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 The Ultimate Fighter 19 continues in search of the next great welterweight, the third installment of the Brazilian version of the UFC’s landmark reality series comes closer to its concluding moments.

This week, on the 10th episode of the show, coach Chael Sonnen’s aimed to continue his control of the competition over rival Wanderlei Silva. After Team Sonnen’s Warlley Alves defeated Ismael de Jesus last week in middleweight action, only heavyweights Jollyson Francisco and Marcos Rogério had yet to do battle.  As anticipated from the onset of the competition, the quarterfinal round started with the heavyweights and would finish with the heavyweights. Sonnen expressed confidence in what Rogerio could do as the “big gun” of the team, and the praise sounded on the same level as the praise he had for Alves last week.

After a look at both fighters’ training sessions, the spotlight was put on each fighter. Francisco, a self-described “peaceful kid”, enjoyed a nice childhood, and surprised many with his desire to become a professional fighter. He found MMA because he enjoyed competing, and he had a natural talent for it.  Silva worked Francisco on using lot of kicks and pushing the pace.

Meanwhile, we learned that “Pezao” considered himself “lost” in his younger days after becoming heavily involved in the drug culture before getting into MMA. He took to martial arts to find himself and do something productive. Like Francisco, though, Rogerio planned on pushing the  pace, continuously moving forward, and leaving his opponent with little to no room to do anything.

With not much going on around the house, outside of rigorous preparations for the semifinals, we moved to the weigh-ins, where both heavyweights hit their mark and once again prepared for combat.  Alves called Rogerio the most dangerous heavyweight in the competition and considered Francisco a one-dimensional fighter, even going so far as to predict Francisco losing his head via head kick.

Heavyweight Fight: Jollyson Francisco (Team Wanderlei) vs. Marcos Rogerio (Team Sonnen)

Both men touched gloves to kick off round one. Rogerio attempted to fulfill his teammate’s earlier prediction of a head kick knockout, but Francisco withstood the blow and proceeded to battle with a sense of urgency. After a battle against the cage, Rogerio attempted a guillotine, but to no avail. Francisco went into Rogerio’s guard, but could not control him. Rogerio tried for another guillotine, but let it go, instead opting to land punches and go for a takedown.

Rogerio continued the attack from the top, but the referee stopped the bout momentarily and called in the cageside doctor. Apparently, Francisco felt Rogerio bit his fingers, but the referee ruled it accidental and the fight went on. Rogerio went for a lateral drop, but couldn’t complete it. With only 15 seconds to work, Francisco found himself on top of Rogerio, who held on until the round expired.

Rogerio enjoyed a few more opportunities to keep things in his favor in round two. He countered an attempt at a trip takedown, and worked as diligently as he could from the half guard. When he couldn’t advance his position, the fight reset to the feet. Francisco looked incredibly fatigued by the time the fight went back to the feet, though, as he started throwing wild haymakers. With Francisco looking more and more tired by the minute, Rogerio found an opening for another takedown after one of Francisco’s haymakers threw him off balance.

Brutal ground and pound from Rogerio looked to end the fight, but Francisco held on until the end of the round. This bout would not see a third round, as the judges scored both rounds for Rogerio, who earned his spot in the semifinals.

Marcos Rogerio def. Jollyson Francisco by unanimous decision

Dana White teleconferenced with the fighters and the coaches about the upcoming semifinal bouts. After much deliberation, the match-ups were revealed:

Middleweights
Wagner Gomes vs. Warlley Alves
Ricardo Abreu vs. Márcio Junior

Heavweights
Antônio Carlos Junior vs. Marcos “Pezão” Rogerio
Richardson Moreira vs. Vitor Miranda

With the quarterfinals ending at a 4-4 mark, who will turn the tide in their favor throughout the remainder of the tournament? Find out next Sunday as The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 continues!