One house, 16 fighters. It might not seem all that daunting, but each season, The Ultimate Fighter’s format takes a toll, both mentally and physically, on the fighters seeking to snag that six-figure contract. While TUF Nations prepares to conclude with this week’s episode and next week’s finale, the third installment of the Brazilian version of the UFC’s landmark reality series continues to keep on rolling.

On the fifth episode of the show, coach Wanderlei Silva looked for a third consecutive win in the competition, while Chael Sonnen looked to finally wrestle the control into the hands of his team. Silva selected the first middleweight bout of the season, as well as the first heavyweight bout, so who would he choose next? It didn’t take long for Silva to decide, as he chose his first middleweight pick, Ricardo Abreu, to take on Team Sonnen’s fourth pick, Guillerme Vasconcelos.

Before the two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champions did battle inside the Octagon, both teams participated in a team challenge, where the losing team had to serve a special feast to the winning team. The challenge involved building rafts and rowing, which both teams worked to do diligently. Ultimately, Team Wanderlei succeeded in assembling their raft first and rowing it around the buoy, thus winning the team challenge.

While Team Sonnen began to show frustration with their recent losses, Vasconcelos focused on preparing himself in all aspects of the fight in order to combat Abreu. The two once trained together, and Vasconcelos actually questioned if Abreu asked Silva personally to fight “Bomba.” Regardless of whether there is any truth to that, Vasconcelos and Abreu needed to expect everything from the other and leave nothing to chance.

Middleweight Fight: Ricardo Abreu (Team Wanderlei) vs. Guillerme Vasconcelos (Team Sonnen)

From the onset of round one, Abreu kept the pressure on Vasconcelos, coming forward with strikes and taking his foe down at will.  Even when Abreu got taken down himself, he still found a way to get back up and resume control of the action. As the first round drew closer to its final seconds, Abreu found himself able to cut off Vasconcelos in such a way that the Team Sonnen representative could not properly execute his counter shots.

Round two brought more of the same. Abreu kept striking effectively and taking down Vasconcelos as much as he wanted to. Eventually, Abreu exhausted Vasconcelos to where it became a matter of when he won, not if he won. Despite taking both rounds easily, Abreu did try to ground-and-pound his way towards a TKO win inside the distance, but time ran out. For the third time in a row, Team Wanderlei prevailed as Abreu secured the unanimous-decision win.

Ricardo Abreu def. Guillerme Vasconcelos by unanimous decision

Coming into the season, we knew the heat between Sonnen and Silva would intensify to the point that the two coaches would nearly come to blows, but we didn’t know when. After this episode, however, we learned that next week, the most explosive moment of the season will transpire. When the smoke clears, can Team Wanderlei continue its success in the competition, or will Team Sonnen finally take control? Find out next week on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3!