(Note: The_Vortex was unavailable this week, so I’ll be providing a quick recap…though since it’s so late, think of it more as a refresher before you watch the newest episode.)
I am not happy with you TUF: Brazil. Not happy at all.
I was promised Isabela and Hortência doing MMA. I was promised accusations of alcoholism! Neither of these things has happened yet. Perhaps last week’s teaser was meant as more of a preview for the rest of the season, but I do not enjoy being led on. Et tu, Brasil?
On the bright side, what we do get this week is pretty good, including the kind of unique frivolity only our Brazilian counterparts are capable of. There’s a raft race challenge straight out of Survivor with an accompanying prize for the winners and punishment for the losers. They have to put the rafts together themselves using large sticks and swim rings. Lyoto is excited because Team Sonnen has Cabo Job, a marine. Peregrino says he was a boy scout, which I didn’t even know they had in Brazil. Despite having those two wilderness experts, Team Sonnen looks to be falling behind in the building stage.
Cara de Sapato and Hortência exchange some trash talk, not that it matters since the race doesn’t start until both teams are finished. Just putting the thing together looks a lot harder than most TUF challenges I’ve seen. This is the kind of game I love. It’s physical, it’s fun and the chance of injury is minimal.
Sadly, once the race begins the teams don’t engage in any aquatic Ben Hur shenanigans. Maybe Team Sonnen should have thought about that because they’re falling behind again! Is it the quality of the raft? The bickering between Lyoto and Peregrino? Did they make a mistake leaving Pezão and Bomba behind? They’re the lucky guys who get to sit this one out and hang with the aspiring octagon girls.
Don’t strain yourself, fellas.
Team Wanderlei wins again! They taunt their rivals, asking if they need a towboat. Ugh. I never want to lose to a Brazilian in anything ever.
Even Team Wanderlei loves Hortência.
The losing team has to prepare a feast for the winners. This sounds like an opportunity for spunk sushi. Thankfully, the Brazilians are an honourable lot and they don’t do anything worse than putting too much salt on Marmota’s meal. I really hope that’s not a euphemism for spunk sushi.
Borrachinha’s reaction is delightful. "F**k this, I’m outta here."
Oh TUF: Brazil, how can I stay mad at you?
The match-up for the week is Demente (Team Wanderlei, 2nd overall) versus Bomba (Team Sonnen, 7th overall). Wanderlei’s plan is to send his aces to take out the lower picks so that he can keep control and boost the confidence of his fighters. Bomba expected the match. He used to train with Demente and he speculates that maybe Demente asked to fight him. He feels that Team Wanderlei is underestimating him.
Demente is coming down a class and he looks jacked. Bomba weighs in at just 182, so there will be a noticeable size difference. Wanderlei says that weight and height are an important factor in his fight picks. It remains to be seen what’s going to happen as his options are winnowed, but for now he couldn’t have given his boy Demente a much bigger advantage.
We have a strong contender this week in the octagon girl competition. Ana Cecilia is a taekwondo practitioner with Disney eyes that are nearly enough to make her the frontrunner. Nearly. I’m still riding with Rafaela.
Don’t look at me like that, Ana! I’m not changing my mind.
The initial exchange goes badly for Bomba, and Demente smells blood. Demente gets a trip and moves to mount almost immediately. Both men boast world championship jiu-jitsu credentials, leading to some entertaining scrambles. Bomba is able to get back to half guard, then back to his feet. He’s fast, but wild. Demente slips most of his punches until Bomba ducks under and hits a beautiful takedown. He follows up with solid punches, but Demente survives and it’s his turn to use his jiu-jitsu to stand up. He maintains a hold on Bomba as he does so and transitions into a big slam! Demente is active going for a choke and ground and pound, leaving room for Bomba to scramble for a single leg. Bomba lands a knee on the way up. It’s an excellent first round that has me leaning towards Demente 10-9 due to his takedowns and a couple of close submission attempts.
Demente’s corner asks him not to strike anymore. He listens. A patient approach leads to him scoring another takedown, though he still can’t control Bomba. I’m really impressed by Bomba being able to defend himself effectively especially when Demente looks like he weighs about three hundred pounds when he’s on top. As expected, Bomba pushes the pace whenever they’re on the feet. Demente is visibly fading. His mouth hangs open, making it an easy target for Bomba’s punches. On the other hand, Bomba isn’t exactly fresh himself. All that work from the bottom has taken its toll on him. Bomba goes all out for a takedown, but Demente gets a whizzer and manages to avoid any major damage. He ends the round by dragging Bomba back down to the mat. I have Demente taking the second round 10-9 and the fight 20-18, even if the second round wasn’t always pretty.
The judges agree and that makes it 3-0 for Team Wanderlei. Considering Wanderlei has already used his top middleweight and heavyweight, it would be premature to predict a sweep. Still, it’s a great start for Wanderlei. Team Sonnen better start winning some of these game show challenges or this is going to get ugly.