Last week, on episode nine of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, Sergio Moraes earned the final win of the quarterfinals and helped Team Vitor improve to 7-1 in the competition. However, shortly after Moraes’ win, coach Vitor Belfort was told that the teams would have to be redistributed as a result of Rony “Jason” Mariano Bezerra being the only Team Wanderlei fighter to advance. Subsequently, Belfort—knowing in his own mind that rival Wanderlei Silva might not respond well to coaching Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira or Daniel Sarafian—declared with a heavy heart and an overflow of emotion that Moraes would join Godofredo “Pepey” de Oliveira and Thiago “Bodao” de Oliveira Pereptuo in the trio’s move to Team Wanderlei. In exchange, Belfort would be receiving Team Wanderlei’s Marcos Vinicius Vina, as well as Renee Forte and Delson “Pe De Chumbo” Heleno.

This week, on the tenth episode, UFC president Dana White delivers the picks for the semifinals of the competition, with the victors from all four semifinal bouts moving through to their respective division’s final at UFC 147. In the middleweight division, Moraes will face Sarafian, while Belfort’s prodigy “Mutante” will face “Bodao”. In the featherweight division, Bezerra will contend with Hugo “Wolverine” Viana, with the original intention being for the winner to wait in the wings for the victorious party in Pepey’s semifinal bout, which will come against arguable season favorite Rodrigo Damm.

Pepey vs. Damm is the original intention in mind for one of the season’s two featherweight semifinals, and it’s not hard to understand why White and the coaches are intrigued by the fight, given Damm’s publicly-recognized credentials and his jiu-jitsu game—which could easily neutralize Pepey’s own strengths. However, that initial intention is shaken when we visit the house and find Damm in tears because the physical pain in his back is now uncontrollable and treatment is necessary. Damm does not want to go through the process of treatment, as it may mean elimination from the competition, but the rest of Team Vitor recognizes the severity of the injury and talks him into it. Even Pepey assesses the situation by saying he wants a good fight, and Damm’s back is in no condition to deliver on that, as everyone at the house agrees.

Later, we find out that Damm has suffered kidney damage as a result of dehydration and will not move on with his bout against Pepey. Pepey is told to cease cutting weight until further instruction is given, and not too long afterwards, we learn that someone will replace Damm and earn a second shot at moving through to the finale. We later find out that Vina will fill in for Damm against Pepey and Vina tears up at the news that he will get one more chance at becoming the next featherweight Ultimate Fighter.

The fighters are set after having made weight, Mario Yamasaki is set, and we are set for our featured bout. Just as a reminder to all, we are scheduled for three five-minute rounds for all of these semifinal affairs. Will Vina redeem himself or will Pepey ensure that he is the man to move one step closer to becoming the next featherweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter?

FW Semifinal: Godofredo “Pepey” de Oliveira vs. Marcos Vinicius “Vina” Borges Pancini

Round 1 begins with Pepey immediately taking this bout to the ground. Vina sweeps to the top and escapes a kimura attempt as well as an armbar attempt. Pepey is unable to do much against Vina’s ground and pound from the top but uses a kimura attempt to gain top position before both men reset to stand-up. Vina avoids a crazy leglock attempt, and the rounds ends with some rather breathtaking transitions in the final minute. Vina ends the round on top, while Pepey looks for another kimura attempt.

Tough round to score, but Vina may have taken that round 10-9.

Round 2 sees Pepey takes the fight to the ground again, but this time, Pepey is clearly more active than Vina on the ground. Pepey loses a shot to get Vina’s back and lets him enjoy the top position temporarily. Pepey looks for a kimura that is not there but finds a straight armbar and secures the tap out, punching his ticket to the featherweight final at UFC 147!

Official result: Godofredo “Pepey” de Oliveira def. Marcos Vinicius “Vina” Borges Pancini by submission (armbar). Round 2

Team Wanderlei enjoys this moment with Pepey, while Belfort tries to support Vina. Afterwards, Sarafian vs. Moraes is announced for next week, and the coaches’ challenge will also happen next week. Will Sarafian end Moraes’ UFC dreams, or will Moraes move one step closer to becoming the next Ultimate Fighter?

Photo: Godofredo Pepey (third from right) may not be Team Vitor anymore, but it didn’t stop him from earning his spot in the featherweight final of TUF Brazil. (Tatame)

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.