‘TUF: Brazil 3’ Recap: Episode 7

By Sherdog.com Staff Apr 21, 2014

It’s time to see the fallout from last week’s brawl between coaches Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen.

Up first is Silva, who is at the hospital for an X-ray on his right hand. A doctor tells “The Axe Murderer” that he strained a muscle throwing a punch during the altercation, and Silva gets his mitt bandaged.

Meanwhile, Sonnen waits in the gym to speak with eliminated heavyweight Job Kleber Melo, who also suffered a hand injury last week during his fight with Richardson Moreira.

“First off, I want to tell you what a pleasure this has been,” Sonnen tells his fighter. “With the injury to your hand and being eliminated from the tournament, the only thing left is to train. And the protocol for this environment, if you can’t continue to train, is that you be removed from the environment.”

Melo is emotional and feels that he is abandoning his team, prompting Sonnen to embrace the fighter and tell him that he loves him. Back in the locker room, Team Sonnen gives Melo a rousing farewell that reduces the coach to tears.

Both coaches and their assistants are called in for a video conference with UFC President Dana White. The boss wastes no time in giving the boot to Andre “Dida” Amado, Silva’s assistant who landed a few cheap shots on Sonnen during the melee.

“What you did yesterday was a disgrace, sucker-punching Chael while he was down on the ground with Wanderlei,” White says. “That’s not what this sport is about, and you’re going to have to leave the show. You should probably be arrested, to be honest with you.”

Dida exits the room quickly, and White turns his attention to Silva and Sonnen, who he says hurt the image of the sport with their unofficial fight.

“You’re professional athletes who get paid lots of money to compete against one another, to find out who is the best,” White scolds the veterans. “If you would like to fight for free, that would be f---ing awesome, but I assume you don’t want to do that, right?”

After White comments that they are on the show to train and set an example for up-and-coming fighters, Silva and Sonnen agree that there will not be a repeat. Silva returns to his team’s locker room, where he tells the squad that Dida is exiting the show.

Next, it’s time for Silva to select the next middleweight quarterfinal matchup. Paulo “Borrachinha” Costa will represent Team Silva against Sonnen’s No. 1 pick, Marcio “Lyoto” Alexandre Jr.

Costa, who sports a head of bleached-blonde hair, admits to being vain and enjoys grooming himself. He also says he likes to put on a show in his fights, something which coach Silva believes will certainly net the young fighter a spot in the UFC.

His opponent, Alexandre, describes himself as an aggressive striker and a strategist. Like his nickname-sake, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machine, Alexandre comes from a karate background. Sonnen believes the undefeated fighter will get his team’s first win of the season, though makes a technical suggestion that Alexandre hold his hands higher in the fight than Machida, who favors a wide, low stance.

The weigh-in rolls around, and Costa weighs in at 184.9 pounds, while Alexandre tips the scales at 184.5. Before the fight, Team Silva gets a visit from former UFC champ and Pride star Mauricio Rua. It’s unclear whether “Shogun” is there for a guest appearance or to replace his friend Dida as a coach; regardless, the fighters are thrilled to see him and are quick to pose for a group photo.

The fight begins with Costa closing the gap on Alexandre and initiating a clinch against the cage. After 40 seconds, Costa spins his man to the ground with a single-leg and begins working to pass guard. Attempts to pin down Alexandre’s arm don’t work, so Costa gives him a little space and climbs on the karate stylist’s back when he tries to stand. Midway through the round, Alexandre gets to his feet with Costa still attached. Costa locks up a body triangle and hunts for a rear-naked choke, but Alexandre stays calm and uses wrist defense to stay out of danger. Costa drops off the back and snares Alexandre in a guillotine, using the choke to put Alexandre on the ground again before releasing. Alexandre gets to his feet just before the round ends, though he only manages to land one knee to Costa’s body.

Alexandre opens round two with a loud leg kick, and then another which Costa tries to check. The kicks keep Costa on the outside for about 30 seconds; this time, when he comes in to clinch, Alexandre denies the takedown. After absorbing a couple more kicks, Costa shoots again. Alexandre keeps his back to the cage and his feet on the ground, stifling the grappler. Costa is twice warned for grabbing the fence while hunting for the takedown. Alexandre circles off the fence and Costa comes forward with hands down, drawing deep breaths. Alexandre trips Costa to the mat, though both men quickly scramble up. Costa lands a wild right hand and dives on another takedown, but Alexandre stands him up and the middleweights finish the round clinching on the cage.

With Costa winning round one and Alexandre taking round two, the fight will go to a third period. Alexandre targets Costa’s leg with his first kick, then slaps Borrachinha’s face with the second. Costa looks spent, throwing a single punch and then backing up to suck air with hands on hips. Alexandre goes to the body with punches and then comes upstairs with a left straight which knocks Costa to the mat. Costa pops up and literally falls into a takedown, but Alexandre stands with relative ease this time. The exhausted fighters clinch on the cage for a minute before being restarted by the referee. Costa flops forward on another tired takedown attempt, and Alexandre stands over him, kicking at his legs. Costa is ordered back up and walks straight ahead with his hands down, allowing Alexandre to press him against the fence. Costa reverses, looks for a trip and can’t find it. Alexandre spins to the back and trips Costa down in the final 10 seconds to deliver a couple punches on the ground.

Team Sonnen explodes with joy as the result is read: Alexandre is the winner via split decision, claiming the first victory of the season for the “Bad Guys” after a 0-4 start. The celebration is dampened, however, as Alexandre appears to have injured his left leg on a checked kick. The fighter is taken to the hospital for an X-ray, the results of which are not revealed.

The episode ends with a challenge called “Disentangle,” and the winning team’s coach will get to select next week’s heavyweight fight. Four fighters from each squad are wrapped in plastic from neck to ankle, and the first team to get all four men standing wins. It’s a wipeout for Team Silva, whose four are up on their feet almost instantly, giving control of the matchups back to Wanderlei.
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