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 Ultimate Fighter Brasil - Discussion, Rumors & Results 
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Even with subbies it has good drama so far.

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Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:48 am
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http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Brasil-Episode-Four-Recap


As expected, the excessive joking of Anistávio Gasparzinho is bothering his training partners and the rival team. The peak of misunderstanding happens when the athletes decide to sleep and Gasparzinho, electric as always, starts a session of noise, singing and pulling Rony Jason's sheets from him.

Rony doesn't take the jokes so well, and after having his sleep interrupted and talking to the athletes of the opposing team about his insomnia problem, he goes down to hit the punching bag around 4:45 in the morning. It’s a considerable disturbance for Team Vitor.

Later in the training center, Rony goes to Team Vitor's room to report what happened and explain the reasons which led him to do such a thing in the morning. Head coach Vitor Belfort believes the allegations, but thinks he could have acted differently.

The fourth episode marks the competition’s second match in the featherweight division, and Vitor oozes with confidence as his team is up 2-0, while opposing coach Wanderlei Silva tries to build the confidence of his men so they don't feel too bad about the disadvantage.

Vitor, Francisco Filho and Luis Dorea take a different strategy to name a team representative and opponent for the next fight, leaving this decision for the day of the announcement. And the new plan doesn't please everyone, but Rodrigo Damm (Team Vitor) and John Macapa (Team Wanderlei) are chosen.

During the hours before the fight, the two trainers explain to fans the steps for cutting and regaining weight correctly.

Leaving theory aside, it's time for action! At first the two strikers go hard while trading 1-2s. Macapa has the advantage early, forcing Rodrigo to seek the takedown with a single leg. Rodrigo showed his wrestling credentials to get the takedown, but didn't keep Macapa on the ground for long. Standing again, the member of Team Wanderlei was in control until Damm got the takedown again. This time, he was working to pass the guard, which didn't happen, allowing them to get back on their feet, with more bombs being thrown at will.

Round number two began with Rodrigo trying two takedown attempts, but Macapa was alert and his sprawls were accurate. The two failed attempts by Damm made Macapa more confident and he kept the pressure on. An accidental finger in the eye of Macapa stopped the fight momentarily, but did not diminish the aggression of the Team Wanderlei member. And while Macapa had the advantage, he got taken down in the final seconds, which left a doubt in the eyes of the judges, and a third round was needed to undo this tie.

A give and take of punches started in the decisive round, and Damm tried to take Macapa down without any success. Macapa had good combinations with his hands and got off a leg kick. At this point, the titles Damm won in wrestling helped him out of an area of discomfort when he applied a beautiful takedown and began working with punches until passing the guard. With less than 20 seconds to go, Damm took advantage of an attempted takedown from Macapa to try a kimura lock, but this hard-fought battle was going to the scorecards, where Damm won by a 2-1 nod, putting Team Vitor ahead 3-0 in the competition over Team Wanderlei.

"It was one of the toughest fights I've ever done in my life," said the winner of the three round war.

Meanwhile, the leader of Team Wanderlei showed all his indignation with the result, saying that Damm was holding throughout the fight and offered no danger, not even once.

For the next episode, Team Vitor still has the advantage of choosing the fights, and in an attempt to turn the tables, Wanderlei and his coaches will need a new course of action while not letting the team lose faith.

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Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:03 pm
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http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Brasil-Episode-Five-Recap


The result of the fight on episode four of TUF Brasil still resonates in the house as episode five begins. Rodrigo Damm beat John Macapá in a battle that opened the door for many different opinions, but the only ones that count are those of the judges, and they decided that Damm won by a split decision.

The choice of the second middleweight fight made by Vitor Belfort once again provoked debate, and the view that the residents of the house have about Cezar Mutante and his relationship with the team coach leaves room for the word "protection," making things very uncomfortable. Some say that Vitor chooses the less difficult match for his pupil, leaving athletes like Sergio Moraes - who broke down in tears because he felt like he was on the outside looking in - the task to go up against the toughest opponents.

In Vitor’s customary pre-fight selection speech, Wanderlei showed his discomfort, and he took advantage of the absence of Rodrigo Damm, who took the day off, to pepper his rival with technical questions.

Leonardo Macarrão, who had the hardest elimination fight of TUF Brazil, was Vitor's option to face Cezar Mutante. Clearly the reach of Mutante will be a problem for Macarrão, who will also need to overcome the pressure of winning the first bout for Team Wanderlei.

From the training center of TUF Brazil to the house, where Gasparzinho camped out with his baggage in the garden so he is always alerted by the presence of frogs, the rest of the competitors start to get concerned about the mess. Some of the athletes don’t have organizational habits, and the living conditions make a lot of people very uncomfortable. Needless to say, a task force will be needed for cleaning up.

One of the most discrete members of the house, Vina, thinks about the routine of some who seem to have no focus to go to the end of the season. According to the Team Wanderlei member, these guys can't wait to see a camera in order to do something to show off and cause trouble.

Show off? Oh, come on, right Gasparzinho? Impersonating a radio announcer, the hilarious member of Team Vítor teases Damm, saying he is boring, while interacting with Serginho and Wolverine. Damm rejects Gasparzinho's joke and it is clear that the two aren't so friendly with each other, although they are on the same team.

Before the weigh in, Mutante tries to style his shirt with some sayings and makes a mistake when writing "voceis." Mutante becomes the target of jokes from his companions, and they keep pointing his attention to the error that may have left all his Portuguese teachers ashamed.

With his traditional subtlety, one of the most popular fighters that hasn't competed yet, Francisco Massaranduba, gives the formula to solve the problem of the disappearance of Gasparzinho's things and its consequences.

Now it’s off to the fight, and before receiving a straight left that shook him, Macarrão hit two good leg kicks. Losing a chance at the outset, the member of Team Vítor pressured when Macarrão recovered and received a left and a right hand that made Mutante walk backwards. Even with a nosebleed, Macarrão showed better Muay Thai, and he shook Cezar with a sequence of punches. An unsuccessful takedown attempt by Mutante was defended by Macarrão, and even though he went down the second time, they got up to finish the round.

Using the old saying from the early days of MMA fighters - if you want to take me to the ground, I will punch and kick you, and if you punch and kick me, I'll take you to the ground - Mutante applied a beautiful takedown and quickly passed guard. Using his long arms, he was roping Macarrão’s neck before pulling guard and finishing the fight with a guillotine choke at 1:05 of the second round.

"Yeah, I knew I made a great fight, but to me a good fight is the one you win. If I lost it, it wasn't a good fight," said Macarrão.

The winner of the day, even showing weaknesses that could be exploited by future opponents, said, "Fortunately we executed the right strategy. I heard the coaches change the strategy from one round to the other and I got the submission."

Now, the score is 4-0 for Team Vitor, demanding some emergency action from Wanderlei and his staff.

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Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:58 pm
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http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Brasil-Episode-Six-Recap


Despite the declaration of war made by Rony Jason and Delson Pé de Chumbo’s idea of sharing rooms according to teams in previous episodes, the atmosphere in the house remains in harmony.

With the score in favor of Team Vitor, 4-0, episode number six of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil is crucial for the hopes of the coaches of Team Wanderlei. The pressure for a victory was already being felt when Renee Forte was submitted by Daniel Sarafian in the third episode, and at that time the score was only 1-0 for the team led by the former UFC light heavyweight champion, Vitor Belfort. Now with the disadvantage hitting epic proportions, the fifth fight inside the house is all or nothing for the blue team.

Leonardo Macarrão's recent fight may have worked as a motivator for the upcoming fights of his teammates, because while Macarrão was submitted, he showed a strong will and great Muay Thai before succumbing.

Some fighters are already starting to look at what lies ahead, even though Cezar Mutante is saying that the most important is the next fight and not what happens beyond that.

It is clear that Vitor's pupils know that they may face each other soon. With the reality show unfolding, the paths start to get narrow and the choice for the featherweight bout will leave the next fight of the division defined.

In an agreement between the coaches, the sequence of the fights involves only the featherweight division of the house, and Vitor's choice is Marcus Vinicius "Vina" Pancini and Hugo "Wolverine" Viana for the last fight before the quarterfinals.

Back at the house, the athletes that will fight have the right to a "gastronomic spree" one day before the fight, and Vina and Wolverine don't waste time to get this job done.

Godfredo Pepey returns to being the center of attention in the house because of his posture, and the rival team thinks he's cocky. This keeps Pepey away from some, and the first impression they got from him won’t be changing anytime soon.

This week’s fight begins with good movement from both, and Wolverine gets the better punches off before clinching, and Vina responds with a knee to the waistline. Trying to seize the moment, he applies more knees that force Wolverine to let go of the clinch and use his boxing. Separated, Wolverine uses an overhand right, making Vina lose balance.

Later, Vina, a Bahia native, found the perfect distance to get in and out of his opponent’s guard, using his fists well. But a second of lost balance from Wanderlei's pupil made Wolverine finish the round better, and a takedown followed by some ground and pound guaranteed a 10-9 round for the athlete from Team Vitor.

After studying his foe at the beginning of the second round, Vina delivered a strong low kick to Hugo's left thigh. Round two also had a unique moment on the ground when Vina went for the takedown, got a knee, but couldn't keep his opponent on the ground.

Once standing, Wolverine intended to keep the same pace with his striking and leg kicks, but Vina had his best moment with a series of knees in the best Muay Thai style. Wolverine tried to get out of the opponent’s dominance, and despite moving forward all the time, the pace of the second round also affected Vina. Failing to score consistently in those five minutes, he wasn’t able to convince the judges that he deserved the round, and at the end of the bout, Wolverine won via unanimous decision to move forward in the competition.

"What makes us upset is that I know that his ability is far greater than what he showed," said Wanderlei of Vina.

"I'm so happy I could show a little more of my martial art," celebrated Wolverine, a Salvador native.

After the celebrations and lamentations from the two participants in the fight of episode six, Rafael Cordeiro, the most experienced coach of Team Wanderlei, showed his dissatisfaction with the performance of the defeated athlete who was not listening to the instructions of the blue corner.

And while Vitor’s team is now up 5-0, the next three athletes led by Wanderlei - Pé de Chumbo, Massaranduba and Ronny Jason - will have a chance to redeem their team should they get to the finals and, consequently, win the season title. But that’s an arduous task, with five of their teammates already out of the competition and with little motivation.


TEAM VÍTOR

Cézar Mutante (1-0) Submitted Leonardo Macarrão on ep. 5
Hugo Wolverine (1-0) Beat Marcus Vinicius "Vina" by unanimous decision on ep. 6
Daniel Serafian (1-0) Submitted Reneé Forte on ep. 3
Rodrigo Damm (1-0) Beat John Macapá by split division on ep. 4
Thiago Bodão (0-0)
Godofredo Pepey (1-0) Beat Wagner Galeto by split division on ep. 2
Sérgio Moraes (0-0)
Anistávio Gasparzinho (0-0)


TEAM WANDERLEI

Delson Pé-de-Chumbo (0-0)
John Macapá (0-1)Lost to Rodrigo Damm by split decision on ep. 4
Francisco Massaranduba (0-0)
Marcus Vinicius "Vina" (0-1) Lost to Hugo Wolverine by unanimous decision on ep. 6
Reneé Forte (0-1) Lost to Daniel Sarafian by submission on ep. 3
Wagner Galeto (0-1)Lost to Godofredo Pepey by split decision on ep. 2
Leonardo Macarrão (0-1)Lost to Cézar Mutante by submission on ep. 5
Rony Jason (0-0)

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Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:20 pm
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http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Brasil-Episode-Seven-Recap


Since the start of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil, fight selection happened during the episode aired. But with the narrowing of the featherweight division, the last fight of the quarterfinals was determined on the previous episode, leaving fans to speculate all week not just about what would happen in the fight between Rony Jason and Anistávio Gasparzinho, but to discuss the rumors that the confrontation caused.

The last featherweight fight of the quarterfinals matches two guys that are friends outside the house, but that in TUF Brasil represent rival teams. This bout divides opinions inside and outside the house. Through the UFC's social media, many said that the choice is part of being a professional and earning a place in the world renowned Octagon, but at the same time, fans did not like the choice of a match between friends.

In the house, the two fighters in the most talked about fight of the season thus far have a confusion of feelings. The discontent is visible, but it is a mission that must be fulfilled in search of the goal that each one of them had from the moment they signed up for the reality show.

In a private conversation, Wagner Galeto and Jason (Team Wanderlei) talk about Vitor's decision and wonder if Gasparzinho has been scheming with the coach of his team, and also show concern about Jason's cardio. From the green team, Godofredo Pepey talks with Gasparzinho about what he heard from Jason about his performance in the elimination fight. The fighter in the last featherweight quarterfinal claims that Jason has already shown himself to be mentally shaken, and Sergio Moraes is aware of the cardio problem that Jason has.

After the official weigh-in for the fight, Team Wanderlei took the free time to get in their share of teasing, using a Vitor Belfort photo in the training center to glue on a mustache, tie, hat, scar and a tattoo on the belly button. This is common on TUF seasons outside Brazil, but had not happened yet on the Brazilian version. The leader of Team Vítor took the joke well, while some of his men didn't take so kindly to it.

Vítor came up with a clever chat to motivate his athletes, saying that Dana White called him, mentioning that he could replace some of his athletes, those who were less motivated. The idea worked as a motivator, despite the distrust of some whether it was true or not.

Wanderlei and Rafael Cordeiro tried to motivate their athletes, and Vina condemned the method used by the coaches, saying they put everything on the athletes’ shoulders. Jason says that is the athlete's fault, as he’s the one who must understand that it's all or nothing.

The visit of former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida to the locker room before the fight between Jason x Gasparzinho gave a final motivation to the fighters. The statements of both guys are based on workouts they had in the past, but as the saying goes, "training is training, a fight is a fight.”

Once the fight began, the battle only heated up after a short interruption to check on Gasparzinho, who suffered an accidental finger in the eye. Starting again, Jason attempted a front kick, which was defended by Gasparzinho, who came back with a right hand that made Jason go back and get trapped against the fence. Gasparzinho took advantage of the moment and went in with a flying knee, and even though it wasn’t perfect, it knocked Jason off balance. On the ground, Gasparzinho entered Jason's guard and quickly went for the armlock. The submission was very tight and it was only a matter of seconds before Mario Yamasaki interrupted the fight immediately, giving Team Wanderlei their first win in the house.

If all the controversy did not appear during the seconds that the fight lasted, in the post-fight, it came in full force. Wanderlei snapped at Vitor about choosing a match between two friends. The atmosphere was heavy, with a lot being said by the former PRIDE middleweight champion, who has a strong opinion about Vitor.

“[He] doesn't know what a partner is, he has not one friend on earth.”

Vítor fired back, "Sportsmanship. This is a sport. He won [Jason], congratulations.”

Opinions are divided at this time and different points of view are created that will still create much controversy.

With the first victory of Team Wanderlei, the game changes as the choice of the next middleweight fight (Thiago Bodão, Sergio Moraes, Delson Pé de Chumbo and Francisco Massaranduba) will be made by Silva.

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Mon May 07, 2012 12:56 pm
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http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Brasil-Episode-Eight-Recap


If the eighth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil had some changes compared to the previous ones, such as Team Wand choosing this week’s fight, it also revisited some issues from last week, where Anistavio Gasparzinho was submitted by Rony Jason, sparking some controversy about the idea of matches between friends.

The tense atmosphere between the two coaches is back. Vitor Belfort fired back about what Wanderlei Silva said about the last featherweight bout in the quarterfinals, and the differing views of the two coaches still yields much discussion.

For the first time on the reality show, Wanderlei would hold the hammer, choosing the fights in the middleweight division and opting for his fighter, the hard working “people’s champ”, Francisco Massaranduba, to face the quiet warrior Tiago Perpétuo, also known as Bodão.

Despite their distinct life stories, Bodão and Massaranduba both teach lessons about overcoming adversity in their lives. The fighter from Team Wanderlei comes from Amarantes, in Piauí, where he worked hard since he was a child and started late in mixed martial arts. Bodão from Team Vitor overcame a malignant tumor in his childhood, surprising all the doctors in search of his dream.

In the house, Gasparzinho kept his good mood intact, but faced another critic, Serginho Moraes, and both he and Rodrigo Damm tried to stop his jokes.

When it comes to breaking down the fight, Serginho thinks size will be a factor, as Bodão was already in the light heavyweight division (205lbs) and Massaranduba is a lightweight (155lbs). But on the team of the former PRIDE champion, they believe Massaranduba’s will and speed will be vital in earning the second win for Team Wanderlei.

FRANCISCO "MASSARANDUBA" DRINALDO VS. TIAGO "BODÃO" PERPÉTUO

The low kicks from Tiago to set the distance found no defense from Massaranduba, who - on request of his team – tried to counter attack with right and left hands. A knee from Massaranduba before the two clinched made it a little hard for Bodão, who had to show off all his takedown defense with his back against the fence. They soon switched positions and Wand’s pupil lost balance, but he didn’t stay on the ground for too long.

The fight continued with punches and knees from both as they battled against the fence. With 30 seconds to go, the referee separated the competitors, but the striking from long range didn't last long, as they clinched again with the same exchange of blows, ending a close round.

The second round started with Bodão’s high and low kicks while Massaranduba tried to connect with his left hand. At close range, Bodão was dominating, but Massaranduba took him down and got inside the guard in order to punch his opponent. The “people’s champ” couldn’t get a good ground and pound attack going like Rafael Cordeiro suggested, so Bodão pushed him with his feet and stood up. At this moment, Bodão could get him against the fence and land some good knees on his tiring foe. Taking advantage of this moment, Bodão threw some more blows and used a takedown attempt from Massaranduba to take him down and start hammering him with shots from half guard.

The charismatic man from Team Wanderlei tried to get back on his feet, but Bodão pushed his dominance against him, and punched him until the bell called for the end of the round.

The tight first round with a slight advantage to Massaranduba, and the dominance of Bodão in the second round led to a third round. But an exhausted Massaranduba wasn’t in condition to fight five more minutes, even with his opponent – in a rare moment in combat sports - trying to motivate Massaranduba to not give up on his dream. The winner - Tiago Bodão.

"I am very happy and confident," said Bodão. "I'll leave all this strength that I left up there for Serginho, who is next, and he will represent us. Thanks Brazil, Thank you for the support. Oss."

"I'm not invincible, right?" said Massaranduba. "I lost it. You must tell the truth. I'm feeling defeated. I don't like losing, but it comes and we can't do anything, right? Now I'll move on with my career, I can’t stop the time."

Despite representing the rival team, Daniel Sarafian could not contain his tears with Massaranduba's loss. The tough guy showed his emotional side as he felt with his heart the setback from the man he learned to like inside the house.

Next week, it’s Delson Pé de Chumbo vs. Sergio Moraes for the final spot in the semis.

TEAM VITOR

Sérgio Moraes (0-0)
Cézar Mutante (1-0) submitted Leonardo Macarrão on ep. 5
Hugo Wolverine (1-0) beat Marcos Vinicius "Vina" by unanimous decision on ep. 6
Daniel Serafian (1-0) submitted Reneé Forte on ep. 3
Rodrigo Damm (1-0) beat John Macapá by split division on ep. 4
Thiago Bodão (1-0) beat Massaranduba by withdrawal on ep. 8
Godofredo Pepey (1-0) beat Wagner Galeto by split decision on ep. 2
Anistávio Gasparzinho (0-1) lost to Rony Jason by submission on ep. 7

TEAM WANDERLEI

Delson Pé-de-Chumbo (0-0)
Rony Jason (1-0) submitted Gasparzinho on ep. 7
John Macapá (0-1) lost to Rodrigo Damm by split decision on ep. 4
Francisco Massaranduba (0-1) lost by withdrawal to Tiago Bodão on ep. 8
Marcos Vinicius "Vina" (0-1) lost to Hugo Wolverine by unanimous decision on ep. 6
Reneé Forte (0-1) lost to Daniel Sarafian by submission on ep. 3
Wagner Galeto (0-1) lost to Godofredo Pepey by split decision on ep. 2
Leonardo Macarrão (0-1) lost to Cézar Mutante by submission on ep. 5

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Tue May 15, 2012 3:03 pm
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http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Brasil-Episode-Nine-Recap


For the second time in the inaugural season of TUF Brazil, a fight (the last quarterfinal of the middleweight category) was selected in the previous episode, leaving the fans and experts with a whole week to talk about Delson Pe de Chumbo vs. Serginho Moraes.

Before the staredown between the two fighters in the final duel of the middleweight division involving Serginho and Pé de Chumbo, Vitor Belfort - who started winning again after the setback in the last quarterfinal of the featherweight class - recalled all the results of the two divisions.

In the analysis that the two coaches made of the last fight, Vitor hoped Serginho would use his world championship jiu-jitsu to dictate the fight. But he pointed out that he did not see Serginho as committed to his preparation in the house. Wanderlei Silva believed that Pé de Chumbo, with his experience aligned with his standup game, will have the weapons that should give him the victory.

The two jiu-jitsu black belts, who have both won major titles in the gentle art, voiced all the difficulties that they’ve both had before arriving where they are today. Regardless of living in Teresópolis or in the outskirts of São Paulo, the two have come a long way.

The visit of UFC middleweight champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva excited the blue side of the house - and just this side, since the pound-for-pound king of MMA has no sympathy for Vitor. The Spider was part of the old squad of Wanderlei and Rafael Cordeiro (Chute Boxe), and Leonardo Macarrão had his dream come true after training with the champion, who pretended to be knocked out by Wand's pupil.

In this week’s fight, a surprising front kick struck by Serginho in the direction of the face of Pé de Chumbo was the first moment of action in the opening round. The fighter of Team Wanderlei responded with a right hand, but he did not follow up. The two clinched and traded knees until an accidental hit below the belt line of Pé de Chumbo, and the fight was stopped for a few seconds.

When the fight resumed, Serginho took advantage of a kick from Pé de Chumbo, grabbing his leg and taking him down easily. Pé de Chumbo tried to work with the open guard while Wand asked him to stand up. The fight went back up for a few seconds, but in a failed attempt to take the fight to the ground, Pé de Chumbo almost gave away the mount, and in a wrong move he gave his back to Serginho, who did not hesitate. From there it was a matter of seconds until the fighter of Team Vitor applied a rear naked choke and finished the fight between the two jiu-jitsu world champions in the Octagon of TUF Brazil.

"Guys from Vila Olimpia, COHAB, Alliance family out there, from the heart, we're together. I'm very happy, very happy. Thank you everyone who cheered, everybody who believed it," said Serginho, who celebrated before speaking the names of his children and promising better gifts. "My daughter is always with me, Bia and of course, my son, Rick too, that's right, they are always with me. [The victory] was for you. Daddy is coming, the money is increasing, the presents will also be bigger."

Seven members of Team Vitor and only one from Team Wanderlei are in the semifinals of the two divisions (featherweight and middleweight), opening room for a question: How to balance the fights without favoring or harming any competitor? Dana White, the UFC president, has the answer with a direct redistribution of the classified fighters.

The green team of Vitor Belfort, is uncomfortable with the possibility of changing teams, except for Serginho and Thiago Bodão. The two have an opinion about the philosophy of Team Vitor, and what was actually used or not.

Wanderlei sent Vina and Renee Forte without hesitation for Vitor, while a raffle defined Pé de Chumbo would also be a member of the green team.

Vitor, clearly unhappy and emotional, argued about those athletes who could not go to the blue team, so he sent Serginho, Bodão and Godofredo Pepey. The first two ones had already shown their desire for the change, Pepey didn’t.

For the 10th episode of TUF Brazil, viewes will need to stay alert for the crucial changes in the two teams. Team Vitor, winner of seven matches in the quarterfinals, and Team Wanderlei, who triumphed in only one, now have new members. With this situation, former teammates of the green team may face each other sooner than many had expected. Stay tuned next Sunday.

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Mon May 21, 2012 1:08 pm
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http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Brasil-Episode-Ten-Recap


With the change of fighters that resulted in Vina, Renee Forte and Pe de Chumbo going to Team Vitor, and Pepey, Thiago Bodão and Sergio Moraes going to Team Wanderlei, the fights between the ex-teammates are sealed.

At the beginning of episode 10 of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, the semifinal battles between training partners in the house were defined in both divisions by UFC president Dana White:

Hugo Wolverine vs Rony Jason
Serginho vs Daniel Sarafian
Cezar Mutante vs Bodão


As for the fourth bout, Rodrigo Damm, who was going to face Pepey, was not able to continue in the competition. Feeling strong pain in his ribs, Damm (Team Vitor) needed to be taken to the hospital to get checked out, and the doctors said that he was not able to fight.

The bad news united all in the house, who all hoped for Damm to get well soon, but now there is the question of who will replace him in the semifinals.

With no opponent, Pepey said he was ready to fight anyone, but he thought he could advance to the finals by forfeit, because it was fair. This possibility was not taken into consideration, especially because now there is a window for the featherweights who lost in the quarterfinals to have a second chance.

Vina, who lost to Wolverine, was the one blessed with new life in the tournament, and he will face Pepey.

“I am too happy, man,” said the emotional Vina. “Knowing that I can represent my family one more time. My wife will be so proud of me, and my friends, my family. I wanna go up there and fight for all these people like I have been doing all my life.”

Soon after the weigh in, Wanderlei did something to motivate the team, and he brought burgers and fries for everyone. In this relaxing time, Bodão, who came from the green team, said he was divided between who to cheer for, but would be giving his support for his team partner, Pepey. The always honest Massaranduba said that Pepey – his new training partner – was a one style fighter, and that Vina had everything to beat him.

White was there for the first semifinal bouts, and even though he saw different past performances from the competitors, where Pepey played it safe in his fight and Vina went for a dominant win in his qualifier, the UFC boss said that the fight between the two would be tight.

The semifinal fights are three rounds of five minutes each, and Pepey didn't waste time standing up. At the first opportunity he took the fight to the ground and tried to pound away inside Vina's guard. In a scramble, Vina almost got Pepey's back, but ended on the bottom. The fighter from Team Vitor then defended a kimura and started his ground and pound while defending other submission attempts. The fight went back up for a few moments and Pepey pulled guard, but he was being punished with many blows as he went for Vina's arm. Pepey continued to suffer from the punches of Vina until he got a second kimura, reversed the position and attacked with an arm lock from the mount. The fight once again returned to the feet, and Pepey tried to get Vina’s foot in a move like Ryo Chonan did with Anderson Silva, but was unsuccessful in completing the leg lock. The fight was back and forth, with both fighters already showing fatigue in the last 20 seconds of the round, which ended with Pepey trying another armbar.

In the second round, Pepey didn’t try to trade with Vina, and he went for his legs to take him down. Vina worked with an open guard and tried to scrap, and Pepey punched him a few times until he could get to his side. The attack of Pepey made Vina stay on the bottom, but Vina worked his punches from that position despite the green team asking him to stand up. Team Vitor was instructing him, in order to avoid what was coming, but he chose to fight on the ground and Pepey got a kimura. Then Vina gave up on the mount and Pepey changed to an arm lock, ending the fight.

“I’m a damn warrior,” said Pepey, the first finalist. “It’s an eye for an eye. I’d rather see his mom crying than mine. It was a war in there, I had a hard time but I got the victory.”

Very emotional, Pepey also got the respect and admiration from Wanderlei, who had a wrong impression of the fighter.

On Vina’s side everyone saw that the athlete – even though He was not 100% - gave his best. But Vitor was emphatic when he said his pupil made a mistake not listening to his corner.

On the next episode, Serginho and Sarafian will determine who will be the first middleweight finalist, and if that depends on the staredown that both had before the fight, we won’t be seeing anyone taking it easy in this fight.

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Tue May 29, 2012 2:01 pm
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