The premiere episode of the first ever international edition of “The Ultimate Fighter” was a hell of a show. With 32 of Brazil’s top featherweights and middleweights competing to get into the house, fireworks were all but guaranteed. The show opened with scenes of Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Junior Dos Santos, Minotauro Nogueira, and Lyoto Machida as the narrator explained the growing popularity of MMA in Brazil.
The 32 Brazilian fighters entered the HSBC Arena, walked into the empty octagon, and quickly began to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings. Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort entered from opposite ends of the arena and stood before the fighters. Dana White entered last, and all three took turns speaking to the fighters, but before the words could sink in, the first fight in “TUF Brazil” history, was under way.
The first bout featured Rony Mariano Bezerra and Dileno Lopes. The two fighters exchanged leg kicks early, but it was Bezerra who, after a bit of hesitiation, clipped Lopes with a couple good punches before laying down some ground and pound. Lopes managed to survive and got back to his feet, but Bezerra landed a solid flying knee and followed it up with a few heavy shots to prompt the stoppage half way through the first round.
Next up, Francisco Drinaldo faced off against Charles Maicon. The bout got off to a hellcaious start, and it didn’t last long. Drinaldo quickly hurt Maicon with a knee, threw him down, and finished him with vicious shots on the ground in under 15 seconds.
In the third bout, two undefeated fighters. Godofredo Pepey and Johnny Goncalves stepped into the octagon. After a quick exchange, Pepey took his opponent to the ground with a very slick trip, but found himself on the bottom after a sweep. Wanting to prove he was adept on the ground, he locked in a triangle. He nearly found himself on the receiving end of a slam, but Goncalves just didn’t have enough in him to make it happen. Pepey perservered and kept the submission locked in, while working for an armbar as well. Ultimately, his patience paid off as he forced the tap at 1:23 of Round 1.
In mere seconds, the cage was once again the center of attention as Cezar Ferreira and Gustavo Sampaio were going toe to toe. The story in this bout was the aggression of Ferreira, as he threw violent knees, threatened with submissions, and ultimately sliced up Sampaio with vicious elbows, which had Dana throwing expletives like it was nobody’s business. In the second round, the two exchanged heavy strikes, but ultimately, Cezar got his opponent to the ground and sunk in a fight ending guillotine choke.
The Wolverine stepped into the cage next, as Hugo Viana took on Alexandre Ramos. Viana and Ramos both headhunted early, but all of that ended when Ramos attempted a flying triangle. Unable to finish the submission, he soon found himself underneath “The Wolverine”. Viana remained on top until 3:43 of the first round, when he put his opponent out cold with violent elbows.
In the next contest, Daniel Sarafian took on Richardson Moreira. Sarafian was clearly the better striker, having his way with Moreria on the feet. After a failed heel hook attempt by Moreira, Sarafian ended up in mount. Moreira scrambled to his feet, but on the way up, ate an illegal knee. Two points were deducted immediately, but Wanderlei questioned the legitmacy of the affect it had on Moreira, who appeared to be milking it for extra rest. In the second round, Sarafian quickly found himself on top, and dominated with punches and elbows for the duration, winning a unanimous decision, despite the point deduction.
Next up was Rodrigo Damm vs. Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva. The two men, who were widely regarded as the favorites in the competition, went toe to toe throughout the fight, but Damm was not having much luck on the feet, so Rodrigo took his foe down and maintained top control for much of the first. In the second round, Damm got the fight to the ground once again, took his opponent’s back, and locked in a vicious neck crank to cause the tap.
The action rolled on as Wagner Campos found himself matched up with Fernando Duarte Guerra. Campos was the aggressor throughout the fight, and clearly had the better hands, but the first round was lackluster to say the least. As the coaches became restless with the lack of action, they encouraged the fighters to finish. Fernando was hesitant to engage, and arguably lost both rounds. However, the fight, much to the shock of Dana White, went into the sudden death round. Much of the same ensued, as the two barely engaged. After the bell, the two fighters argued over Guerra’s gameplan, which ultimately was his downfall, as Campos was awarded the sudden death round, and advanced to the house.
Two fighters who have only tasted defeat once stepped up to the plate next, as Sergio Moraes took on Thiago Rela. Rela went for a leg lock early, but he couldn’t secure it, and the two fighters were quickly engaged in a vicious striking battle on the ground. As the bout wore on, it was much of the same, but Moraes locked in a fight ending heel hook mid-way through the first round. Post fight, Moraes proclaimed “Damn it, I’m such a bitch” and laughed to himself.
In Featherweight action, Anistavio Medeiros faced off against Rafael Bueno. In a fight that was as fast-paced as it was frustrating, Bueno attempted to pull guard several times, but constantly ended up getting held down and beat down. He did enough, however, to drag Medeiros into a sudden death round, but much of the same occured, and Medeiros was awarded the decision.
Middleweights stepped up next when Joao Paulo de Souza and Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo went at it for a hard-fought 10 minutes. After a brief exchange, the two fighters found themselves on the mat, exchanging strikes and submission attempts until the bell. Thiago took full control in the second, and continuously put De Souza on the mat, and pounded him violently. As the round ended, and the judges decision was rendered, de Souza couldn’t even get up to hear it, which was fine, as he was declared the loser after two rounds.
Giovanni da Silva Santos Jr. and John Teixeira exchanged low blows to start their bout, but after the breaks, this fight was wild. A brief exchange on the feet was followed by a jiu-jitsu clinic as the combatants rolled, with Teixeria getting the better of the exchanges and getting the tap with a perfectly executed armbar.
Two huge 185ers were locked in the octagon next as Delson Heleno squared off against Gilberto Galvao. The physically imposing middleweights fought hard throughout the first, but it was Heleno who got the better of his opponent, taking him down and dominating on the ground, ending the round with a neck crank attempt. The second was much of the same, as Heleno took Galvao down again, and easily controlled him on the ground, en route to a unanimous decision.
Renee Forte and Fabio Luiz Vital da Costa had a rather lackluster first round, aside from some solid leg kicks and punches landed by Renee. However, in the second round, both men came hard, and each landed several powerful blows. Ultimately it was Renee who demonstrated the better striking, and that earned him the decision after two rounds.
In the final featherweight bout, Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini squared off against Pedro Nobre. The two engaged quickly, but Marcos made short work of Nobre. Having been dropped early by a right, Nobre got back to his feet, only to be dropped again by two violent punches. No ground and pound was necessary, as the ref stepped in 0:43 of the first round.
In the final fight of the evening, undefeated Leonardo Mafra Teixeira faced off against once-beaten Samuel Trindade. Teixeira demonstrated some good striking early, and even dropped Trindade with a solid right hand. Trindade attempted to take the fight to the ground, but it was clear that Teixeira had no intentions of going there. The second round had much of the same, as Teixeira dominated on the feet, stayed off of the ground, and punished Trindade, wobbling him several times. After 10 minutes, Teixeira couldn’t put away his opponent, and the fight went into the sudden death round. In the third, the two exhausted middleweights exchanged blows, and once again, Trindade found himself on the receiving end of some heavy leather. Falling into takedown attempts, he finally secured one with 20 seconds to go in the bout, and even threatened with a triangle choke, but it was too late, as the judges awarded the decision to Teixeira.
Dana, Vitor, and Wanderlei congratulated the 16 fighters who made it into the house, and the fighters celebrated their victories. Vitor and Wanderlei informed the fighters that it is their duty to do their best, and that they do represent the best fighters in Brazil, as the inaugural episode of “TUF Brazil” came to an end.
- Rony Mariano def. Dileno Lopes by TKO Round 1
- Godofredo de Oliveira def. Johnny Goncalves by Submission (Triangle Choke) Round 1
- Hugo Viana def. Alexandre Ramos by TKO Round 1
- Rodrigo Damm def. Fabricio Guerrero by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2
- Wagner ‘Galeto’ Campos def. Fernando Guerra by Decision
- Anistavio Medeiros def. Rafael Bueno by Decision
- John ‘Macapa’ Teixeira def. Giovanni Souza Jr. by Submission (Armbar) Round 1
- Marcos ‘Vina’ Vinicius Pancini def. Peter Noble by TKO Round 1
- Francisco Drinaldo def. Charles Maicon by TKO Round 1
- Cezar Ferreira def. Gustavo Sampaio by Submission (Guillotine Choke) Round 2
- Daniel Sarafian def. Richardson Moreira by Decision
- Sergio Moraes def. Thiago Rela by Submission (Heel Hook) Round 1
- Thiago ‘Bodao’ Perpetuo def. Joao Paulo De Souza by Decision
- Delson Heleno def. Gilberto Galvao by Decision
- Renee Forte def. Fabio Bolinho by Decision
- Leonardo Mafra Teixeira def. Samuel Trindade by Decision