10 Thoughts on “The Ultimate Fighter” Brazil (Team Vitor vs. Team Wanderlei) – Season Premiere

With the American version of “The Ultimate Fighter” going live, week by week, it’s a little odd to see the older version (pre-taped) follow out of Brazil.  Broadcast online after being unable to find a home for it on television, 10 thoughts immediately come to mind when watching the first international version of the UFC’s signature show.

10. It is kind of cool that they dubbed the theme song into Portuguese.  It gives the show its own feel by having that little touch.  It’s not an American show being taped in Brazil; it’s a Brazilian show through and through, down to the opening music. 

9. This might be the best collection of talent in the show’s history.  Looking at the roster of the talent trying out for the show is like looking at the cast lists of Season 1, 5 and 14 – it’s absolutely stacked.  Mainly being the first show and getting plenty of fighters fighting up a weight class, or two or three in some cases, we’re going to see a large portion of this cast on the regular UFC roster from this summer forward.

8. Not having the full fight card shown was such a disappointment.  From what we were shown in highlights there were some remarkable fights to get into the house.  Having a clipped show like this means there’s only so much time, et al, and some fights have to be edited for time constraints.  I’d love to get this on DVD and watch the fights in their entirety.

7. Only having Dana White comment during the fights was rough.  One of the downsides of not having two coaches speaking with White is that we didn’t get to hear what they had to say, just Dana.  Cruz and Faber earlier this month had live mics and for some reason Vitor and Silva didn’t; something was lost in it.

6. The talent disparity between this season’s US and Brazil casts is remarkable.  You can look at this Brazilian cast and think someone from it will win a world title sooner than later.  This is a good cast from the US but not amongst the top 10 from seasons of the show past, unfortunately.  It shows how good a job the UFC has been able to do in getting talent into the organization outside of merely shunting them through the TUF process.

5. Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva look like rock stars so far.  One thing the UFC has done well in showcasing both of these aging veterans is playing up their importance in their native country.  One thing we forget as fight fans is that both of these guys are big names in Brazil, a burgeoning country.  The highlight package made you feel it.

4. The resemblance to the first season of TUF 1 is uncanny.  This is a season with a lot of guys fighting outside of their regular weight classes just for the chance at getting in the UFC.  When you look at the fighters from TUF 1 you see a lot who fought one or two weight classes above where they ended up just for the ability to get on the show.  This is going to be the same for this show’s cast, too.

3.  The empty HSBC arena gave it a way better look than the training center.  If the UFC is going with fights to get into the house then they have it to do in an empty arena.  It looks significantly better than doing it at a training center.  It was the same thing with Season 14 as well; there’s a special feeling about the training center being a place you earn your way to, not you start out at.

2. We’re not going to see coaching shenanigans, most likely.  The one thing with Vitor and Wanderlei from their initial reactions is that we’re not going to see them engage in petty bickering like a number of the coaches have.  It’s a cool professionalism from both, which is refreshing in an odd way.

1. Web only might not be a bad thing.  As much as watching this on Fuel or FX would’ve been nice, having it online only gives it a unique feel for some reason.

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