If the eighth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil had some changes compared to the previous ones, such as Team Wand choosing this week’s fight, it also revisited some issues from last week, where Anistavio Gasparzinho was submitted by Rony Jason, sparking some controversy about the idea of matches between friends.
The tense atmosphere between the two coaches is back. Vitor Belfort fired back about what Wanderlei Silva said about the last featherweight bout in the quarterfinals, and the differing views of the two coaches still yields much discussion.
For the first time on the reality show, Wanderlei would hold the hammer, choosing the fights in the middleweight division and opting for his fighter, the hard working “people’s champ”, Francisco Massaranduba, to face the quiet warrior Tiago Perpétuo, also known as Bodão.
Despite their distinct life stories, Bodão and Massaranduba both teach lessons about overcoming adversity in their lives. The fighter from Team Wanderlei comes from Amarantes, in Piauí, where he worked hard since he was a child and started late in mixed martial arts. Bodão from Team Vitor overcame a malignant tumor in his childhood, surprising all the doctors in search of his dream.
In the house, Gasparzinho kept his good mood intact, but faced another critic, Serginho Moraes, and both he and Rodrigo Damm tried to stop his jokes.
When it comes to breaking down the fight, Serginho thinks size will be a factor, as Bodão was already in the light heavyweight division (205lbs) and Massaranduba is a lightweight (155lbs). But on the team of the former PRIDE champion, they believe Massaranduba’s will and speed will be vital in earning the second win for Team Wanderlei.
FRANCISCO "MASSARANDUBA" DRINALDO VS. TIAGO "BODÃO" PERPÉTUO
The low kicks from Tiago to set the distance found no defense from Massaranduba, who - on request of his team – tried to counter attack with right and left hands. A knee from Massaranduba before the two clinched made it a little hard for Bodão, who had to show off all his takedown defense with his back against the fence. They soon switched positions and Wand’s pupil lost balance, but he didn’t stay on the ground for too long.
The fight continued with punches and knees from both as they battled against the fence. With 30 seconds to go, the referee separated the competitors, but the striking from long range didn't last long, as they clinched again with the same exchange of blows, ending a close round.
The second round started with Bodão’s high and low kicks while Massaranduba tried to connect with his left hand. At close range, Bodão was dominating, but Massaranduba took him down and got inside the guard in order to punch his opponent. The “people’s champ” couldn’t get a good ground and pound attack going like Rafael Cordeiro suggested, so Bodão pushed him with his feet and stood up. At this moment, Bodão could get him against the fence and land some good knees on his tiring foe. Taking advantage of this moment, Bodão threw some more blows and used a takedown attempt from Massaranduba to take him down and start hammering him with shots from half guard.
The charismatic man from Team Wanderlei tried to get back on his feet, but Bodão pushed his dominance against him, and punched him until the bell called for the end of the round.
The tight first round with a slight advantage to Massaranduba, and the dominance of Bodão in the second round led to a third round. But an exhausted Massaranduba wasn’t in condition to fight five more minutes, even with his opponent – in a rare moment in combat sports - trying to motivate Massaranduba to not give up on his dream. The winner - Tiago Bodão.
"I am very happy and confident," said Bodão. "I'll leave all this strength that I left up there for Serginho, who is next, and he will represent us. Thanks Brazil, Thank you for the support. Oss."
"I'm not invincible, right?" said Massaranduba. "I lost it. You must tell the truth. I'm feeling defeated. I don't like losing, but it comes and we can't do anything, right? Now I'll move on with my career, I can’t stop the time."
Despite representing the rival team, Daniel Sarafian could not contain his tears with Massaranduba's loss. The tough guy showed his emotional side as he felt with his heart the setback from the man he learned to like inside the house.
Next week, it’s Delson Pé de Chumbo vs. Sergio Moraes for the final spot in the semis.
Sérgio Moraes (0-0)
Cézar Mutante (1-0) submitted Leonardo Macarrão on ep. 5
Hugo Wolverine (1-0) beat Marcos Vinicius "Vina" by unanimous decision on ep. 6
Daniel Serafian (1-0) submitted Reneé Forte on ep. 3
Rodrigo Damm (1-0) beat John Macapá by split division on ep. 4
Thiago Bodão (1-0) beat Massaranduba by withdrawal on ep. 8
Godofredo Pepey (1-0) beat Wagner Galeto by split decision on ep. 2
Anistávio Gasparzinho (0-1) lost to Rony Jason by submission on ep. 7
Delson Pé-de-Chumbo (0-0)
Rony Jason (1-0) submitted Gasparzinho on ep. 7
John Macapá (0-1) lost to Rodrigo Damm by split decision on ep. 4
Francisco Massaranduba (0-1) lost by withdrawal to Tiago Bodão on ep. 8
Marcos Vinicius "Vina" (0-1) lost to Hugo Wolverine by unanimous decision on ep. 6
Reneé Forte (0-1) lost to Daniel Sarafian by submission on ep. 3
Wagner Galeto (0-1) lost to Godofredo Pepey by split decision on ep. 2
Leonardo Macarrão (0-1) lost to Cézar Mutante by submission on ep. 5