UFC vet jumps in flood water to save people trapped in houses: ‘I never felt scared’

UFC vet William Macario tried his best to save his people from dying in a flood in Rio de Janeiro.

By: Lucas Rezende | 1 month
UFC vet jumps in flood water to save people trapped in houses: ‘I never felt scared’
Jason da Silva/USA TODAY Network/IMAGO: UFC vet William Macario tried his best to save his people from dying in a flood in Rio de Janeiro.

Hello, boys and girls. It is Monday 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 (from the UFC and beyond), all conveniently put together in one place by yours truly.

This week, we’ve got a UFC vet who’s become a local hero in his community, former champion Anderson Silva and others paying their respects to MMA fighter Diego Braga who tragically passed away, a KSW contender’s road back to the top and much more. So let’s jump in!

UFC vet has hero moment

Remember UFC vet and former The Ultimate Fighter Brazil contestant William Macario, also known as ‘Daffy Duck?’. Well, though you may remember him as being a goofy athlete who did not make it very far into his UFC career, the 32-year-old played the part of a hero last weekend.

A Rio de Janeiro native, Macario was among the ones affected by the massive flood that swept the streets of Sao Joao de Meriti, in the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area. Though his house was damaged, the athlete was not among the unluckiest ones who unfortunately lost everything.

In an interview with Combate, the UFC vet narrated the situation and what was going through his head while himself and friends were in the water trying to save people trapped in their homes or in streets.

“I was in the middle of the flood, getting people out houses that were flooded all the way up to the roof. People in their yards trying to protect themselves, afraid of getting swept away by the water. Some of my friends and I had the idea of jumping in. We were on our way to a different place, where a house had collapsed, but we couldn’t get there. We were passing by and started hearing cries for help. It was like a river.”

Although some of the things Macario witnessed will stay with him forever, he tells Combate he was never afraid of going in the water. While he knew he was risking he own life, the Brazilian says all he could think of was saving people who needed help.

“We saw people inside their houses with water all the way up to the roof, with only a palm of room to breathe. If they lowered their heads, they’d drown. Cars getting swept by the along with people, dead people floating by. We had to wait for the water level to lower a little in order to identify a body. It was an incalculable tragedy. Lots of houses gone. Some people literally lost everything on Saturday. It’s all destroyed. How can a person go back to their life when they’ve lost everything?”

“I never felt scared.” Macario said. “The only thing I thought was ‘Let’s get those people out of there’. I was determined. So much so that I didn’t even think. I just jumped in the water and never looked back. Only when I was in the middle of the flood did I realize what I was doing. I was like ‘This is crazy, if I make a mistake, I’m gone.’ I wasn’t thinking, I was just determined to get people out of there.”

Unfortunately, the floods in Rio de Janeiro are always a problem this time of year. Though it may sound cool to hear stories of common people stepping up to help each other, it sucks that we don’t see actual solutions to the problem coming from the government. Still, kudos to William and everyone else who risked their lives to save others. That takes a lot of courage.

Viana thinks her fans are ungrateful

It seems UFC strawweight Polyana Viana was having a bad week even before her TKO loss to Gillian Robertson at UFC 297.

In an interview with Ag Fight just a few days before the match, the 31-year-old was explaining how difficult of a relationship she had with her fans on social media. Though she enjoys being an influencer, Viana claims her fans do not make the job an easy one.

“If there’s one thing I like doing, it’s talking. I like to interact with my fans and make content. I really like doing that. The problem is people. My own fans. Fight fans are ungrateful. Want to see? This week I’m fighting, so everyone’s with me, sending me positive energies. Next week, someone else is going to be fighting, so they move on to that person’s profile and my engagement goes down. I’m talking about fight fans.”

“The ones who stay, they’re not there to help with your engagement. Liking pictures, making comments. They’re there to judge you. Anything that is not training or dieting, they judge, and I like to talk back. If someone says something, especially on my profile, they’re going to hear about it. When it comes to that, I’m a terrible influencer, because I tell them to get f-cked.”

I get the part about fans being judgemental and I agree that’s pretty awful. However, the part about fans going to a different fighter’s account to support them before a fight is just expected? Brazilians like to support their own and it’s only obvious they’ll cheer for the ones who are about to fight. Seems pointless to be upset about that.

KSW contender ready to take it slow

KSW contender Werlleson Martins took a title fight on short notice last year that ended up not going his way, now he’s taking his time.

At 28 years of age, ‘Galinho’ knows he doesn’t have to rush for the title since time on his side. Having already fought once and lost, the Brazilian now wants to take his career slowly. In an interview with Combate, he explained what led him to make that choice ahead of his match against Oleksii Polishchuk at KSW 90, which he ultimately lost via TKO in the second round.

“I had already fought in April. The following month, they asked me ‘The guy is hurt. Do you want to fight for the belt?’. Because I was hungry for the belt, I didn’t think it was going to be tough for me, because I’d have to cut weight twice in basically one month. That’s when I had the weight problem. I wasn’t too hard on myself, because I had just won a fight and was going back for another one. KSW gave me an opportunity and I took it. Now I’m walking my own path, even it’s little by little.”

I think Martins has the right idea here, even if he ended up losing this weekend. There’s no point in cutting weight twice in one month just to fight for a title you’ll be in bad shape to challenge. Lesson learned, yes?

The MMA community honors Diego Braga

The tragic death of former MMA fighter and coach Diego Braga has caused quite an impact on the fighting community. After the news broke out that Braga was mistaken for a police officer and murdered in Rio de Janeiro, several members of the community used social media to pay their respects.

Including, of course, Braga’s own son and PFL featherweight, Gabriel who wrote a beautiful post on his officla Instagram.

“I have no words to describe my father and the best friend I’ve ever had in the world. You’ll always be in my heart and I’ll keep on honoring you until the end. I’ve got nothing but eternal grattitude for everything. One day I’ll hug you again. Take care of me like you always have. I love you.”

Other UFC vets such as former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, coach Luiz Dorea and many more have also expressed their thoughts on the tragic matter.

Just sad, man. Rio de Janeiro is under the thumb of both drug dealers and paramilitary groups, alongside corrupt politicians and it’s the common people who suffer for it. Unfair.

A Brazilian Beat

One of the most powerful presences that had the Brazilian pop rock scene on a chokehold in the mid to tale 90’s was Rio de Janeiro’s Cassia Eller.

An openly homossexual woman with powerful, raspy vocals who was not afraid of speaking her mind on any subject was one of the most popular singers in the country especially because of her devil may care attitude and undeniable talent.

Due to her partnership with singer/songwriter Nando Reis, Eller became a massive star and a radio favorite against all odds in a time when the people did allow such artists (especially women) to become mainstream.

With songs that would go from talking about heartbreak, love, politics and just life in general, but all with a lot of feeling, Eller left her mark in history even though she had only a little time to do so. Unfortunately, Cassia Eller passed away in 2001 at the early age of 39 due to a heart attack.

However, she left plenty of classics for us to remember her by. So here’s one of her biggest hits! Cassia Eller – All Star.

That’s it for this week, folks. See you all next time. Stay safe!

Lucas out.


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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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