Hello, boys and girls. It is Thursday once again, which means it’s time for another edition of the Brazil Beat. You know, the weekly roundup of all the news in the Brazilian fighting community, all conveniently put together in one place by yours truly.
This week, we’ve got a couple of former champions in Alex Pereira and Junior dos Santos leading the way, but we still got some words from current flyweight champ Alexandre Pantoja, boxing legend Acelino Freitas planning his next move against another Octagon legend and much more. Let’s dive right in!
Alex Pereira wants respect
Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira has had enough. Having felt disrespected by the media and other athletes in general ever since he arrived at the promotion, ‘Poatan’ feels like he should have earned the respect of his peers by now, but it seems that has has not been the case.
After some harsh words from UFC athlete Anthony Smith, who recently stated he was not pleased with Alex Pereira’s light heavyweight debut against Jan Blachowicz, which Poatan won via split decision, the Brazilian decided to speak his mind.
In an interview with MMA Hoje, a frustrated Alex Pereira finally sent a message to all his doubters, wondering when will he have done enough to finally earn some respect.
“Ever since I came to the UFC, everyone said I wasn’t going to win because I only had striking. He wasn’t the only one. They said I had never fought someone good. Then I fought Bruno Silva, who was on a good streak, and I beat him. I proved myself against tough guys. You get tired (of hearing this).
“I move to light heavyweight and I hear everyone talking nonsene. Things like strikes not being the same. That they’re more powerful, it’s a different division. So I fight Blachowicz, former champion, and I beat the guy. Once again people start saying ‘Well, but you haven’t fought that guy’. F-ck, when will people believe that I have arrived? When will they believe me? That one from Anthony Smith was the last straw.”
Is it possible to acknowledge that Alex Pereira did not have a great debut against Blachowicz and also admit he is a great, accomplished mixed martial artist? I feel like there’s some middle ground here.
Junior dos Santos pleased with Werdum’s lack of trash talk
Moving on from Alex Pereira to another former UFC champion, let’s take a look at the latest news regarding Junior dos Santos’ rematch with Fabricio Werdum at Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA.
While the rematch between the pair is still far away, scheduled to only take place on October 25, the promoting has already started and both men have been surprisingly nice about it?
Yes, it’s true that ‘JDS’ has never been known for his trash talk, but Werdum normally tries to get under his opponent’s skin and ‘Cigano’ has been surprised to see it has not been the case this time around. In an interview with Combate, the Brazilian explained how he has been enjoying this rival’s new persona and hopes they can both focus on what matters in the end, putting on a great fight for the fans.
“Actually, the bad blood was created by Werdum himself. The way he puts himself against me. Many things were said throughout the years, because of the way things happened and because he is a controversial guy. So I was expecting something more controversial, too. But I saw a more level-headed Werdum, more relaxed and focused on the main goal, which is to put on a great show for the fans. No theatrics. I think this time, it’s pretty interesting from my point of view. It gets more excited to be well-prepared.”
Other than the fact that these men, who are now over 40, are fighting in a bare knuckle MMA fight soon, all the lead-up to it has been quite nice, I guess. I hope nobody gets too hurt when it’s all said and done.
Alexandre Pantoja eyes superfight with Sean O’Malley
The UFC flyweight champion has been trying to define his next step and is not dreaming small about it.
Having won the belt earlier this year, Alexandre Pantoja still does not have a confirmed challenger for his first title defense, but the Brazilian does have a couple of names in mind that he thinks would make sense. One of them, though, is none other than recently crowned bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley in a superfight.
In an interview with Super Lutas, Pantoja explained he would be willing to rematch Brandon Royval for the title or take on O’Malley. Either way, the champion has been preparing to make an appearance in December of this year, at the latest.
“Royval has been doing a good job. He’s been promoting himself well. He has three straight, convincing wins. He knocked out Matheus Nicolau. Even though I beat him not too long ago, he makes a good case for a number one contender.”
“Of course I’d favor a bantamweight title fight. If that happens for me, I don’t need to put my own belt on the line and I can fight for another one. I could walk out with two belts and a pocket full of money. December is right around the corner, it’s the last pay per view card of the year. I’m training so I can fight in December.”
A superfight with Sean O’Malley in your first title defense? Good luck with that, my friend. The Royval one would make much more sense.
Acelino Freitas calls out UFC legend Jose Aldo
Former boxing champion Acelino Freitas has seen a nice career ressurgence in the form of celebrity boxing matches at Brazil’s Fight Music Show.
Having already fought a couple of internet celebrities and veteran fighter Jose Landi-Jons, ‘Popo’ is now aiming at former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who has recently taken up boxing after retiring from MMA.
Although Aldo has scored a couple of wins in the ring, the victories did not come against the greatest competition, which made Freitas eager to expose the mixed martial artist in the ring. In an interview with Ag Fight, the 45-year-old called out Aldo to a boxing match and not in a nice way.
“He’s horrible. In his second last fight, he fought a guy who was coming off three straight losses and he couldn’t knock him out. His last fight, too. Everyone criticized him. I have nothing else to say. If he accepts it, I’ll train and beat him. He’s an interesting name, so it’s all up to him.”
You know what, this has the potential to be a pretty profitable fight in Brazil. It looks like a decent opportunity for both guys. Popo has been doing these money matches for a while, he understands how this game works.
Mackenzie Dern getting some help from Henry Cejudo
UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern still has a couple of months ahead of herself before she enters the Octagon to face former champ Jessica Andrade in November, but the Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt seems to be taking her preparation quite seriously.
On his official Instagram account, former UFC double champion and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo shared footage of himself training alongside Dern, while also giving a lot of praise to the BJJ star. That’s a partnership I didn’t see coming.
“I’ve wanted to work with Mackenzie Dern for a long time. She’s from my city, and knows what it’s like to be a World Champion in something outside the sport of MMA. If she can translate the mentality and discipline she has from jiu jitsu to MMA, I know she can be a future UFC champion. Mackenzie Dern is just getting started”.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters can always incorporate a few more takedown techniques into their game, I think this is a good move by Dern.
The fighting nerds are here
How seriously would you take a camp called The Fighting Nerds?
If you wouldn’t take them seriously at all, maybe think again, because they have been making waves at Contender Series. In the last couple of seasons, the team got four of their athletes signed with the UFC throught the reality show: Caio Borraho, Bruna Brasil, Carlos Prates and most recently, featherweight Jean Silva.
In an interview with Ag Fight, Silva explained that the gym may not have the biggest names in MMA at the moment, but they are proud of their work ethic and of how they have been finding success at Contender Series. What’s more, the Brazilian warns fans that they are just getting started.”
“Four Fighting Nerds athletes (have been signed). I’m the fourth one. Everyone got in through Contender Series. Hold on, though. Hunting season is not over yet. I’m inviting everyone who thinks we have some kind of secret to go and spend a day at Fighting Nerds, then they will understand where the secret lies. Fighting Nerds doesn’t start with the best athletes, they turn fighters into the best athletes. The secret is work. I’ve never seen a team work as tirelessly as mine.”
Jean Silva (11-2) himself is a 26-year-old featherweight prospect on an eight-fight win streak. Though he has only been facing local competition, he did score a unanimous decision win over Kevin Vallejos to earn a UFC contract. Let’s see how far he can go in the Octagon now.
His mate Caio Borralho has been doing quite well at middleweight, with four straight wins. Bruna Brasil is 1-1 since her debut and Prates has yet to have his first UFC fight. Nonetheless, there’s a new team on the block to add to the radar.
A Brazilian Beat
The 80’s were a special decade for rock and roll in Brazil, several legendary bands, some that are still around to this day were formed during those years and they shaped the Brazilian music scene and defined the tastes of entire generations.
One such special place that saw many of those bands come together was none other than the country’s capital of Brasilia, where legendary groups such as Legiao Urbana and Capital Inicial. Mostly influenced by punk rock and post-punk bands, these acts would go down in history for pretty much claiming the sound of 80’s rock in Brazil.
One such band from Brasilia that did not make as much success as the previous two, but still left their mark is Plebe Rude and this is the one I’d like to celebrate today. Their angry vocals and fast playing at times pleases me more than what other bands were doing, which could be too brooding or poppy for my tastes.
For me, Plebe Rude got it especially right with their 1985 debut album “O Concreto Já Rachou” (The concrete has already cracked) with their political lyrics that would often criticize the military dictatorship of the time.
They did have one massive hit on that album, too. Their opening track ‘Até Quando Esperar?” (Until When Do We Wait?) is still classic to this day. So let’s see how that one goes right now! I love the cello intro and the bassline throughout the song.
That’s all for this week, folks. See you next week. Stay safe!
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