TUF Brazil featured a slew of exciting bouts, but come the finale at UFC 147, UFC president Dana White was baffled at the fights.
Many of the prospects at featherweight and middleweight came from humble beginnings, but once they got exposure, the fame started to get to their heads according to White.
With the show on network television in Brazil pulling in millions of viewers, many of the fighters couldn’t walk anywhere without getting mobbed. But come fight time, the results were less than spectacular and White credits it to the TUF Brazil cast not taking things seriously.
“The problem with Brazil is that thing is pulling off NFL playoff numbers on the biggest channel in the country,” White said recently. “So what happens is, the week we go into the hotel these guys are rock stars. They can’t go to their room, they can’t go out to eat, and they’re getting mobbed because they’re so famous.
“I show up the day of the fight and these guys are dancing out and going out and hanging out. You’re one fight away from not being in the UFC, what the (expletive) are you dancing about? This is no dancing matter, you need to get in there and you need to fight. You need to go out there and prove that you deserve that contract and be in the UFC.”
The results weren’t pretty, as many of the fights from the TUF Brazil cast were lackluster decisions.
Overall though White was happy with the season, even if the performances of several fighters that were in the house left a sour taste in his mouth. And he believes that TUF Brazil middleweight winner Cezar Ferreira is one fighter that didn’t let the fame get to his head.
“I love the guys in TUF Brazil, those guys fought their asses off the entire season. The fights to get in the house were incredible, the fights throughout the season were incredible, and then they show up at the finale singing and dancing except for Vitor’s kid (Cezar Ferreira).”
Only time will tell how the TUF Brazil fighters fare over the long haul. But if they get back to what made the series a success, we could be seeing the emergence of a new wave of Brazilian stars.
Follow Andrew Gladstone at @gladstone1 on Twitter.
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