Fighter Brazil's third season, featuring coaches Chael Sonnen and
Wanderlei Silva, continues, only on UFC Fight Pass...
The fallout from the throwdown between coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva has finally died down on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3, and now it's back to the business of fighting for the competitors in the house.
Last week, Marcio “Lyoto” Alexandre was able to finally get Team Sonnen on the board with a win in the middleweight division, but despite the victory, a competition later in the episode handed the control of the fight pick back to Wanderlei Silva. With the heavyweights on deck, Silva makes a curious choice, pitting two friends and teammates against each other, which forces Team Sonnen coach Vinny Magalhaes to remind him of an irate tirade he threw two seasons ago when coaching opponent Vitor Belfort chose two teammates to face each other.
Teammates fighting one another is nothing new in MMA, but given the confined nature of The Ultimate Fighter, these situations are bound to come up more and more often as shows move forward. Sometimes bonds of friendship are actually forged stronger after a fight on the show. For instance, in season two of The Ultimate Fighter, Keith Jardine took on Rashad Evans in a semifinal round matchup, and weeks later, when the series was finished filming, the fighters teamed up again under the tutelage of coach Greg Jackson.
As a matter of fact, Jardine and Evans remain close friends to this day after the bond they built while on The Ultimate Fighter and being teammates for so many years.
Maybe it's a different feeling in Brazil, however, as Silva targets teammates Antonio "Montanha" Paulo Branjao against Vitor "Lex Luthor" Miranda. Both fighters hail from Team Nogueira in Brazil, so how they approach this fight could mean the difference between going home a winner or surviving the last several weeks as a runner-up.
As a special treat this week, coach Chael Sonnen brings the fighters a top-notch training partner to help them get ready for the bouts ahead. Former UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami, who is a close friend and teammate of Sonnen, drops by the gym in Brazil to help all of the competitors as they prepare for their next battles.
Okami was always a force to be reckoned with during his days with the UFC. He even made it as far as a middleweight title shot once upon a time, but fell short in his bid to take home the championship when he faced legendary middleweight king Anderson Silva. Oddly enough, Okami became friends with Sonnen after he lost to the Oregon native. Now they are regular training partners, always helping each other get ready for fights. Okami even stays at Sonnen's mother's house when he's in town, although occasionally he almost gets shot when he arrives unannounced.
While Sonnen's team uses Okami's expertise to help them get ready for the fights ahead, there's still another competition they are falling woefully behind in. It seems with each team building competition where all of Team Wanderlei is pitted against all of Team Sonnen, it's the Brazilian's squad coming out on top. Whether it's quick thinking or superior teamwork, whatever the case may be, this is another area where Wanderlei's team has been trumping Sonnen all year long.
This time around, the ring card girl hopefuls are helping out with a small part in the team challenge, but can Team Sonnen finally get off the losing end of these competitions and bring home a win on the heels of Lyoto's inspiring performance?
Finally, it's down to fight time as the heavyweights square off once again.
Both competitors in this week's matchup won by knockout to gain entry into the house, but where these two separate are in the size and speed categories.
At 6'5", Montanha is a monster of a heavyweight, a much more typical big man that you'd normally see in the UFC. On the other side, Miranda is 6'1" and carries much less bulk and muscle with him, but does have a distinct speed advantage over his opponent. Where Miranda also gains the upper hand is in experience, where he's had 12 professional fights to Montanha's three.
Miranda's technique and skill at distance are where he should have the upper hand on Montanha in this fight. The only problem being, can he avoid the power and strength of Montanha if he does get a hold of him and close the distance? If Montanha can get inside and start pushing Miranda around the cage, it could make for a very long or short night for his teammate.
Can Team Sonnen maintain the edge after picking up their first victory or will Team Wanderlei put a boot back down on the American's throat and get back to their winning ways as they had done in every fight prior to last week? The only way to know for sure is to tune into The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 tonight on UFC Fight Pass.