If you're really into this TUF: Brazil 3 thing, NewChallenger has written a recap of this episode (although mine was first, booya!) It's got all sorts of pretty formatting and pictures too.
I think I might try my hand at this recapping thing.
I've enjoyed what I've seen of TUF: Brazil, which was about 3/4 of the first season and 1/2 of the second. It's a very different atmosphere to regular TUF and Smashes/Nations. More family, more seriousness, way, way more manly tears. The fighters seem to be a bit more humble as well, and really dig the team aspect of the competition.
Anyone watching this season will love the opening few minutes.The gimmicks just appear in waves, and don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic thing.
"THE BIGGEST RIVALRY IN THE HISTORY OF THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER...AND MAYBE EVEN THE SPORT"
Wandy seems to be taking this quite seriously. Then again, Wandy takes everything seriously. Chael hits a sick burn with the "I think he [Wanderlei] genuinely loves this sport, and in many regards, I think he should have left it a long time ago" comment.
Female coaches are also introduced, Hortencia Marcari, a Brazilian basketballer, and Isabel Salgado, a volleyball legend in Brazil. (Disclaimer: As I'm not Brazilian, I'm going to take Hortencia and Isabel's local fame at whatever value the program tells me they're at. I've personally never heard of them)
FINALLY, as if there weren't enough gimmicks to pack this season sky high, they're also doing...something? with picking a ring girl? I dunno, it's not very clear, but it seems like a good excuse to parade a ton of attractive Brazilian women across the screen. No complaints here.
OS ULTIMATECH FIGHTEEEERRRRR
It's time to begin the prelim fights. This season, like many others is two separate 16 man tournaments, one middleweight, and one heavyweight, which means half of these dudes have made a trip all the way over here, and will be sent packing at the end of the day, with nothing but their families along side them and a fresh, new concussion.
This is honestly the part of TUF that I love the most. Some slick editing, some interesting stories, and sloppy fights from guys that can't even cut it on TUF. Since Matt Riddle broke some dudes jaw in Season 8, going trough Deigo Brandao going full Hendo-Murica-elbow onto an albino kid, the opening fights have been some of the most memorable fighting moments in The Ultimate Fighter.
First fight up is a heavyweight fight, Goncalo Salgado against Job "Cabo Job" Cleber. Goncalo is Portuguese, and left his family in Portugal. He hopes to be the first Portuguese in the UFC, and spent some time as THE Cristiano Ronaldo's bodyguard. This is huge. Playing this bit up will presumably be huge in Brazil, given the superstar level player that Ronaldo is. There's even a nice recorded message from Ronaldo, which shatters my suspicion that Ronaldo is secretly just a robot built to look good and play excellent football.
"Cabo Job", or Corporal Job, is a cop, who learnt martial arts as a way of subduing suspects without guns. He seems really tight with his fight team, and they share some moving words. At 34 and only 3-1 in his career, he might not spend too long in this sport.
And we begin. After a quick flurry that ends up with Goncalo catching a kick and basically falling onto Cabo Job, they're able to stand up quickly, and Job is able to jam Goncalo up against the fence for a while. After a bit of shuffling, Goncalo fights off the takedown, and they separate. Goncalo shoots a sloppy takedown, Job paws out some sloppy jabs, and they circle briefly. They clinch up, and Goncalo hits a nice knee. They separate once again, and Job connects with this swinging right hand, which puts Goncalo on very wobbly legs. He pitches forwards, and Job manages to kick him in the face as he's falling, which really puts an end to this fight.
Both Isabel and Hortencia express surprise at the speed of the fight, and Cabo Job and his team are deservedly stoked.
Next up are middleweights Paulo "Borrachinha" Costa and Jose Roberto Rocha, aka "Negao"
Borrachinha describes himself as an aggressive fighter, and his teammates comment on his vanity. He is a very pretty man, so I can understand him flaunting it if he got it. Negao lost his father recently, and has the word 'Pai' (father shaved into the side of his head). Hey, it was motivation for Mike Chiesa, it could work for Negao.
Borrachinha is 22 and 3-0, and even Wandy thinks he's pretty. We only get clips of this fight. Borrachinha is a big 185'er, and uses his size to take Negao down, and grind him down in the first round. It's looking bad for Negao. The second round looks the same. A bit of sparring, then Negao shoots from way far out, and Borrachinha catches him in a nasty guillotine (lifting Negao off the ground!) and ends the fight.
Ewerton "Gigante" Rocha is now squaring off against Jollyson Francisco.
Gigante is a riot cop from Rio, so he's already scaring the crap out of me. He's thinks he's got a mental advantage over other competitors, and and likens fighting to war, and his gear to his weapons. Jollyson's an ex-salesman, and yeah...that's all we learn about him.
Jollyson manages to score with a stiff jab and hit a takedown in the first 30 seconds. He lands in side control, and as they scramble, ends up in half guard near the cage. He's landing some GNP shots, and fighting at a very measured pace. Eventually he works his way into mount and ever so slowly sinks an arm-triangle choke. Good fight for Jollyson, he was able to stay heavy and work his clear advantage on the ground.
Back to the middleweights, as Douglas Moura prepares to fight Joilton "Peregrino" Santos
Moura is married to Duda Yankovich, a former world boxing champ, and she is totally ripped. "Peregrino" is only 21, and holds a 9-2 record already, so he's got the experience advantage over the 29 y/o 3-1 Moura.
Nuts. Only highlights for this fight. Apparently, it was quite back and forth, lots of takedowns, couple of knockdowns, and even after two rounds. It heads into a third, and Peregrino wins a split decision. So, wow, a really close fight.
Felipe Dantas, Monstro, is up next, taking on Edgard "Magrao" Castaldelli"
Monstro quit his job to be here, as he couldn't get time off. He's confident that his faith and skills will carry him through. Margao is going to miss the birth of his first son if he gets into the TUF house. Yeesh. This is what I came to TUF Brazil for! Too many well adjusted guys so far, and not enough tears. I'm ready for some tragedy.
More highlights. Magrao has the height, and Monstro has the power. He utilises good striking defence through the first, and decides to hit a takedown in the second, where he is able to work some vicious ground and pound, opening up a huge cut on Monstro, and earning the TKO stoppage.
Crisitano "Ferrugem" Pontes just likes to fight. He's done Muay Thai, Jui Jitsu, and Capoeira, and as a former Capoeirista myself, I'm hoping for some cool spinning shit when he fights. Wagner "Wagnao" Silva gave up his wife for MMA, and is super stoked for the life changing opportunity of TUF.
The fight starts with a lot of circling and finding range. Wagnao forces Ferrugem against the cage, and converts into into a takedown into half guard. Ferrugem takes some punishment as he tries to stand, and gives up his back. Wagnao hits him a few times, until he hears his corner screaming at him to secure the choke. He slides his arm in, and presto, RNC victory. Quick and painless (for him).
Willian Steindorf is this season's stupid coloured mohawk guy. He's got a purple one, and you know, I don't care about the rest. Always one mohawk guy...Ricardo "Demente" Abreu is in it for the sensation of victory. Demente is a Wanderlei guy, and carries a lot of hype here.
Clips only, and they show Demente locking in a nasty armbar that Mohawk somehow manages to escape. Mohawk survives the first round, but looks mentally gone. Demente takes him down in the second and pounds out Mohawk. Goodbye TUF Brazil 3 stupid Mohawk guy, we hardly even knew ye. Impressive performance from Demente, and Even Chael expresses some interest. It'll be interesting to see if Chael threatens to pick Demente to see if he can get some leverage over Wandy.
Guilherme Viana is here to take on Antonio Carlos Jr, "Capa de Sapato". I don't speak Portuguese, and the official subs seem to show "Show Face", whereas Carlos' anecdote seems to pivot on the fact that his Jiu Jitsu trainer gave him the name based on the fact his face looked like a shoe. Either way, the nickname is hilarious. Viana seems like a tall, bald, heavyweight. Nuff said.
They circle and find range. Shoe Face shoots, Viana sprawls, and they clinch up. Shoe Face wins out on the clinch battle, and manages to end up on top when the fight hits the ground. Viana forces Shoe Face off him, but Shoe Face is back on him, scoring with a couple of elbows in the process. Viana works his way back to standing, and Show face just clobbers him with an overhand right, sending him on Rolles Gracie stanky leg, without the eventual fall. He's out on his feet, Shoe Face gets one more hit, and the referee stops the fight. Definitely the right call, Viana was as out as you can get. Viana doesn't know where he is, asking the doctors if the first round has ended.
And that's the first eight fights!
Holy crap that was a long recap, easily the longest episode of TUF I've ever watched in my life! Some of the fighters looked pretty good, Shoe Face, Demente and Borrachinha being the ones that spring to mind. The female coaches seemed super, super lost. Weren't there any female Brazilian MMA fighters out there? Nothing against them, they're just in the wrong discipline. It's like watching a golf commentator try and call a horse race.
Chael and Wandy didn't really interact, but I'm betting they're going to need to show some heat if they want to push this rivalry angle.
Whether I do more recaps is yet to be decided, but I had fun, and anything in future is almost certainly going to be shorter!