It was another tough week for Team Nogueira on the previous episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil as Andre “Dede” Ricardo fell to Nazareno “El Tigre” Malegerie by TKO in the second round.
Team Nogueira has gotten off to a rough start so far this season, losing the first two bouts, and this week they put up a fierce striker in Bruno “Bulldog” Silva against one of the odds-on favorites from either side, as Dileno Lopes looks to add another win for Team Shogun.
As we look ahead to this week's episode, one of the most notable parts about The Ultimate Fighter Brazil this season is the friendship shared between all the competitors, even if they are on different sides. Ricardo was clearly distraught these last couple of weeks after losing his mentor and coach Anderson Silva, and now he's also been bounced from the competition, but Nazareno doesn't try to hold the win over his head. Instead, the two fighters share a few moments discussing what just went down in the Octagon.
It's a shared brotherhood between the fighters that doesn't always exist when a certain amount of bad blood gets pent up over the course of the season.
Where frustration begins to mount, and it shows this week, is with the difference in the training sessions and down time spent between Team Shogun and Team Nogueira.
Winning fights always makes living thousands of miles away from home a lot easier, and for Team Shogun after two victories in a row, they are loose and in good spirits as they head into the gym, as well as in the time spent at home. Meanwhile, the fighters from Team Nogueira are as tight as guitar strings just trying to figure out how to get past these recent losses while preparing each other for the next battle ahead.
Tempers flare and things get heated at practice as Rodrigo Nogueira and his brother Rogerio try to keep the team focused amidst more than a few downtrodden spirits after recent losses.
The new episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil also re-introduces the Octagon Girl hopefuls to another get together with the fighters at the house. It's probably been said numerous times by now, but the fighters from the American version of the show are probably cursing the Brazilians because this is two seasons in a row now where they've enjoyed some extra company as 16 gorgeous models compete for a chance to become an Octagon Girl right beside them while training.
This latest trip to the house is another interesting get together between the fighters and the models. Just to give a slight tease as to what's ahead this week, one of the fighters is overheard saying, "if they get in the hot tub, my marriage is over," when the ladies arrive. Remember last week when Bruno “Korea” Mesquita started locking lips with an Octagon Girl hopeful? Well, he's not alone, as another fighter from the show joins in on the kiss parade.
The ladies gallivanting in the house is a nice distraction, but soon enough the fight is upon us and it's time to see if Team Nogueira can finally steal one away from Team Shogun.
If there's one advantage Nogueira has this week, it's the fact that he's been training Bruno Silva for a few years now and he knows him very well.
Silva looked very impressive in his elimination round fight, showcasing a wide variety of strikes, which was highlighted by a front kick to the mush of his opponent that rattled his jaw, as well as a steady diet of leg kicks that helped push him to victory. Silva's kicks might be some of the best on the show, but unfortunately, he has to be careful throwing them in this fight against a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace like Dileno Lopes.
Lopes is a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil from season one when he tried out for the show by going up two weight classes just for the chance to compete for a UFC contract. He eventually fell in the elimination round to the eventual show winner, Rony Jason, but not before rocking his fellow Brazilian early and nearly scoring the upset. Now Lopes is back at a more natural weight class and he's a dangerous opponent for anyone in this competition.
Considering Lopes has possibly some of the best submission skills in the house, combined with heavy hands, he's going to be hard to predict, but knowing that Silva will be looking for the knockout, his best chance for victory will be dragging this fight to the mat and looking for the finish there. Lopes is highly skilled in every facet of the game, but on the ground in this fight it might be a bit of a mismatch. Silva is no slouch, having trained with legendary coaches like the Nogueiras, but it's still an uphill battle to get on the ground with someone as deadly as Lopes.
Team Shogun might go up 3-0 on the latest episode if Lopes can get the win, and that would certainly be even more devastating to an already fragile Team Nogueira. Can Lopes put his team well ahead in the competition or will Silva pull off the upset and score a knockout over one of the favorites in the tournament?
Tune into the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4 on UFC FIGHT PASS to find out.