WildFire Victorious in MTL Debut

By Gleidson Venga Aug 12, 2007
SAO PAULO, Brazil, Aug. 11-- The MO Team League's debut had all the ingredients necessary for a good start. The public appeared in good numbers at the Club Athletico Paulistano, the fights were well balanced and the winner was decided in the final team bout.

Murilo Bustamante's (Pictures) WildFire advanced to November's final with a hard-fought team effort, and will now watch the confrontation between Pedro Rizzo's (Pictures) Tsunami and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's (Pictures) Avalanche.

Getting things started for the WildFire was Luciano Azevedo (Pictures), who used of all his experience to overcome young upstart Ocimar Costa in the first team draw.

The first round was balanced, with the two athletes alternating positions on the ground and searching for the attack. In the second, Luciano started to dominate the bout, knocking down his opponent and getting the mount position and taking the back, without any reaction from Ocimar.

In the final frame, Azevedo scored another knockdown and attacked the leg of Costa, but the Hurricane defended well, inverting the position. After the fight to returned to the feet, Luciano again scored a down and took the mount. Costa bucked and took the top position, but from here Azevedo locked on a tight triangle choke, compelling Ocimar to tap out, giving the WildFire a 1-0 lead.

The Hurricanes bounced back in the next contest, with Flavio Alvaro getting the best of Gerson Conceicao. After the first two rounds passed with little action, Gerson surprised Conceicao in third, when the fight was decided by a Alvaro knockdown, followed by a dominating sequence on the ground that lead to a unanimous decision nod for team Silva, evening the score 1-1.

In another well-rounded duel, the Hurricanes' Rafael Natal shocked the experienced Silmar Rodrigo in the opening minute when he took Rodigo's back and held the position for the duration of the frame, looking to finish and brandishing some blows.

Silmar resisted and came back stronger in the second, where he stalked Natal and landed a heavy shot which forced his retreating opponent to the ground. Natal reacted in the round's final minutes, scoring with a sweep and working from the top.

In the final period, the fatigued fighters showed no signs of quit, but it was Natal who was a little fresher did just enough to claim the unanimous decision to put the ‘Canes up 2-1.

The WildFire picked up momentum in the next bout, with Alexandre "Cacareco" slapping on a practically undefendable Kimura on Rafael Monteiro, forcing the Hurricane's light heavyweight to tapout to the painful technique to even the score at two wins a piece.

The evening's outcome was decided in the final draw, where WildFire heavyweight Joaquim Mamute took down Andre Mussi (Pictures) and controlled the first stanza.

In the second, Mamute found a rhythm and after another takedown, took north-south position and finished with a choke, giving the WildFire an impressive 3-2 win against Wanderlei Silva (Pictures)'s Hurricanes.

With the victory, Murilo Bustamante (Pictures)'s team advanced to the MTL finals on November 10, where the WildFire will take on the winner of Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Pictures)-coached squads, slated for September 29.

During the event's intermission, Wanderlei Silva, who departs from Brazil on Sunday to make a permanent move to the U.S., was applauded by MTL management and fans for his years of excellence in the sport.

In preliminary action, Marcos Babuino took advantage of Rodrigo Ruiz and won the fight via split decision after three rounds and Allan Fróes equaled the feat, edging Pablo Arruda by picking up the win on two of the three judges' scorecards.
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