As the American version of the UFC’s landmark reality series comes to a close, the sophomore edition of the Brazilian version is just beginning.

Twenty-eight fighters kicked off the season with a chance to advance to the house and train under the tutelage of coaches Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum. Only 14 would make the cut, fighting their way into the house over the course of the first two episodes of the show, which aired on March 17 and March 24.

The two episodes included seven fights each, with the winner moving into the house and the loser heading home. Here’s how it all went down:

Episode One

Pedro Irie never allowed Wande Lopes to mount any notable offense. Instead, Irie landed early, rocking Lopes. Irie remained aggressive and scored a knockout victory.

Daniel “Gelo” may have landed some early punches versus against Marcio “Pedra,” but Pedra would have the last laugh. He took Gelo to the mat, transitioned to his back and coaxed a tapout via a rear-naked choke.

Roberto “Corvo” suffered the misfortune of sustaining a serious cut on his forehead during a ground-and-pound barrage delivered by his opponent, William “Patolino.” The damage was severe enough that the referee called a halt to the contest and the physician determined that Corvo could not continue.

With his fiancee looking on (as with the current American edition of the show, friends and family were present for the elimination round bouts), Thiago “Marreta” proved to be in better shape than his adversary, Gil Freitas. As Freitas tired in the later stages of the three-round affair, Marreta remained strong and eked out the split decision.

Neilson Gomes remained persistent in seeking takedowns, while also mixing in some boxing, to earn the unanimous verdict over Felipe Olivieri on the scorecards.

The most dominant showing in the first episode’s fights came from Luiz “Besouro.” Besouro held the upper hand in all aspects of the fight and earned the unanimous decision win.

In the final fight of the first installment of TUF Brazil 2, Tiago Alves, a relative newcomer to the sport with only a 3-0 record, used his impressive jiu-jitsu game to prematurely end his opponent’s TUF campaign. Alves took Weguimar “Big Big” to the mat in the second round and locked in a fight-ending kimura.

Episode Two

With good movement from beginning to end, Yan Cabral controlled the majority of the action versus friend and teammate Rony Silva. He was able to bring Silva to the mat and held position on the ground. From there, Cabral sunk in a rear-naked choke to bring a bittersweet end to the fight. Cabral advanced to the house, but in doing so, he also sent his friend home.

Bruno Dias may have held the early edge over Cleiton Duarte “Foguete” on the ground, but cardio became a factor as this fight progressed. Foguete was able to avoid Dias’ takedowns with more frequency in the second and third (tie-breaker) frames. It was enough to grant him the split decision.

Leonardo Santos won his fight against Luciano Contini via a first-round TKO, but he did not get the satisfaction of finishing Contini with strikes. Instead, a dislocated finger led to a referee stoppage.

David Vieira used his reach to his advantage against Leandro “Buscape.” Two strong rounds in terms of striking and grappling gave Vieira the unanimous decision victory.

Juliano “Ninja” was determined to get a submission in his fight with Henrique “Sucuri.” The judges had to give him an extra round to accomplish his task, but after three rounds of persistent takedowns and submission attempts, Ninja was able to take Sucuri’s back and end the fight with a rear-naked choke.

After a slow first round in which Viscardi Andrade and Thiago “Jambo” Goncalves were content to engage in feeling each other out on the feet, things picked up in the second period. Andrade dropped Goncalves with a punch and attempted to follow up with some flurries, Goncalves rose and the two scrambled for position, with Jambo eventually ending the round on top. The judges felt that Andrade had done enough to take both rounds on the scorecards, therefore granting him the unanimous nod.

Vying for the 14th and final spot in the TUF Brazil 2 house, Santiago Ponzinibbio scored a second-round TKO of Thiago Bel in one of the more exciting fights of the elimination round. Ponzinibbio was aggressive and landed good shots that repeated floored Bel. Bel was able to recover on numerous occasions, but eventually succumbed to the TKO finish.

With the field narrowed to 14, the show concluded with the selection of teams. Werdum won the coin toss and opted to select the first fight, leaving Nogueira to pick first in drafting teams.

Team Nogueira will be comprised of Luiz Besouro, Santiago Ponzinibbio, Neilson Gomes, Leonardo Santos, David Vieira, William Patolino and Cleiton Foguete.

Team Werdum will consist of Pedro Irie, Yan Cabral, Tiago Alves, Viscardi Andrade, Marcio Pedra, Juliano Ninja and Thiago Marreta.

With teams selected, the episode came to a close. Next week, the fights will begin with Werdum selecting the first match-up.

Photo: TUF Brasil 2 Logo (Zuffa, LLC)

About The Author

Aline Bak
Staff Writer, Brazil

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Aline began watching MMA with her father during the heyday of Pride in the early 2000's. Her passion for the sport soon turned to the UFC not long after. After attending UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro and UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Aline was asked to recount her experience for Tatame—one of Brazil's biggest media outlets—and thus began her writing career. In addition to her work for The MMA Corner, she maintains her own site about MMA.