The_Vortex: Finally, the waterworks have begun. It’s not TUF: Brazil without tears, and this episode is really the most teary of them all. We start by getting back to Lyoto’s foot (disclaimer: not actually Lyoto Lyoto, just a rangy Brazilian karateka that also strikes reasonably well). It’s not broken, which is a relief, but he’s going to have to rest it for a few days. I’m not convinced he’ll be fully healthy for his next fight, and he’s pretty evasive about his recovery time.
NewChallenger: It’s not looking good for our boy Lyoto. Shame too since he’s interesting to watch and seems like a cool dude. First Capo Job, now this? I don’t think I have any tears left.
This week’s heavyweight match-up is Montanha (Team Wanderlei, 7th overall) versus Vitor Miranda aka "Lex Luthor" (Team Sonnen, 4th overall). I still can’t believe Team Sonnen lost this pick because of one of those ridiculous challenges. If they’d kept it, maybe we could have avoided some of the drama this week. As it turns out, Montanha and Lex Luthor are friends who have trained together in the past.
Neither guy is too happy about it, but they don’t protest. It’s Vinny Magalhães who brings up the season 1 incident where Vitor Belfort picked Rony Jason to fight Gasparzinho. Those two actually lived together and were like brothers, so it was extremely distressing when Jason ended up breaking Gasparzinho’s arm. Wanderlei Silva threw a s**t fit at the time, though he doesn’t seem to have a problem with it now. Hypocrite much?
Magalhães: "He’s a false moralist. He says one thing, but he does another."
I’m with Vinny on this one, which is weird because I don’t like Vinny all that much. Do you feel Wanderlei was able to justify the selections?
The_Vortex: The biggest crime of this series is making Vinny seem likeable. Everyone seems a bit disappointed by the selections, including the fighters, and Wanderlei seems to be the only one unaffected.
Back at the house, it’s the "filthy house" episode. Unsurprisingly, sixteen combat athletes, focused only in punching each other in the face, are really bad at doing their dishes. Cara de Sapato is the one that get aggravated, strutting around and whinging at the whole green team about disrespect. Wagnão, Peregrino, Lex Luthor and Demente end up cleaning everything, whilst Sapato sits outside and has a bit of a b*tch fit. He doesn’t touch a dish.
Chael faces off against an old nemesis.
Hortência also learns some more jiu-jitsu, and again, it’s Bomba who’s the lucky victim. He collapses when she sinks in a choke, and everyone plays along, getting the medics ready. It was pretty obvious, but even so, hilarious all the same.
It works better if you don’t smile the whole time.
NewChallenger: Okami looks bigger than some of these heavyweights, doesn’t he? Massive dude.
These training segments with Hortência just slay me. I can’t explain it. This Brazilian cast is the best. Isabel seems a lot more reluctant to join in on the fun and games, though her personality is more reserved overall. Nothing wrong with that. Here, we get to see her learn some striking from Marmota. He says that she’d be able to beat up Hortência with her long limbs.
The_Vortex: Hey man, Isabel’s almost got Dan Kelly level striking! (too soon?)
NewChallenger: This week’s challenge is "The Bridge" and I’m already excited because it involves the octagon girls. The fighters have to stand in a line holding planks while the ladies walk over them. The pair holding the planks have to move to the end of the line to keep the bridge going and so on and so forth. The winning team gets a day at the spa.
These two would make some beautiful babies.
I feel like the girls themselves could affect the results. It would have been hilarious and cruel if the teams had to pick the girls like it was a recess kickball game. However they chose the girls, Team Wanderlei wins handily again. Why are they so much better at these games?
The_Vortex: Team Wanderlei’s got the skills that kills. Maybe not all the fight skills, but they’re clearly training hard to win these wacky minigames. Team Wanderlei certainly enjoys their time off, and maybe Marmota enjoys it a little too much…
Translation-Phrasing – Boom!
NewChallenger: It is a crime, a crime I tell you that they didn’t show us more of the fighters’ day at the spa! This could have been half an episode right here. At least what we got was spectacular. And Jollyson Francino certainly made the most of it:
Francino: "This is so great. Too bad our friends couldn’t make it. They didn’t win this prize. We won. But that’s fine. I’ll enjoy it in their place."
Jollyson: "I’m a new girl!"
The_Vortex: Afterwards, Chael Sonnen shows up at the house with a sh*tload of food. It’s for fun, and Borrachinha ends up asking Chael about his opinion on Brazil. Chael’s evasive, in a fun way, and promises to tell him his real opinion before he leaves. Marmota’s having none of this. Something something loyalty something patriotism something team something something.
Not much of a fan of Marmota, his confessionals are painting him as way, way too obnoxiously serious.
NewChallenger: Methinks that Marmota is auditioning for the role of Dida in Wanderlei’s gang after the show is over. He’ll fit right in with all that nonsense.
The_Vortex: Montanha used to be a fat kid. He’s turned that around, and describes himself as very competitive. The training’s harder than the fight, in his opinion, and because of that, it doesn’t really bother him that he’s fighting a friend.
NewChallenger: Lex Luthor comes from a basketball background, which makes me like him even more. I’ll be sorely disappointed if we don’t get to see him play some pick-up ball with Hortência at some point. He experienced a great tragedy in 2011 when his 4-year old son passed away in a pool accident. I’m surprised that he’s able to recount this story with such composure.
The two friends agree to wear sunglasses and a cap to the weigh-in to make it less awkward. It may have had the opposite effect.
Two crude dudes.
There’s not a lot of suspense for heavyweight weigh-ins, is there?
The_Vortex: Fantastic weigh in there. It really highlights how ridiculous the whole damn thing is. Lex is smaller and has a shorter reach. Again, he’s probably a light heavyweight, but being nine years older, and having nine more pro fights, he’s got an experience edge.
NewChallenger: This week’s octagon girl contestant is Camila Bortolazzo. She’s hoping this gig will open up other opportunities for her. I don’t like that. You should aspire to be an octagon girl FOR LIFE.
Already looking beyond the cage…
Back on TUF 17, Sonnen helped Tor Troéng warm up by using his body like a human rolling pin to massage Troéng. He continues that tradition here by massaging Lex Luthor’s head and ears. Weird. I’m not a professional fighter. What do I know?
The_Vortex: As the fight begins, they circle for a while, and Lex lands a heavy leg kick. Montanha bulls him against the cage, and holds him there for a while. Lex Luthor lands some hits and is eventually able to reverse position. Montanha eventually re-reverses, and still tries unsuccessfully for a takedown. Eventually they break away, and Lex Luthor is able to maintain his range and strike a little. Montanha trips over himself, and falls down into butt-scoot position, where he remains for a minute or so, while Lex kicks his legs, and lands one sick looking body punch, unwilling to jump into his guard. With just under a minute to go, he’s stood up. They circle, until Montanha is backed into the cage. Lex Luthor lands a beautiful three punch combination that drops Montanha like a rock, and punches him until he gets the stoppage.
NewChallenger: I was really impressed by Lex Luthor. Calm, composed and patient…he waited for an opening and that was it for Montanha. With all due respect to Montanha, it didn’t look like he had much to offer offensively and it was only a matter of time until Lex Luthor found a way to put him down.
The_Vortex: Lex Luthor doesn’t seem overjoyed, fair given the circumstances, and the green team cheer for Montanha as the results are read, which was some really nice sportsmanship.
This isn’t where Yushin parked his car…
And now, as promised, and for very good reason really, the tears begin…
NewChallenger: Montanha, Lex Luthor, Hortência, Francino, me…everyone is crying. It’s glorious. Lex Luthor is actually loudly sobbing, just overcome with all kinds of emotions. He even apologizes to Montanha after. Montanha, showing what a star he is, tells his team that they should focus on the upcoming fights for Marmota and Francino. Oh man, here I go again…
Team Sonnen finally gets to pick a fight! Yay! Hmm…what’s that? There’s only one possible match-up left in each division? Oh.
Next week: Is it time for the Coaches’ Challenge already? This season is just flying by. I guess that’s how it is when TUF is actually good.