The fight on the eighth episode of TUF Brazil was, so far, the most exciting of the reality show. Thiago Bodão and Francisco Massaranduba gave their all in the Octagon, and after two rounds, it was necessary to add a third round.
After the break, exhausted, and unable to continue, Massaranduba surrendered. The fight produced one more semifinalist in the middleweight division, the third from Team Belfort, that, besides Bodão, already has Cezar Mutante and Daniel Sarafian.
The winner of the penultimate fight of the quarterfinals in the middleweight division, Thiago Bodão battled against the tough but charismatic fighter Massaranduba. The fight was even in the first round, and the advantage Bodão got in the second round ended up being exactly what he needed to get the victory, which he said came after imposing his will as demanded by his coaches.
"The toughest guys from Team Wanderlei were the last ones, Massaranduba and Pé de Chumbo. I knew it would be a tough fight against any of them. I got Massaranduba and the strategy was to trade standing up. He is a good striker, but I'm a striker and I can absorb punches well. The first round was very even and in the second, Vitor and Luiz Dorea told me to pressure him. I hit him with some knees and I saw that he felt it. I hurt him so much that he didn't come back for the third round, and that was the way to the pot of gold," says Bodão, who also commented on his opponent giving up from the fight:
"Unfortunately, Massaranduba didn't come back. I know he is tough and would still be a pretty tough fight. I know how much this was his goal in life, how important it would be to take the fight till the end, but he couldn’t and thanks to God everything went well for me. It was another victory for the green team."
In fact, it was the sixth victory of the team led by the Belfort against a Wanderlei team that was victorious only in one performance. Besides the fighters in the middleweight division, the green team won the featherweight division also with Godofredo Pepey, Hugo Wolverine, and Rodrigo Damm. Vitor knew how to make the right choices.
"We are almost perfect! The choice of the fights made by Vitor were important but I believe that the way they worked our psychological game made a big difference. I felt like a monster in the fight. In the cage, I thought I was a machine in my prime. They did this very well and matched the fights at the right time when the athlete was at his best. That counts for a lot."
Speaking of choices, Belfort also opted for the controversial fight between Gasparzinho and his friend Rony Jason, the only setback for his team so far. In the eighth episode, Wand again criticized the rival team captain over that.
"It's really upsetting to fight with a friend. I wouldn’t like to, but it is clear that Wanderlei wants to emphasize that as an excuse to argue and try to upset Vitor. It is part of the show. I think it's really an already formed opinion by Wand, but he took the opportunity to poke him!"
Thiago Bodão started in martial arts at the age of seven, in karate. At nine, the fan of movies and the fighting game Street Fighter would have to deal with cancer and would only return to training again at the age of 15. Time passed and today Bodão is a Muay Thai black belt. This whole story came up when the most important fight of his career occurred.
"I think Wanderlei chose me to fight at a great moment. As soon as I entered the house I had some problems, I took antibiotics and that lowered my cardio. But for this fight I was already okay. Thank God I have been reaching my goals," he says.