Monday, 31 March 2014 19:08
By Steve Juon, Wrestling Observer
Last week, Team Wanderlei got the first victory of the season when middleweight Wagner Gomes picked up a split decision victory over Joilton Santos. We return now to TUF Brazil 3 to see if Silva's camp can make it two in a row!
There's dissension in the ranks of Wanderlei's team. Marmota is upset with Paulo 'Borrachinha' because he told an assistant coach that Gomes lost the first round. Marmota: "This is a team. If we all have to drink water we do it. If we all have to drink gasoline we do it. We can't have somebody who isn't positive." Silva wisely notes it's an understanding and has them talk it out and get over it.
Heavyweights are chosen for the second fight: Antonio Carlos Junior 'Cara de Sapato' (Team Silva) vs. Edgard 'Magrao' Castaldelli (Team Sonnen). Edgard's wife is pregnant and he notes she could go into labor while he's on the show. Assistant coach Hortencia is told she should motivate him not to "win" but to perform at the top level he can.
Carlos talks about being the first heavyweight drafted and how his family supported him. Silva notes that he spars with Cigano (Junior Dos Santos) which already puts him a level above everybody on the show. Assistant coach Isabel runs them through a team drill where they have to keep four volleyballs in the air at one time. She says your peripheral vision is just as important in fighting as in her sport - and she's got a point.
Hortencia has a drill of her own for Team Sonnen - everybody has to dribble while defending a towel pinned to their back at the same time. She notes it's a reminder that even your offense should have a defense and "It was a game but it had a purpose - we are a team but only one of us will win." Sonnen goofs around with her afterward and does some dancing.
Silva comes over to the house as the winning team has a barbecue to celebrate Wagner's victory. Carlos is excited by how Silva and his coaches are always reinforcing strategy and tactics, but they also enjoy how much he eats and goofs around - even playing the table soccer machine and making the loser do push-ups.
Team Sonnen discuss their opinions of Chael. The general consensus is that they like and respect him more than they expected to, but that even his athletes still want to see Silva win when the coaches fight at the end - a theme of "we're Brazilian so we support our own." This leads to a Team Silva training session where they work on striking and ground game. Team Sonnen works on wrestling counters, how to strike even when someone goes for a leg standing, and how to use your weight and leverage.
Weigh-ins go smoothly for both men although 'Cara de Sapato' is 209.4 pounds - seems small for a heavyweight. Neither guy was coming anywhere close to the 265 pound limit. They talk about being friends and having no personal animosity going into the fight. 'Magrao' thinks he might have the advantage on the feet. This week's Octagon Girl contestant for the fight is Francine Pantaleao. "Guys, please vote for me. I respect this sport a lot. I admire all of you!"
Antonio Carlos Junior (Team Silva) vs. Edgard Castaldelli (Team Sonnen)
Castaldelli is the first to step into the Octagon followed by Carlos, in their respective green and yellow trunks. Castaldelli is more experienced at 12-4 but Carlos is undefeated at 3-0. CARLOS WINS THE FIGHT BY TKO IN JUST 12 SECONDS. He threw a perfect right hand to the jaw and pounced immediately when Castaldelli hit the ground, hammering him with lefts from his back until the ref waved it off. Carlos moves on to the semi-finals, injury free in the process.
Magrao: "If I had taken a beating, I'd be less frustrated. (It) was traumatic for me." Hortencia: "We have to motivate the others because I hate to lose. Let's turn this around." Silva: "The 2-0 advantage boosts team morale (but) we must be ready for anything" and ANYTHING turns out to be a game called "mud soccer" where the winning team gets the next fight pick. Silva's team wins this too and he vows they'll win every fight this year.
STEVIE'S THOUGHTS: "The bad guys" need to get things going in a hurry or Silva's cocky attitude won't just be a motivational tactic - it will be a reality.