The Ultimate Fighter Brazil Episode 3 Recap

Another Monday means another episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4. As always every Tuesday morning, here’s a recap of the latest from the TUF franchise.TUF Brazil 4

What Happened:
Anderson Silva was forced to leave the show following a drug test failure, the Nogueira brothers stepped in as replacement coaches and in the first bantamweight quarterfinal, Team Shogun’s Matheus Nicolau outpointed Team Nogueira’s Reginaldo Vieira in a sudden-death third round.

The Silva Drama:
Towards the end of Silva’s second training session with his team, he received a phone call that notified him of his drug test failure for his UFC 183 fight against Nick Diaz.

UFC cameras captured the entire phone call, and Silva was shocked and appalled throughout. The former middleweight champion was defensive from the get-go and denied taking steroids. On the phone conversation, Silva did allude that the failure may have been triggered by hydroxocobalamin, a drug he took for anti-inflammatory purposes.

One of the more dramatic scenes was when Silva first told one of his most respected coaches, Rogerio Camoes, about the drug test. Camoes bluntly asked Silva if he took steroids. Silva assured him that he had not.

The coach waited a day to notify his team about the failed drug test and that the commission was forcing him to leave the show. Silva offered a few motivating quips, but his team took the news hard, especially lightweight Andre “Dede” Ricardo – Silva’s training partner.

Afterwards, Dana White brought out Silva, Shogun and the Nogueira brothers, and he explained to all 16 fighters that Silva would be leaving the show and that the Nogueira brothers would take his place.

The Fight:
The bantamweight tilt ended with Matheus Nicolau’s (10-1-1) hand raised thanks to a three round decision over Reginaldo Vieira (12-3), and it also ended with Rodrigo Nogueira upset about the judging.

Nogueira thought that Vieira should have been awarded the decision after two rounds, and he has a case. Personally, I had the fight 20-18 to Vieira after two, but the second round was a close call.

After a lot of feinting and inactivity from both fighters early, Vieira clearly won the first round with a pair of late slams and a few significant punches. As far as the second frame? Neither fighter did a whole lot. Vieira pushed the pace more and did a better job of “controlling the octagon”, but it was a round defined by striking feints and little actual action.

Nevertheless, the fight went to a third period, and Nicolau took full advantage of that opportunity. Once again, the round started off with each 135-pounder feeling each other out on the feet, but midway through the round, Nicolau scored a takedown and was able to land ground strikes and control Vieira from the top position until the fight was over.

Next Week’s Fight:
With the victory, Team Shogun was able to select the next fight, and Mauricio Rua’s pick for the first lightweight quarterfinal of the season was Nazareno Malegarie (27-3) against Team Nog’s Andre “Dede” Ricardo (3-1). It’s a match-up between the first two lightweights selected.

Other Notes:
– Once again, TUF Brazil will feature a ring card girl competition. The fighters were introduced to the women at an icebreaker at the Red Rock casino and resort. The premise is that the fighters will eventually weed the women down to two, and then the fans will vote to award one of the contestants the job of being a ring card girl.

– The ring card girl for the Nicolau/Vieira fight was Otmaro Marrera. Marrera is 25, from Miami and is also an actress.

– Both teams competed in what was called a “labyrinth challenge.” Essentially, four fighters from each squad maneuvered an elevated maze, and the goal of the game was to as a team, guide a ball successfully through the maze, and with relative ease, Team Shogun won the competition which set them up with the reward of taking a trip out to Mount Charleston.