With the change of fighters that resulted in Vina, Renee Forte and Pe de Chumbo going to Team Vitor, and Pepey, Thiago Bodão and Sergio Moraes going to Team Wanderlei, the fights between the ex-teammates are sealed.
At the beginning of episode 10 of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, the semifinal battles between training partners in the house were defined in both divisions by UFC president Dana White:
Hugo Wolverine vs Rony Jason
Serginho vs Daniel Sarafian
Cezar Mutante vs Bodão
As for the fourth bout, Rodrigo Damm, who was going to face Pepey, was not able to continue in the competition. Feeling strong pain in his ribs, Damm (Team Vitor) needed to be taken to the hospital to get checked out, and the doctors said that he was not able to fight.
The bad news united all in the house, who all hoped for Damm to get well soon, but now there is the question of who will replace him in the semifinals.
With no opponent, Pepey said he was ready to fight anyone, but he thought he could advance to the finals by forfeit, because it was fair. This possibility was not taken into consideration, especially because now there is a window for the featherweights who lost in the quarterfinals to have a second chance.
Vina, who lost to Wolverine, was the one blessed with new life in the tournament, and he will face Pepey.
“I am too happy, man,” said the emotional Vina. “Knowing that I can represent my family one more time. My wife will be so proud of me, and my friends, my family. I wanna go up there and fight for all these people like I have been doing all my life.”
Soon after the weigh in, Wanderlei did something to motivate the team, and he brought burgers and fries for everyone. In this relaxing time, Bodão, who came from the green team, said he was divided between who to cheer for, but would be giving his support for his team partner, Pepey. The always honest Massaranduba said that Pepey – his new training partner – was a one style fighter, and that Vina had everything to beat him.
White was there for the first semifinal bouts, and even though he saw different past performances from the competitors, where Pepey played it safe in his fight and Vina went for a dominant win in his qualifier, the UFC boss said that the fight between the two would be tight.
The semifinal fights are three rounds of five minutes each, and Pepey didn't waste time standing up. At the first opportunity he took the fight to the ground and tried to pound away inside Vina's guard. In a scramble, Vina almost got Pepey's back, but ended on the bottom. The fighter from Team Vitor then defended a kimura and started his ground and pound while defending other submission attempts. The fight went back up for a few moments and Pepey pulled guard, but he was being punished with many blows as he went for Vina's arm. Pepey continued to suffer from the punches of Vina until he got a second kimura, reversed the position and attacked with an arm lock from the mount. The fight once again returned to the feet, and Pepey tried to get Vina’s foot in a move like Ryo Chonan did with Anderson Silva, but was unsuccessful in completing the leg lock. The fight was back and forth, with both fighters already showing fatigue in the last 20 seconds of the round, which ended with Pepey trying another armbar.
In the second round, Pepey didn’t try to trade with Vina, and he went for his legs to take him down. Vina worked with an open guard and tried to scrap, and Pepey punched him a few times until he could get to his side. The attack of Pepey made Vina stay on the bottom, but Vina worked his punches from that position despite the green team asking him to stand up. Team Vitor was instructing him, in order to avoid what was coming, but he chose to fight on the ground and Pepey got a kimura. Then Vina gave up on the mount and Pepey changed to an arm lock, ending the fight.
“I’m a damn warrior,” said Pepey, the first finalist. “It’s an eye for an eye. I’d rather see his mom crying than mine. It was a war in there, I had a hard time but I got the victory.”
Very emotional, Pepey also got the respect and admiration from Wanderlei, who had a wrong impression of the fighter.
On Vina’s side everyone saw that the athlete – even though He was not 100% - gave his best. But Vitor was emphatic when he said his pupil made a mistake not listening to his corner.
On the next episode, Serginho and Sarafian will determine who will be the first middleweight finalist, and if that depends on the staredown that both had before the fight, we won’t be seeing anyone taking it easy in this fight.
TUF Brasil - Episode Ten Recap
Read on for a recap of the tenth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil..