Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil crowned its first champion tonight (Sat., June 23, 2012) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, at the UFC 147: "Silva vs. Franklin 2" event, as Rony Mariano Bezerra took on Godofredo Pepey for the featherweight glass trophy.
Bezerra, known as "Jason" for wearing a mask during his entrances, blew through the season with a knockout, submission and decision to meet Pepey, who armbarred his way through the house until he needed the judges scorecards to earn a split decision to get to the final.
The two didn't exactly engage in a super thrilling affair but in the end, Rony "Jason" managed to pull out a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) to become the first ever TUF Brazil winner.
He overcame a tough first round and multiple groin shots late but the glass trophy and six-figure contract is his. Tears were shed, coming in and going out, and "Jason" reigns supreme.
The pace was fast early, with both guys pushing forward, Pepey more so than Bezerra. He was winging wild punches and even pulled guard shortly into the first round so he could work towards a kimura.
"Jason" defended well, though, and came back strong with a big flying knee that turned the tide in his favor. He ended the round on top with the crowd going absolutely bonkers for him.
Round two saw the two standing and exchanging punches for much of the round with Pepey antagonizing Bezerra, much to the chagrin of the crowd. He was definitely the heel in this bout, and when "Jason" answered with a few punches and kicks, the crowd screamed with delight.
Still, it was close through two with neither man taking the clear advantage.
Round three was largely close as well. Pepey went back to pulling guard in an attempt to get the fight back to the floor but Bezerra wouldn't play that game with him. Instead, he just kicked at his foe's legs until the referee stood them back up and they reset.
Later in the round, Pepey landed an errant nutshot that stopped the action. No big deal. But once they started up again, he landed another one that put "Jason" on the mat in a great deal of pain.
Nevertheless, the referee didn't take a point away and the two continued until the final horn.
It was at that point that they got testy, with security personnel having to separate them. They made up quickly, however, and awaited the decision, which went to "Jason."
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's complete live ongoing coverage of the UFC 147 event by clicking here.