The_Vortex: We’re back for another week. It’s going to get exciting from here. Last week, after all of the preliminary fights were done, the show itself kind of stalled out a little. Wanderlei Silva is demanding that Chael Sonnen apologise about statements he made about Brazil in the leadup to the Anderson Silva fights. He can’t understand that Chael won’t apologise, and is threatening to quit.
I am beside myself with joy. This is the insanity I expected to see Chael involved in during the Jones season, so to have Wandy potentially quitting literally 5 minutes into their first joint coaching duties is genius drama right here.
All the talk of apologising puts me in mind of Chow Yun Fat’s scene from A Better Tomorrow 2, where he demands that gangsters "Apologise to the rice!"
Seriously, watch this movie.
Unfortunately, the Brazilian version of the Ultimate Fighter theme is gone for this season (BOOM! YOU’RE GONNA GET HIT), and we’ve got a stare-y dramatic version of the current theme in Portuguese.
And, over to you NewChallenger. Are you as excited about the chaos as I am, or just ready for some serious fight picks?
NewChallenger: As expected, the whole situation was defused rather quickly so I have to say I’d like to just move on and see these teams put together. Speaking from the perspective of someone who was never picked last during recess kickball, I’m eager to see who goes first. There aren’t too many surprises. Sonnen takes Lyoto first overall, while Wanderlei picks his boy Demente. Cara de Sapato ends up being the first heavyweight taken overall (by Wanderlei). He looked deadly in his qualifying fight. The only one I didn’t see coming was Pezão being the first heavyweight picked by Team Sonnen. His fight with Thiago Santos was so quick and Santos looked so bad. Even Pezão is surprised that he was the top choice. They must know more about him than we do.
Here’s a rundown of the picks (Wanderlei won the coin flip and opted to take the first fight, so Sonnen got the first choice of middleweights while Wanderlei got the first choice of heavyweights):
Lyoto (1st overall)
Peregrino (3rd overall)
Warrley Alves (5th overall)
Bomba (7th overall)
Pezão (2nd overall)
Lex Luthor (4th overall)
Magrão (6th overall)
Cabo Job (8th overall)
A couple of things here. Shouldn’t Sonnen have got to pick the first middleweight and the first heavyweight? It should work out fine as long as he gets to pick the first heavyweight fight. Also, Sonnen refers to his team as "Team No Apology", which is hilarious.
Demente (2nd overall)
Borrachinha (4th overall)
Wagnão (6th overall)
Marmota (8th overall)
Cara de Sapato (1st overall)
Jollyson Francino (3rd overall)
Rick Monstro (5th overall)
Montanha (7th overall)
For some reason, Wanderlei calls out Jollyson as Jollyson "Silva". Brazilian naming conventions continue to mystify me. We also get this delightful exchange:
Sonnen: Don’t call it "TUF 3". Call it the "Wanderlei show". Call it what you think it is, stupid.
Sonnen: Tell ‘em what you think it is.
Wanderlei: Motherf**ker...stop that...stop now! Stop that s**t, mother**ker. You...you so close to stopping s**t, man. You so close to stopping s**t.
Okay, maybe I did enjoy more than just the fight picks. Initial thoughts on the teams and the ongoing s**tstorm between the two coaches?
The_Vortex: I was also confused by Wanderlei picking the first heavyweight, it just doesn't make sense. The teams picked seem solid enough, I was hoping for Chael to pick Demente just to really screw with Wanderlei, but alas, that absolute bomb was not to be dropped.
My favourite part of the team picks is that Bomba and Borrachinha are on opposite sides, so hopefully we’ll get the most attractive fight in TUF history (unless Elias Theodorou from Team Canada picks a fight with a mirror).
Right now, I am totally buying into the Chael and Wanderlei heat. I want to believe. I can’t wait for the fight to be so astonishingly disappointing.
Sorry NewChallenger, you’re going to need to recap first section of the ring girl contest. It’s just so ludicrous, that I couldn’t even put it into words properly.
NewChallenger: We should give credit to Isabel and Hortência for their stunned reactions to the whole affair.
Oh no he didn’t!
Ah, the ring girl pageant. This really could have been its own episode, hell, it’s own show, couldn’t it? Not only do the boys get to sit in the backyard and watch a parade of sixteen bubbly beauties, they also get to mingle with them over BBQ. I once wrote about TUF 18 that every guy from the previous TUFs must have been jealous that they didn’t get to hang out with female fighters. Imagine how they must feel about this episode! Peregrino proclaims them to be gorgeous, though "not as gorgeous as my girlfriend". He’s a smart one. Pezão does his best to play it cool.
I’m a happily married man...I’m a happily married man...
Hortência tells them matter of factly that the girls will be graded on a scale from 1 to 10. For the sake of posterity (and possibly googling purposes), here are the girls that make it through: Patricia Andrade, Fernanda, Rafaela Machado, Tais, Camila Bortolotti, Ana Cecilia, Wendy, and Francine. If they let these girls visit the house regularly, I might explode.
Is there, like, a fight this week or something?
The_Vortex: Wanderlei picks the matchups. It’s a middleweight fight, and he picks Wagnão to take on Peregrino. Chael’s a bit surprised by this turn of events. In his eyes, Peregrino’s younger, hungrier and faster. Wanderlei backs Wagnão thanks to his strength and size advantage. Team Sonnen echoes the words of their coach. Peregrino was in a crazy three rounder against one of the tougher qualifying losers. It seems like an odd choice. I was pretty impressed by the highlights shown for Peregrino’s fight, and I don’t think he’ll be quite so easy to pick off first.
"The Pelegrino" (as Chael calls him) is only 21, and despite having 10 pro fights, he’s pretty nervy about all this. He throws up in training (thankfully we don’t see the footage), but Hortência is there to coach him through it, and calm him down.
And now I’m thirsty.
Nice to see Hortência putting her own experience with vomiting to good use. The Team Sonnen coaching staff is solid so far, especially Sonnen himself. He effortlessly switches from being The Bad Guy to Mr. Nice Guy when it’s time to get down to business. He brings his wrestling expertise to the gym, which is going to be huge for a lot of young guys. The only thing more dangerous than a Brazilian fighter is a Brazilian fighter with a solid double leg.
Sonnen shows a good understanding of the Brazilian TV game when he gives the house a surprise visit. He heads right to the product placement for a delicious "TNT".
I don’t always drink Brazilian energy drinks, but when I do...
The_Vortex: Chael really does seem like a pretty good coach. He also shows up to the house to check that all his guys are on weight, which really seems like a great idea. I just can’t get enough of the product placement in TUF: Brazil. It’s just on another level completely.
Now, we head over to the weigh-ins. Both guys make weight and Peregrino’s a touch under. He says that he usually fights two categories down, and it’s pretty surprising to see a lightweight in a middleweight contest these days. Peregrino puts on some sunglasses and moves around for the staredown, but Wagnão isn’t intimidated.
NewChallenger: I’m glad you mentioned Peregino’s natural weight class because damn Wagnão looks big. Wagnão definitely wasn’t intimidated, saying "My opponent put his glasses on, but I stared right into his eyes and into his soul."
Before the fight, we get to a chance to acquaint ourselves with the first would-be Octagon girl, Rafaela Machado. I said it before, we couldn’t have just kept Camila Oliveira around? I mean...she...
...who were we talking about again?
Please, get the fight analysis started otherwise we’ll be here all day.
No analysis just yet, busy staring at Rafaela...
Peregrino showed some very average fight IQ. After the first couple of clinches and takedown exchanges, he must have noticed that Wagnão held a decisive strength advantage. Wagnão was able to ground him, keep him there and grind him down. Wanderlei was right, it was a bad match up for Peregrino. Peregrino shoots for too many takedowns, begins too many clinches, when he should have kept on the outside, stuck Wagnão with his jab, and scored slowly, like he did in the start of the first round.
NewChallenger: I found the whole affair to be really boring. Neither guy seemed particularly interested in finishing. Peregrino seemed convinced that all he had to do was push the pace and that would be enough to take Wagnão out, but Wagnão was really patient and used his size well. The writing was on the all early even though the action was close enough to warrant a third round. Peregrino couldn’t push Wagnão around like he wanted to and it was Wagnão who got better positions time and time again. Team Wanderlei takes first blood in less than thrilling fashion. Yuck.
The_Vortex: There’s nothing too special happening after the fight. Wanderlei’s happy that Wagnão stuck to the gameplan. Peregrino’s still young, so it isn’t all over for him yet.
We get an awesome "coming up this season" montage, showing more ring girls, challenges, some in house drama, and Wagnão making a terrible life choice.
This is going to be a fun ride, folks.
Next week: Round 2 of TUF: Brazil – The Search For The Next Ring Girl! Also, fighting.