We’ve come a long way from the days of Willa Ford.
NewChallenger: Alright, time for another exciting installment of the best TUF series around. I…wait…what’s that…could it be…
The_Vortex: That’s right, I’m back! Hold your applause, please. Still no internet at home, but it’s important to prioritise some things in your life, and TUF: Brazil is clearly one of those things. Very excited here, we’ve got two fights in an episode, and, we start this episode with the most important thing first: that’s right, we’re deciding the finalists of Miss Ring Girl TUF: Brazil 3 2014!
And poor Lex is still petrified.
Because the guys might have been paying attention to other things at the fights (like, say the fights), they get to watch a highlight reel of the girls shaking it. Probably the best afternoon that anyone on this show has ever had, ever.
Any thoughts? Any early predictors of ring girl glory?
Also: please hold your celebration of my return until the end of the episodes. Don’t forget to go by the gift shop on the way out.
NewChallenger: Being a professional fighter is hard work, no?
Rafaela is not one of the two finalists so this whole competition is invalid. Ana Cecília is the first finalist. No lesser authority than Rick Monstro himself proclaimed her to be the prettiest, so I guess I can’t argue with that. The second finalist is Fernanda Hernandes, a curvy blonde. Magrão justifies the selection by saying she’s curvier than the American ring girls. He put way more thought into that than he had to.
I guess this makes them the Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez of TUF: Ring Girl.
The weird thing is that neither Fernanda or Ana Cecília are on octagon duty later in the show; instead, we get the pros Camila Oliveira and Jhenny Andrade. Maybe they already flew the finalists out to Las Vegas? We should probably stop thinking about this and just move on.
Sonnen: "I know you get scared and I know you get nervous and I know you get excited and I know you feel every emotion that a human feels. Not one of those emotions is going to help you in there. The only thing that matters in sports or in life are your actions. Actions is what wins fights. This is the only thing that matters. It is not the best fighter that wins, it’s whoever fights the best."
But who cares about that because we get possibly the best guest star of the season: TUF: Brazil 2 assistant coach Eric Albarracin! I just love this guy. Are you familiar with his work?
The_Vortex: Eric Albarracin: Team Nogueira wrestling coach.
Eric Albarracin: Former US Army Captain.
Eric Albarracin: Jumps one hell of a jump rope.
Eric Albarracin: Completely bonkers.
One of these men is an army captain.
Eric is fantastic. He was a key part of the best moment of TUF: Brazil 2, when Fabrício Werdum legitimately kidnapped him, and bombarded the house like an invading army.
Eric being here softens the blow of Rafaela losing the ring girl contest.
Eric brings a lighter side to Team Sonnen training (once again), with a jump rope exercise.
NewChallenger: An insane jump rope exercise.
I can barely double dutch.
The_Vortex: Team Silva, on the other hand, are taking no prisoners. They’re beating each other up, to simulate fight training.
NewChallenger: No kidding. It’s in sharp contrast to Team Sonnen who are focusing on their cardio. Wanderlei Silva even has Rick Monstro and Cara de Sapato going at it, which is interesting because they could potentially face each other in the finals.
The_Vortex: Both Warlley and Wagnão are ready for this fight, but we go to weigh-ins, and another surprise guest…
NewChallenger: You might say it’s tiiiiiiiime for another surprise guest. Get it? Get it?
It’s Bruce Buffer.
The fighters are over the moon that the voice of the octagon is at the facility. In all these editions of TUF, he’s never made an appearance on the show. It’s crazy what a legend he is in the fight business for someone who doesn’t actually compete. I’ve always loved his enthusiasm for the sport and you can tell he’s having a great time on the show. He handles the weigh-in commentary, referring to Wagnão as "Wagner". I’d make a Das Nibelung joke here, but my Portuguese pronunciation is suspect so maybe he’s doing it right.
They announce that the finalists will get an all expense paid trip to Las Vegas to see a UFC event. Please have them travel with the ring girls and film it! I will watch this!
The_Vortex: You’re forgetting the most important part of the weigh-ins. Eric brings Team Sonnen mustaches to wear, because "it’s a symbol of manly respect". Brilliant.
NewChallenger: I feel like we should explain this further for the readers but…just watch the gif, folks:
No further explanation needed.
TUF: Brazil…it’s so good. As for the fight, I expected it to be a close one. My prediction was slightly off.
The_Vortex: Whoah yeah it was. I thought we’d get a bit of a grinder of a fight. Instead, flash submission, They come out, exchange leg kicks, and Wagnão charges in. Warlley catches him in a guillotine, and sinks it. Wagnão can’t get his head back outside, and can’t get rid of Warlley. He taps within 25 seconds.
Ow ow ow ow ow ow…
Warlley’s stoked, and breaks out into a chorus of Viva Las Vegas.
No self-respecting bookie would take action on the winner not singing Viva Las Vegas afterwards.
NewChallenger: Lex Luthor points out that Wagnão is considered one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the house and he got subbed by Alves who is primarily a striker.
The_Vortex: Chael can’t stop extolling Warlley’s speed and techniques. The last time Chael was this excited about a middleweight prospect was Uriah Hall. Hmmm.
Chael even calls out 2015 Weidman. Hey, gotta aim high.
NewChallenger: You just had to bring up Uriah Hall, didn’t you? Sonnen’s exact words are: Chris Weidman, you better get in the gym ‘cause somebody’s’ comin’ for ya! Vintage.
The_Vortex: So, straight onto preparation for the next fight.
NewChallenger: The separation from family and personal issues with Pezão are taking their toll on Cara de Sapato. He feels like his sense of humour has been misinterpreted. The situation brings him to tears. I look at it as Pezão just motivating himself, finding a reason to dislike Cara de Sapato. Or maybe Cara de Sapato needs to stop touching him so much. A call from Junior dos Santos lifts Cara de Sapato’s spirits just in time for him to get into the cage with Pezão.
His spirits might have been lifted a little too high. Pezão has a considerable weight advantage, which doesn’t stop Cara de Sapato from throwing heavy leather with him! Cara de Sapato goes for a takedown against the cage. He’s able to avoid the guillotine choke that felled his teammate earlier. To nobody’s surprise, Cara de Sapato has the superior cardio and he doesn’t give Pezão a second to rest. He scores a takedown from behind then goes for a rear naked choke! Pezão taps, but still goes unconscious. Damn, another quick finish!
The_Vortex: Pezão going out was pretty crazy. It’s not like Sapato torqued the submission after the tap, or even held it awhile. Delayed reaction naptime.
Sapato looked good, and he’ll be a solid light heavyweight in the UFC. He weighed in at 212, so I don’t think there’s any chance he’s going to stay with the fat boys in the big show. Team Wanderlei is going bonkers at having snapped a five fight losing streak, but, continuing the good sportsmanship we’ve seen this week, Sapato still finds the time to speak to Pezão.
Pezão is understandably distraught, even saying that he needs to rethink his life. He seems to have calmed down in the confessional, and gives a great speech to Chael about what a fantastic dude Chael is, negative perceptions be damned. I think this bit is quite legit, as friendly Chael seems able to win anyone over, as well as coming across as really genuine.
NewChallenger: Loved, loved, loved Pezão’s reconciliation with Cara de Sapato and the heart to heart with Sonnen after. It got real MTV up in there for a minute. I don’t know if Pezão has a future in MMA to be honest, but I’ll remember him as a solid cast member. As he said himself, just making it onto the show was a miracle for a guy whose life was going down a dark path just a few years ago.
The_Vortex: This was a great episode, entertaining as hell, some good action, and great guests. Robbery of the year goes to anyone not named Rafaela Machado continuing in TUF: Ring Girl, but I might, MIGHT be over it by next week. Any thoughts NewChallenger?
NewChallenger: This was a great episode, wasn’t it? Let us appreciate the show now while it’s still relatively fresh, before it goes the way of its over-saturated American brethren. There is such a wonderful liveliness to the characters and a lack of cynicism, I’d recommend any of the three seasons for anyone who still likes the concept of TUF but is tired of what the original show has become. I’m already sad inside that next week is the finale.
Cap off your triumphant return with some closing words, Australia.
The_Vortex: That was one hell of an episode to return for. We’re getting two fights again next week, and it’ll be sad to see everyone go. I’m definitely looking forward to whatever inspiring speech Chael has stored away for the season end, it’s going to be something else!