Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans rejoice ... we survived May 31, 2014.
After promoting an event in Berlin, Germany during the day, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) turned the focus to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" Finale, which took place last night (Sat., May 31, 2014) inside Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In the main event, Stipe Miocic stopped Fabio Maldonado in just 35 seconds to get a victory he really didn't need. In what seemed like a joke rather than a main event, the Brazilian had to learn the hard way that leaving your guard down while trading shots against a heavyweight isn't the best of ideas.
However, Maldonado deserves our respect for moving up to heavyweight, serving as a replacement for Junior dos Santos, even if it was an atrocious idea.
The co-main event saw Antonio Carlos Junior defeat Vitor Miranda to become TUF: "Brazil 3's" heavyweight tournament winner, using his impressive grappling skills to best his Brazilian counterpart.
Also on the main card, Warlley Alves earned TUF: "Brazil 3" middleweight honors, submitting Marcio Alexandre Jr. with a guillotine choke in the third round, while Demian Maia also returned to the win column, beating short-notice replacement Alexander Yakovlev via unanimous decision.
Finally, Robbie Peralta was awarded a mind-boggling decision over Rony Jason, who definitely did enough to win the bout.
With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser (and their runner ups) from the event in Brazil.
Biggest Winner -- Stipe Miocic
First of all, it's not like Miocic scored the most impressive win of his career; however, he saved himself from a horrid scenario and made quick work of Maldonado behind enemy lines.
The Ohio resident caught Maldonado early with a vicious strike, and instead of pouncing on him, he waited for another chance to deliver the coup de grace. This was more or less a sparring session for Miocic, who presumably made a lot of money to fly down to Brazil and crush a light heavyweight (watch full fight video highlights here).
Still, it somehow keeps Miocic's stock afloat in the heavyweight division -- and if health issues are resolved sooner rather than later -- a meeting against dos Santos would be proper if it were his next fight.
Runner Up -- Warlley Alves
Might as well pick the guy who absolutely trounced his opponent to become TUF: "Brazil 3's" middleweight tournament winner.
Alves continued his perfect streak in the tournament by defeating Alexandre after finishing his three opponents on the reality show. You may not have known that because, apparently, TUF: "Brazil 3" was as entertaining as a season of "Joanie Loves Chachi."
The 23-year-old Brazilian improved to 7-0, outclassing his opponent from the opening bell up until the guillotine choke in the third round. Alves looked superior in all areas, clocking Alexandre with some heavy shots, and took him down when he needed to.
It's very early in his career, but it looks like he could do some serious damage moving forward in UFC.
Biggest Loser -- Fabio Maldonado
Yeah, that wasn't such a great idea.
You have to give the Brazilian credit for jumping up in weight to serve as a late replacement. Unfortunately for him, he was no match for a heavyweight on the rise.
It remains to be seen if this affects Maldonado's current positioning in the light heavyweight division, since he's on a three-fight win streak over there.
Apart from the embarrassment Maldonado faced in front of his Brazilian faithful, the promotion should be embarrassed for booking this fight. It's understandable they were desperate for a main event after the "Cigano" injury, but this goes to show you what can happen when you book an awful mismatch.
What's next ... Cain Velasquez vs. Alessio Sakara?
Runner Up -- Paulo Thiago
Surely, Thiago's UFC career is over.
His finest moment was knocking out Josh Koscheck at UFC 95, which was more than five years ago. He's faced tough opposition, but he can't quite get it together against guys he should at least be competitive against.
The Brazilian had nothing for Gasan Umalatov, making his foe look as seasoned as Georges St-Pierre. Thiago even refused his corner's advice to take the fight to the mat after the second round, proving he was either hesitant to do so or simply careless.
Not only is he 2-6 in his last eight appearances, but also his wins over Michel Prazeres and David Mitchell were snorefests at best. Word on the streets is Thiago is going to be on police duty once the FIFA World Cup in Brazil commences in a couple of weeks.
It doesn't get easier for him.
That just about does it.
For extensive coverage of TUF: "Brazil 3" Finale, including post-fight recaps, video highlights and more, check out our story stream right here.