingaaaaaz!

The fighters wonder if they’re going to a strip club, which would be a first for this show. Shogun Rua tells them he has a mission for the cast and a line of beautiful women come marching out. They are, of course, this year’s ring girl contestants! One of the guys says, “No one here is committed. We’re all single.” It’s not true, but it’s still funny.
Anyway, their mission is to help narrow the girls down to two finalists for the viewers at home to eventually vote on.

Play It CoolEven Jack Godzilla knows to stay out of trouble.

The seeds have been planted for future shenanigans (fingers crossed), but we quickly move on to the coaches interacting with this week’s competitors. Shogun is confident that Matheus Nicolau is better than Reginaldo in all aspects of MMA while Anderson is more inclined to give specific pointers to Reginaldo since he is more of a one-dimensional grappler.

And then Anderson gets a phone call. Now I put the veracity of this whole scene into question, but I’d love to get your take on it, Ben.

BG: As I explained above, I’m a huge Anderson fan.

So this scene sucked so hard for me to watch.

As we all know, large swaths of reality TV are semi-scripted and set up, so I’m not sure how to digest the phone call. Anderson goes from straight denial to convenient excuse very quickly. When Anderson is deflecting the anabolic steroid question, he does so by admitting to taking an anti-inflammatory for three days. I don’t know whether this is textbook denial tactics, but I know I’ve done this shit before. Cop to something lesser, in order to deflect the big charge.

I dunno. I’d love to believe Anderson, and he does seem entirely sincere when he pleads innocence in a confessional, but it doesn’t look good. Also, the potentially scripted nature throws shade on all of this. I doubt that that moment was the first Anderson heard of his test failure. It makes great TV, but it doesn’t ring 100% true.

And then from here we go straight to our first team challenge.

I think the mood whiplash just broke my neck.

Ring GirlsOnly because we didn’t give you guys a MILF shot last time.

The challenge is pretty fun, and the set holding it up is gargantuan. Each team selects four guys, and they’ll be responsible for controlling a corner of what is essentially a marble maze.

Labyrinth ChallengeGood to see that these old Survivor props aren’t just thrown away.

It seems that in this season, they’re playing for prizes, rather than arbitrary fight picking power, and the prize is seeing the snow at Mount Charleston, which I’m sure would be fairly naff to my Canadian counterpart…

AL: I chortle at this “reward”.

BG:…but as I come from Australia, a country that is 80% desert and 20% freak weather patterns, seeing non-terrifying snow would be pretty cool.

Team Shogun eventually wins, in part, I think, due to the fact that they had Soldado up on Jack Godzilla’s shoulders (JACK GODZILLA JACK GODZILLA) as dual parts spotter and mascot. Team Shogun are stoked to win, and Nazareno Malegarie sums it up best:

Freezer SpeechEl Tigre: “The Red Team, Shogun’s guys, will get to see snow. The Blue Team will have to open the door to the freezer or get a bucket of ice while we’re enjoying the snow.”

The fun stuff is over, though, and now it’s time for weigh-ins, and SRS BSNS.

AL: I’m sure you’re referring to the introduction of the first ring girl candidate of the season. Her name is Otmara Marrero and…huh, there’s something off about her Portuguese, I can’t quite put my finger on…hey! She’s speaking English! That’s not how we do on TUF: Brazil! Ironically, she says she feels like she has a certain “mystery” to her. She’s from Miami!

Otmara MarreroDisqualified.

It’s time for Anderson to tell his team about his failed test. I can’t even begin to imagine how crazy it must have been to be in that room listening to that. He goes on to give a speech about not giving up and following your dreams, but if it were me all I’d hear is a faint buzzing. His protégé, Dedé is particularly broken up. Thank goodness we have some old-fashioned violence to distract us from this awful situation.

The Nogueira brothers arrive, with Big Nog sporting some rocking facial hair for our convenience.

Mirror UniverseIt also helps us to distinguish which is the evil one.

Both fighters weigh in without incident and we have ourselves a fight!

Bantamweight Bout: Matheus Nicolau (10-1-1) v. Reginaldo Vieira (12-3)

Unfortunately, most of the actual fight is without incident as well. It has a slow, measured pace and Matheus doesn’t do anything to show off why he was Shogun’s top bantamweight pick. He’s solid, he doesn’t get in any danger, but that’s about it. It’s actually Reginaldo who manages to take the first round, punctuating it with a nice slam.

Reginaldo SlamThe fight has a TUF 19 vibe to it. I know that’s harsh, but it just didn’t do anything for me. We end up going to a third round, much to the chagrin of the Nogueiras who feel that Reginaldo was pushing the action and that should have given him the win already. Matheus scores a key takedown and Reginaldo is unable to get up after that. It’s a unanimous decision win for Matheus.

Matheus VictoriousBG: I’ve gotta agree with the Nogueiras. I thought Reginaldo won the first two and we didn’t need a third. Oh well. At his point, I’m not attached enough to any of these fighters to get angry about judging incompetence. I don’t think this loss will hurt Team Nogueira too much, as Big Nog has an impeccable TUF coaching pedigree. Taking over like this means he’s coaching his third season (TUF 8 and TUF: Brazil 2), and he’s coached three winners (Efrain Escudero, Ryan Bader, and Leonardo Santos), and five of six finalists (Philippe Nover & Patolino). Big Nog is basically TUF royalty.

Although, they may very easily lose the next fight.

Team Shogun selects their number one lightweight pick, Nazareno to fight the number one lightweight of Team Nog, Dedé. Given that his mentor just got booted from the show, Dedé could very easily be quite rattled. Clever fight pick from Shogun.

I did enjoy this episode, in spite of a fairly average fight, and I’m sure we’re gonna get some great moments out of this season!

AL: I am blown away by your staggering Big Nog TUF statistics.

Next Week: Team Shogun’s El Tigre v. Team Nogueira’s Dedé. Also, our first fighter/ring girl romance?!?

Cat

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 – Week 1 & 2 Recap

*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.

Invading BraziliansSomeone 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?

*****

BG:

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.

TKDKOWTF!

Winner: Korea via KO

AL:

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.

Huff PuffAnderson: “He was winning, but he started kidding around and ended up injuring himself and losing his greatest opportunity ever.”

Winner: Netto BJJ via TKO

BG:

Fight 3 (Bantamweight): Renato “FranguinhoMônaco (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.

Lopes ChokeAs 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

AL:

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.

El TigreAlas, he does not celebrate by yelling out “I’m a Mac, bitch!” in Portuguese.

Winner: El Tigre via decision

BG:

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.

Pitbullis 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 NicolauMatheus 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.

NegoGleison 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.

BG:

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.

Capoeira ExhibitionThere 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.

Gymnastics ExhibitionFor real, I’m a check on my opponent after I do my flips.

Winner: Bulldog by TKO

AL:

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…

Indio BraboWinner: 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).

Ahem.

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.

AdamasI 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

AL:

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

Jack GodzillaJACK GODZILLA

Winner: Jack Godzilla via arm triangle

BG:

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.

CatBG: 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.

Peter's TattooAL: 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

Reginaldo ChokeSeconds before this tap, Peter’s corner was telling him he wasn’t in danger.

Winner: Reginaldo Vieira via submission

AL:

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.

AcougueiroWinner: Açougueiro via submission

BG:

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.

SoldadoWinner: Soldado via decision

AL:

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.

Nikolas MottaPinch!

Winner: Motta via decision

BG:

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.

PitbullIt doesn’t stop.

Winner: Pitbull via submission

AL:

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.

Dede Body KickWinner: 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!

Team Anderson

Lightweights

  1. Dedé (1)
  2. Nikolas Motta (3)
  3. Índio Brabo (5)
  4. Açougueiro (7)

Bantamweights

  1. Adamas (1)
  2. Pitbull (3)
  3. Reginaldo Vieira (5)
  4. Bulldog (7)

Team AndersonTeam Shogun

Lightweights

  1. El Tigre (2)
  2. Nego (4)
  3. Netto BJJ (6)
  4. Jack Godzilla (8)

Bantamweights

  1. Matheus Nicolau (2)
  2. Dileno Lopes (4)
  3. Korea (6)
  4. Soldado (8)

Team ShogunNext 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.

CatAnd remember…the cat is watching…the cat is ALWAYS WATCHING.