The Ultimate Fighter Brazil held its middleweight finale last night (June 23, 2012) as Cezar Ferreira took on injury replacement Sergio Moraes for a six figure contract in the co-main event of UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
With how boring the featherweight final was, this bout was the complete opposite. Both men brought it surprisingly in the stand-up portion, especially on Moraes' part.
Cezar "Mutante" as he was called on the show, was in complete control early on, but almost gave the fight away to Moraes in the latter half of the fight.
So what was the cause for the comeback and how did Ferreira end up earning the "W?" And what happens next for both fighters?
Follow me after the jump for our Cezar Ferreira vs. Sergio Moraes UFC 147 post-fight review and analysis:
Early on, the bout was all "Mutante," as he avoided all of Moraes takedown attempts and effectively hurt the undersized Moraes. Ferreira did a solid job of working Moraes over in the stand-up portion as the submission specialist Moraes could not counter effectively at all and most of his attacks were thwarted.
In the second round, Ferreira landed an absolutely brutal spinning wheel kick, cracking Moraes directly in the face with the heel of his foot. Somehow, Moraes managed to survive but once he got back to his feet, Ferreira began fighting completely differently.
Instead of trying to outwork Moraes in the stand-up, "Mutante" was completely focused on the highlight reel knockout, perhaps believing he had the fight in the bag. This created big openings for Moraes and he took advantage, landing a big right hand and then following up with a huge flurry of strikes that nearly put Ferreira out in one of the biggest surprises of the bout.
The third round was close as well as Ferreira opened strongly but allowed Moraes to get back into fight again. Both men traded big blows all the way until the final horn in one of the most entertaining scraps of the main card.
In the end, though, Ferreira did enough to pull out the win, earning a unanimous decision to capture the TUF Brazil middleweight crown.
For Sergio Moraes, he put up a significantly better bout than was expected. He'd stepped up on short notice to compete in the finale after Daniel Sarafian (the man who knocked Moraes out of the semifinals) was unable to continue due to an injury. Moraes has extreme grappling talent, but he surprised everyone by actually putting up a fight against "Mutante" in the stand-up portion and nearly finishing him in the end of the second round. He gained a lot of fans despite the loss.
I expect him to drop down to welterweight after this fight. There are a ton of potential opponents out there including T.J. Waldburger, Damarques Johnson or perhaps Pascal Krauss.
For Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira, he won the fight, but everyone now is going to wonder if he actually would have won this season if Sarafian hadn't gotten hurt. Ferreira looked great early, but after nearly knocking out Moraes with that beautiful wheel kick, he seemed intent on trying to repeat that success and win a huge bonus rather than actually just win the fight. He definitely showed some big holes in his game here, but he did enough to earn the win.
I think Ferreira will face someone along the lines of Tom Lawlor, Chris Camozzi or C.B. Dollaway for his next bout.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Did you feel Ferreira let Moraes off the hook after hurting him in the first half of the fight? Would Ferreira still have won the middleweight season of TUF Brazil had Daniel Sarafian not gotten hurt?
For complete UFC 147 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.