In case you haven't noticed, most of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) belts are no longer owned by Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters.
Just ask Anderson Silva, he'll tell you why.
Jose Aldo, though, is holding down the fort for his fellow countrymen, as he remains the last Brazilian titleholder inside the Octagon; though Chad Mendes did his best to make it an All-American championship league in their five-round instant classic, which went down this past weekend (Sat. Oct. 25. 2014) at UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
According to Aldo's former Jungle Fight promoter, Wallid Ismail, Aldo's win over Mendes not only secured his place as the featherweight king, but saved Brazilian MMA, as well. But in Ismael's view, Jose's fellow countryman, Fabricio Werdum, will soon join him at the champion's table.
He explained on The MMA Hour via (MMA Fighting):
"Jose Aldo saved Brazilian MMA. He saved, no doubt about it. If he had lost our last belt, it would have been really bad for Brazilian MMA. I really think Fabricio Werdum is going to get the title. Man, just something really strange (has to happen) for Fabricio not to get our second belt in Mexico. I have no doubt about it. And you know the best part? Both (fighters) came from Jungle Fight. Jose Aldo's only loss happened at Jungle Fight (against Luciano Azevedo, in 2005), and the beginning of Fabricio Werdum's career was at Jungle Fight. This is great."
Werdum was initially set to throw down against heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 180 on Nov. 15, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico, but he'll now face Mark Hunt for the interim title on the same card after Cain was forced to bow out with an unfortunate knee injury.
To wrap things up, while Wallid doesn't share Silva's sentiment that Brazilians have failed to evolve their MMA game over time, he seems to think they aren't focused enough on fighting, but rather on the media and Hollywood endeavors.
"Brazilians need to be focused. Any fighter in the world who starts to (become) an actor and be a lot in the TV, the next step is they lose focus. I talked about it to Bethe (Correia). She was in the media a lot, and I told her ‘Bethe, now is the time to be focused. Enough of media.' Fighters need to train hard."