The eleventh episode of TUF Brazil produced the first finalist of the show in the middleweight category and the one who took that spot was Daniel Sarafian, who knocked out Sergio Moraes with a beautiful flying knee. Now Sarafian is one step closer to his big dream, a contract with the UFC, and for that, There won't be lack of will.
The fight of the Team Vitor standout against Serginho wasn't easy. Sarafian was taken down three times by the world jiu-jitsu champion in the first round. However, in the second round he was able to land some blows till he got the knockout.
"I was a little nervous for several reasons. The fight was earlier than usual. I like to start warming up way before, calmly, and because of that change, I had to do everything in a rush. When I got to the Octagon I was tense, but little by little I started to find myself," says Sarafian, who continues:
“I thought that the way to beat Serginho was by trading with him. But even in that area he has some dangerous punches, some cards up his sleeve that he believes in, with the front kick and the spinning punch. I kept the distance and connected my blows, little by little. In the second round, I landed the first front kick and I saw that he felt it. I followed up on that and got another kick. About the knee, I felt the moment and threw it at him. I think his look gave away that he was going down to try to take me down, and I hit him with the knee. The eyes say everything.”
It was a peculiar situation, as Serginho was Sarafian’s teammate on Team Vitor and went to Wanderlei’s team. That said, besides the friendship built, Daniel and Moraes trained together and knew where each other could be dangerous.
“That was another thing that made me nervous. I didn’t train much with Serginho; I used to do that with Cezar Mutante, and Sergio had the opportunity to watch it many times. He was working out and still kept an eye on people’s training. I think he had more access to what I was doing than otherwise, and that worried me too,” he explains.
Sarafian had an excellent run on the reality show. To enter TUF house, he won the elimination bout against Richardson Monstrão by decision. After that, on the third episode, he submitted Renee Forte with a choke, and now on the tenth episode, he KOed Sergio Moraes.
“It is very gratifying, and it’s a huge step to be in the final. It’s part of the way I have to take to get to my dream, so is very important to be in the final. More than happiness, after the fight I felt relieved. It was a feeling of mission accomplished”, says Daniel, who assures that he has already left the celebrations aside. “I think this story about mission accomplished is in the past now. I’m focused that I’ll have one more fight, a great final, and I’m training hard for that. I’ll do the best I can.”
Sarafian now awaits the result of the fight against Cezar Mutante and Thiago Bodão. The winner will be his opponent in the final, in Minas Gerais, on June 23rd.