On top of crowning a featherweight Ultimate Fighter (TUF) from the inaugural season emanating from Brazil, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) also crowned a middleweight TUF guy tonight (Sat., June 23, 2012) at UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The 185-pound final was contested between Cezar Ferreira, who cruised to the finals with three crushing victories, and Sergio Moraes, the very first replacement fighter in a TUF Finale fight in UFC history. He filled in for Daniel Sarafian.
One man's misfortune is another man's opportunity.
Unfortunately -- for him, at least -- Moraes wasn't able to capitalize on it, though he tried, oh he tried. The two Brazilian bangers went back and forth through three exciting rounds with Ferreira doing just enough to earn a unanimous decision victory.
He becomes the first ever middleweight winner of TUF Brazil, gets the glass trophy and the six-figure contract with the UFC.
Ferreira looked longer than Moraes and aimed to use that early, feinting in and hitting a huge capoeira kick. Moraes took it and stayed strong, however, and they reset back in the center.
It was slow rolling for much of the remainder of the round, save for an errant nutshot from Ferreira. He came in with a big high kick late and Moraes answered with furious punches while in the clinch.
Round one closed and looked fairly even.
Moraes tried to pull guard early in the second but Ferreira just dropped him on his back and made him get back up. In the next exchange, Moraes went down but he didn't appear to be hurt. Moraes swarmed but again they went back to the feet.
And, once again, Ferreira landed that capoeira kick ... and this time it really landed flush. Moraes went down and ate a ton of shots once he was there. Still, he survived and they reset back in the center of the cage.
It looked like Ferreira was well on his way to victory but Moraes suddenly landed a strong shot and blitzed with punches. It looked like Moraes might finish but he couldn't quite get there and they went to the third and final round with everything on the line and everything up in the air.
They paid dues to each other to start round three. Ferreira came in hard with punches not long after and got a knockdown out of it. It could have been a slip, but he took a minute to get up.
Low gas tank and all that.
The pace was far slower throughout the round, neither fighter willing to over-commit to anything. Moraes tagged Ferreira a few times, with Joe Rogan getting a little too excited over it.
Ferreira landed a straight shot that put Moraes down in answer to it. Instead of following him to the ground, though, he kicked at his legs and that's how the round ended.
One hell of a scrap between two guys swinging for the fences.
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's complete live ongoing coverage of the UFC 147 event by clicking here.