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TUF Brazil 3 Report: Episode 2

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It’s time for Episode 2 of what the UFC has positioned as one of its biggest hooks for the FightPass streaming service: The 3rd season of TUF Brazil. Last week, Coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, along with their respective assistants Hortencia Marcari and Isabel Salgado, saw 8 men move on to the TUF Brazil 3 Casa. Today, they’ll watch the remaining 16 middleweights and heavyweights battle for a shot at glory.

Fight 1: Richard “Rick Monstro” Morreira vs. Alexandre “Bebezão” Machado (Heavyweight)

The first fighter we meet today is Richard Morreira, AKA “Rick Monstro,” a young man who fights despite the worries of his father. Even though his father is against it, most of “Rick Monstro’s” family is there to support him – including his mother. He says that fearless fighters stand a greater chance of losing, and then goes on to predict that he will end the fight in the first round.

His opponent is Alexandre “Bebezão” Machado, a man whose last name (Which means “Axe” in English) is far cooler than his last name (“Big Baby”). “Bebezão” is being supported in his preliminary fight by only one family member: His brother, who is also his head coach. Machado became fighter after being inspired by his late father.

Round 1 was over and done in 20 seconds. Richard Morreira stalked Alexandre Machado, then rushed in to the clinch, guns blazing. “Bebezão” attempted a couple of takedowns, but was eventually felled by a barrage punches against the fence.

Post-fight, all the coaches praised Morreira’s performance, noting his strength and killer instinct. Wanderlei is also sure to give him a thumbs up after the finish is officially announced.  Afterwards, we see “Rick Monstro” celebrate with his family.

Richard “Rick Monstro” Morreira def. Alexandre “Bebezão” Machado via TKO (Punches) at 0:20 of Round 1

Fight #2: Markus Perez Echeimberg “Maluko” vs. (Middleweight)

Next up, we meet a man who claims to be a big fan of Bruce Lee, Markus Perez Echeimberg “Maluko.” “Maluko” (“Crazy”) says that he tries to bring Lee’s style to the cage, and that it is the reason he has earned his nickname. He also notes that his parents are a little crazy too, and that the train with him on occasion.

The man he will face is Guilherme de Vasconcalez “Bomba,” who claims to be a former model and world champion in BJJ – though I’ve found no way to verify the latter. “Bomba” (Yes, “Bomb”) says that fighting is his passion, and both his mother and brother compliment his calm and focused demeanor. His girlfriend, however, does say that he is vain.

Round 1 starts with Markus Perez Echeimberg firing off a headkick, only for Guilherme de Vasconcalez to block it. “Bomba” responds with a couple of punches and forces the action up against the cage. As he works for a takedown, “Maluko” manages to turn around and back de Vasconcalez against the fence while attempting a standing guillotine choke. Guilherme escapes, and both men trade strikes from the clinch. “Maluko” eventually scores a takedown with what appears to be a drop seo-nagi judo throw, but goes all the way down onto his face and is unable to maintain control. “Bomba” scores a takedown of his own – a double leg – as both men get to their feet, and then lands some ground’n’pound. Echeimberg attempts inverted guard, but ends up worsening his position by giving up side control. Gui Vasconcalez continues to land ground and pound, eventually forcing “Maluko” to give up his back before choking him out.

Post-fight, Chael gives the best analysis by way of his assistant coach, Vinny Magalhaes, who says that Vasconvalez took on a good fighter and stifled him, not allowing him to do much of anything.

Guilherme de Vasconcalez def. Markus Perez Echeimberg via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:57 of Round 1.

Fight #3: Marcos “Pezão” Rogerio vs. Thiago “Big Monstro” Santos (Heavyweight)

Marcos “Pezão” Rogerio (That’s right, another “Bigfoot”) came from a rough background, growing up doing drugs and and wandering the streets, getting into fights and other trouble. The black sheep of the family, Rogerio’s father was able to get him on the straight and narrow by showing him what his brother had accomplished – a silver medal in a major judo competition – and asking him what he hoped to accomplish himself. Now, with a clean life, a wife, and a young daughter, Rogerio is aiming to be a UFC champion.

His opponent, Thiago “Big Monstro” Santos – “Monstro” apparently being the “Silva” of nicknames in Brazil – says he got his nickname from being stronger than larger opponents. The Rio de Janeiro native is a father of three hoping to provide a better life for his family. We also see him telling his father that as long as he fights, even if the the outcome is unfavorable, it will not be total loss because he showed up.

Round 1 sees Marcus Rogerio start out with strikes, firing off punches, only to be pushed back against the cage by Thiago Santos. “Big Monstro” eventually works for a takedown, trying to turn a single into a double-leg, but leaves his neck exposed. This allows “Pezão” to catch a guillotine choke before jumping guard and eliciting the tap at just 0:40 into the fight.

Immediately after the fight, Rogerio drops to his knees and dedicates the victory to his father. During the analysis, Chael notes that “Pezão” was not intimidated by “Big Monstro,” who had a reputation for being heavy-handed. Wanderlei then talks us through the end of the fight before Hortencia praises “Pezão‘s” ability to submit such a large man.

Marcus “Pezão” Rogerio def. Thiago “Big Monstro” Santos via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:40 of Round 1.

Fight #4: Pedro Paulino Santana “Vinagre” vs. Ismael de Jesus “Marmota”(Middleweight)

Pedro Paulino Santana “Vinagre” comes to us from what appears to be one of Brazil’s more rural provinces, Mato Grosso del Sol. Coming from a family of doctors, “Vinagre” (You guessed it: “Vinegar”) is currently studying medicine in Bolivia in addition to training as a fighter. Santana claims that not even meditating in the mountains can bring him inner peace, only fighting in the Octagon.

Opposing P.P. Santana’s goal of inner peace through cage fighting is Ismael de Jesus “Marmota” (That’s “Marmot” in English). “Marmota” came from a family that was so poor, that they felt it was in his best interest that he be sent to live with another, better off family. Now, de Jesus trains with fighters like Renan Barao at the Nova Uniao camp. The UFC Bantamweight Champion praises his training partners toughness, and says that he has heavy hands.

Round 1 begins with Ismael de Jesus controlling the center of the Octagon and Pedro Paulino Santana circling around, looking for openings. After almost 15 seconds, “Marmota” strikes first with a front kick. “Vinagre” responds with some bizarre hip thrusts – Think Beavis dancing on Beavis & Butthead – before rushing into the clinch. Both men have over-unders, with “Vinagre” appearing to be the stronger of the two. P.P. Santana throws an odd knee, then appears to go for a very clumsy flying armbar attempt, tripping himself up on de Jesus before falling to the mat. “Marmota” attempts to sprawl out, but “Vinagre” is quick to get to his feet. Ismael de Jesus breaks off the clinch with a knee, to which P.P. Santana responds with a lunging straight punch. “Marmota” creates some more distance, then launches another front kick, catching his opponent on the hand and appearing to break his ring finger. The doctor comes in, confirms the break, and the fight is stopped despite “Vinagre’s” protestations. Upon seeing the replay, though, we can see that the finger is broken in what is given credit to “Marmota” as a takedown.

Post-fight, Chael gives Santana credit for coming in obviously undersized for the contest. Wanderlei claims, after seeing the injury, that instead of calling for the ref and the doctor, he would put his finger back into place. “You’ve got nine other fingers!” he exclaims. Isabel sees the irony in the situation, noting that “Vinagre” was there, ready to fight, but was stopped due to something as small as an injured finger.

Ismael de Jesus def. Pedro Paulino Santana via TKO (Injury Stoppage) at 0:40 of Round 1.

Fight#5: Antonio Paulo Branjão “Montanha” vs. Fernando Camoles Ribas (Heavyweight)

Antonio Paulo Branjão is another fighter who entered MMA to the disapproval of his father. The man whose nickname means “Mountain” in English entered the sport at 16, and is saddened by the discord between himself and his father caused by his choice of career. Despite his struggles, though, the 27 year old is still hoping to put on a show.

Standing opposite “Montanha” is Fernando Camoles Ribas, a former professional judoka. After an injury prevented him from going to the Olympics, Ribas turned his attention to MMA. “I came here to be respected,” he says.

Chael and Wanderlei talk us through the highlights, with Ribas dominating round 1. In Round 2, “Montanha” was able to hurt the former judoka with a takedown, and eventually earned the TKO victory.

Antonio Paulo Branjão “Montanha def. Fernando Camoles Ribas via TKO (Strikes) in Round 2.

Fight#6: Warlley Alves vs. Wendel Oliveira “War Machine Negão” Marques (Middleweight)

As a young man, Warlley Alves liked to pick fights. That is, until he began to picture how his mother would feel were he  to return to her in the shape he left many of his victims. Now, Alves says he fights only for Jesus.

Standing opposite Alves in the cage will be Wendel Oliveira “War Machine Negão” Marques, a top-ranked fighter in Brazil. Oliveira – whose nickname includes a word that is very bad when translated into English – says only his wife will be there to watch him fight, because his mother refuses to see him in action. We cut to his mother, who says the same thing, that she doesn’t even want to know when her son is fighting, even though she supports him. Marques notes that he is friends with Alves, and will put on a good fight with him.

After seeing Warlley Alves start his fight with Wendel Oliveira Marques strong, hitting a strong leg kick before catching an arm-in guillotine, we move to the highlights. “War Machine Negão” escapes that attempt, and one later in the round, as Chael recaps the exciting moments. We then see clips of Marques taking over on the ground, slamming Alves and taking top position. Wanderlei notes that while the top-ranked fighter did get the fight to the ground, he wasn’t able to do much once there.

Coach Sonnen also mentions that it was apparent during the bout that the pair had a previous relationship, due to the amount of respect and affection shown throughout, and that the space in between the tender moments was filled with violence. The highlights show both men doing equal damage as we cut to the end of the second round. “The Axe Murderer” gave the fight to Marques, while “The Gangster from West Lynn” felt that it was Alves who deserved the win. However, the judges saw it as even, and the pair went to the 3rd, sudden victory round.

The 3rd round highlights show Warlley Alves clearly in control, connecting with a variety of strikes, including spinning kicks. Even Wanderlei had to give the 3rd round to him. Chael made sure to point out that all of his assistant coaches said to him that he needed to get Warlley on his team, as he was the “diamond in the rough.” With that said, we move on to the official announcement, which saw Warlley Alves take the split decision victory.

Warlley Alves def. Wendel Oliveira “War Machine Negão” Marques via Split Decision

Fight#7: Marcio Alexandre Junior “Lyoto” vs. Guiliano Arante “Alemão” (Middleweight)

Marcio Alexandre Junior “Lyoto” comes from a family of karate practitioners. In fact, it was his father who awarded him his black belt. He earned his nickname for having a fighting style similar to that of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida. Junior goes on to say that more people know him as “Lyoto” than by his actual name.

His opponent tonight is Guiliano Arante “Alemão,” the second fighter from Mato Grosso del Sol on this episode. Arante – whose nickname translates out to “German” – used to be a fat kid, and suffered all the indignities of growing up that go along with it. At the age of 19, he weighed in at 293 lbs., but was able to bring himself down to middleweight through the power of martial arts. “I was obese, but I made the impossible happen,” he says.

This is another clipped fight, with Wanderlei starting off the analysis. “Lyoto really does fight like Lyoto!” he proclaims. Chael notes that even the “Alemão” was able to get a takedown, Marcio Junior “Lyoto” was able to spring back up to his feet and effectively make the fight a kickboxing match. Sonnen made mention of “Alemão’s” size, stating that he’s not a particularly big middleweight, but that he fights with a sense of urgency. Silva goes on to say that later in the first round, Guiliano Arante was able to flip a switch and go all out until the horn.

The second round saw Guiliano “Alemão” come in aggressive once again, only to be staggered with a hook  and caught in a guillotine choke by Marcio “Lyoto.” That choke ended the fight.

Marcio Alexandre Junior “Lyoto” def. Guiliano Arante “Alemão” by Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 2.

Fight#8: Bruno “Blindado” Silva vs. Vitor “Lex Luthor” Miranda (Heavyweight)

Bruno Silva has a reputation for sheer toughness. How else can you describe a man whose nickname translates out to “Armored” in English? “Blindado” says fights for his family: His brother, his mother, and his late father. Silva’s entire family is unemployed, and a loss here would be financially devastating for them.

Also fighting for his family is the Vitor “Lex Luthor” Miranda. Miranda’s son passed away in 2011 at the age of 4, after drowning in a swimming pool. He nearly quit MMA after that, but was able to turn the negative energy into motivation. Vitor was an assistant coach on a previous season of TUF Brazil, working for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and he feels that will give him an edge in the competition.

The last fight of the preliminaries is also clipped. Both Chael and Wanderlei discuss Vitor Miranda’s ability to land seemingly at will, as well as Bruno Silva’s toughness in weathering the storm. We see that even after being taken down, “Blindado” is living up to his nickname and is seemingly not feeling “Lex Luthor’s” ground’n’pound. Despite Silva’s toughness, both Sonnen and “The Axe Murderer” agree that Vitor Miranda won the first round.

The second round was more of the same, with “Lex Luthor” imposing his will on “Blindado,” battering him until he eventually dropped from a head kick. After the fight, Wanderlei says that he and the other coach have agreed that if a heavyweight gets injured, “Blindado” will be called upon to replace them.

Vitor “Lex Luthor” Miranda def. Bruno “Blindado” Silva via KO (Head Kick) in Round 2.

And with that, the preliminary fights are complete. Now, it’s time for the coaches to pick their teams. Before that can happen though, Wanderlei tries to put Chael on the spot and make him apologize for his prior comments about Brazil, saying in a cut-away that Chael has “dark humor.” Sonnen, as is to be expected, says that Wanderlei isn’t doing this because he wants an apology, but because he needs to be on camera. We then cut back to the TUF Brazil gym, with Chael saying that he has no problems with the people of Brazil, merely with “The Axe Murderer.” Hortencia found the entire situation odd, especially as Wanderlei then threatened to walk away from the show if Sonnen did not apologize. Chael stuck to his guns, and after another cut-away, tells Silva that he “accepts his surrender.”

Wanderlei now starts to walk towards Chael, saying that his ego is too big to admit he made a mistake. Chael says that he is then prepared to work with all 16 cast members in an effort to get them to the UFC, and asks Wandy to, “step aside.” Finally, Wanderlei throws down his notes, retrieves them, and walks off, ranting about how he will refuse to do the show unless Chael apologizes. We then cut to the fighters, who almost all say that the issues between Sonnen and Silva should be settled with their fists.

Now the influence of the Isabel and Hortencia comes to the fore. Salgado tries to convince Silva that he is disregarding the fighters by threatening to walk off the show, and Marcari tries to explain to Chael that he does not have to apologize to Wanderlei, but to any Brazilians that may have been offended by his comments. Chael tells Hortencia that he won’t apologize to Silva, but that he appreciates her opinion nonetheless.

Finally, Chael goes to try and reach some sort of resolution with Wanderlei. “Here’s how it works: If somebody says something, and then they get in the ring, and they have the fight – That’s it,” he tells a nodding Wandy, “I did the fight against Anderson Silva. Did you see it? It didn’t go so well for me! That was a pretty rough night!” Even after hearing that, Silva still insisted on trying to force Chael into an on-camera apology, which was of course declined. The impasse remains, and Wanderlei walks off with his coaching staff.

So, Episode 2 begins the drama we were all waiting for and/or dreading. I have trouble believing that Wanderlei Silva could honestly have expected an on-camera apology from Chael Sonnen, and much like the incident in Las Vegas where Wandy ambushed Chael with is own camera crew, this felt premeditated. Do I personally think Chael should have apologized? Yes, but it’s something that should have been broached off camera, or even before the contracts were signed for this show to happen. The fights were what they were, although the whole “Vinagre” vs. “Marmota” bout seemed like a joke. I’ve seen better bouts on local amateur cards. Let’s hope it gets better from here.

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Justin Pierrot is MMASucka.com's resident musicologist and TUF aficionado. When not looking after his family or writing his weekly pieces, he's making music as Stormland or building Gundam models.

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