Augmenting the Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva main event, tonight's UFC 147 pay-per-view from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will stage a pair of finals matches to crown the inaugural winners of TUF Brazil. In the featherweight division, and middleweights " CastroCezar "Mutante" Ferreira and Sergio "Serginho" Moraes
For starters, Rony "Jason" is not an ironic hybrid of popular Brazilian and American names, like Thiago "Bob" or Gustavo "Steve." The Team Nogueira juggernaut pays homage to the infamous slasher film villain and often enters the cage wearing a white hockey mask. Bezerra was anointed as the landslide #1 prospect on Bloody Elbow's 2012 Bantamweight Scouting Report, as he normally fights at featherweight but is expected to become a bantamweight eventually. The BJJ black belt and Muay Thai crusher has finished 7 opponents by submission and 3 by TKO, and his dual-pronged potency elevated him to the finals with a TKO, submission and decision win on TUF Brazil. He was Wanderlei Silva's first pick overall.
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"Pepey" Castro is also a BJJ black belt and is much more of a singular specialist than Bezerra. He submitted a pair of opponents and notched a decision to advance, though he dodged a bullet when heavy favorite Rodrigo Damm was forced out by doctors for kidney troubles when cutting weight. Castro is a good-sized featherweight at 5'11" and is flawless in his MMA career with 6 subs and 2 TKOs, all but one of which were finished in the 1st round.
Continued in the full entry.Renan Barao, under-rated Bellator mauler Genair da Silva, aka "Junior PQD," and a heavily experienced opponent with over 30 fights that Bezerra faced in his 5th outing. His wrestling is decent, his scrambling and transitions are excellent and Bezerra carries himself like the Pitbull brothers in that he's a vicious Muay Thai killer with big power and silky smooth BJJ.
His past level of competition, diversity and training environment makes Rony "Jason" Bezerra an easy pick as the first featherweight winner of TUF Brazil.
My Prediction: Rony Mariano "Jason" Bezerra by TKO.
In the TUF Brazil Middleweight finals, Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira and Sergio "Serginho" Moraes will have it out. Both Brazilians train with reputable stateside camps -- Ferreira at Xtreme Couture and Moraes at Alliance MMA -- and hold black belts in BJJ, but Moraes is more decorated in the gi as a two-time winner of the Worlds (2008, 2011).
Each fighter has submitted all but one of their opponents and their career losses were dealt by fairly reputable opposition: Bellator's Brett Cooper finished Moraes with strikes while Antonio Braga Neto, a world champion BJJ player (who, ironically, was defeated by Moraes at ADCC in 2011) defeated Ferriera by decision and Elvis Mutapcic knocked him out just before his TUF stint.
Though Moraes bested Neto in pure grappling, Neto's physicality and wrestling is what propelled him to a control-based decision over Ferreira. Moraes is amazing on the mat and there's no way to rule out a submission, yet his lack of wrestling should make it a challenge to impose his grappling. "Mutante" should be well aware of Moraes' intentions and keep the fight standing as much as possible, and also probably has the grappling chops to survive on the mat with Moraes. He could score a finish by TKO but I think a competitive decision is more likely to occur.
My Prediction: Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira by decision.