The entire UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Brunson card in Sao Paulo, Brazil featured Brazilian fighters against foreign opponents. Brazilians finished with a record of 9-3, but if we’re being honest, the majority of the attention will (rightfully) be placed on the main and co-main events, which saw both Lyoto Machida and Demian Maia defeated by their respective American foes, Derek Brunson and Colby Covington.
Machida’s violent KO loss to Brunson is a continuation of Brazilian fighters losing UFC main events in their home country.
November 2016: Ryan Bader def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO
March 2017: Kelvin Gastelum def. Vitor Belfort by TKO (overturned to no-contest because Gastelum tested positive for marijuana)
June 2017: Max Holloway def. Jose Aldo by TKO
October 2017: Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida by KO
The last Brazilian to win a UFC main event in Brazil is Cris Cyborg, who thrashed Lina Lansberg in September 2016. That fight was preceded by then-heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum losing by KO to Stipe Miocic in Curitiba. In effect, Brazilian fighters have been knocked out in front of their home fans five times in just over a year.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that Nogueira, Belfort, and Machida are all roughly 40 years old, and they are way well past their primes. Jose Aldo is only 31, but his days as a championship level fighter appear to be over, and it’s not a given that his career will last much longer.
One can only wonder who the next generation of Brazilian UFC headliners will be. The longtime favorites are the ones who can sell out arenas but are now losing badly and often violently.