Belfort facing his toughest challenge ever, fighters changing teams, Chute Boxe opens new academy, HEAT FC 2 on Brazilian Pay-Per-View and more!
The Brazilian Beat:
2004 began with plenty of backstage happenings on the Brazilian fight scene, and as this is the first Brazilian Beat of the year, we took the chance to run through the most important developments over the last two weeks. With a lot of fighters changing teams and promotions starting to get their act together for what can be a key year for our sport, a sad happening suddenly brought everybody’s attention in Brazil, being MMA fans or not. Vitor Belfort’s sister has been missing for five days already, and nothing has been heard of her yet. TV shows are constantly reporting on the case, and Belfort is trying hard to keep his focus on fighting. When his most important battle ever was about to be fought inside the Octagon, he is now forced to face his toughest challenge ever; we hope for the best and our prayers are with the family. This kind of situation makes us all consider what’s really important in life, and what kind of strange ways destiny may have in our lives. This reporter will be extremely happy if while writing the next Brazilian Beat, he can type the news about the finding of Vitor’s sister, safe and sound. Let’s all pray and hope for it to happen, as no one deserves to suffer this kind of problem. Apologizing for this strange yet sincere text, let’s once again try to keep the rhythm, as FCF delivers the beat yet one more time in Brazilian style.
- Little more than two weeks away from what can possibly be the most important fight of his career, Vitor Belfort has been facing problem the toughest situation of his life ever. As has been reported, Vitor’s sister Priscila Belfort has been missing since last Friday and the family has heard no news about the 29-year-old woman since then. Vitor’s mother, Jovita, dropped Priscila off at her job and a few hours later the girl needed to go out of the office building where she works, in Rio de Janeiro, to perform a job and never came back. Needless to say, the family and friends have been searching non-stop for her and have been making appeals for help on Brazilian Television every day. Despite the extremely sad and terrible situation, Vitor is trying to keep on training and intends to fight against Randy Couture at the next UFC anyway. FCF hopes Priscila will be back with her family soon and Vitor as well as her family and friends can sleep in peace again.
- Before this tough situation happened, “The Phenom” had been training in Rio de Janeiro, his birthplace, where he was also taking the chance to enjoy the hot Brazilian summer along with his wife Joana Prado. Vitor, who lives in Sao Paulo, decided to carry his preparation in Rio along with his usual training partners from Brazil Fight Club since he was already in the city for New Year’s Eve. One day before the sad news with his sister, Belfort spoke with FCF and told us his preparation was going great and he was very focuses and confident going to the fight, and planned to come back to Sao Paulo just a few days before his departure to the USA.
- In yet another surprising piece of news three more fighters from Ruas Vale Tudo left the team to join the newly formed Gracie Barra Combat Team. Gustavo Ximu, Alexandre Barros and his brother Aloisio Barros took the same path as Alexandre Cacareco, Renato Babalu and Eduardo Simoes and decided to leave the team where they spent most of their careers in order to join Gracie Barra Combat, where they supposedly will have monetary help for their training. Needless to say, long time RVT faithfull fighter Pedro Rizzo got very sad with those news, and told the press he will never ever leave the team, cause he is very greatfull to Marco Ruas for all he learned from him. FCF will have more on this subject soon.
- On the subject of fighters changing teams, two MMA veterans made a change in their careers destiny this past week and joined the Chute Boxe team. UFC veteran Jorge Macaco Patino and his student Luis Azeredo joined the famous Brazilian team after lots of talks with Chute Boxe founder Rudimar Fedrigo. Azeredo is already living and training in Curitiba, sharing the mat with the likes of Wanderlei Silva and Murilo Ninja, while Macaco is continuing to live in Sao Paulo, taking care of his academy, Gold Team, but will be going to Curitiba on regular bases to train and mostly to prepare for his fights when a fight is approaching. Both Azeredo and Patino will also be managed by Fedrigo from now on, what can likely improve their chances of fighting abroad in 2004.
- Jiu-Jitsu legend Mario Sperry is back to his regular schedule in Rio de Janeiro, training and taking care of his numerous ventures. Sperry is already recovered from the cut he suffered against Yuki Kondo at the last PRIDE and hopes to fight again in the next months. Mario is also planning to hold the second edition of his MMA promotion, Brazil Super Fight, this next April, likely near the end of the month.
- With numerous famous Jiu-Jitsu stylists making their MMA debuts recently, yet one more decided to join the group and make his professional debut in the sport. After Vinicius Draculino’s debut at HEAT FC 2, the next Gracie Barra black belt making to debut in Mixed Martial Arts is Alexandre Soca, who will be appearing at PANCRASE, this next February 15th. Soca will have the tough task of facing undefeated Japanese fighter Yoshiro Maedo, in a fight up to 64 kg.
- This last Saturday, at the city of Guaratuba, near Curitiba in the south of Brazil, yet another small MMA show debuted in the country. The first Brazil Extreme Fight was supposed to be another show to develop talent, and counted with fighters from Pele Team, Brazilian Impacto as well as former Chute Boxe members. MECA veteran and former Chute Boxe fighter Silvio Urutum fought for the first time since he left the team and easily defeated Cleber Araldi by submission. Unfortunately the show ended up having problems as an incident happened backstage between some of the trainers at the event, resulting in a mess that involved the police and prevented what could be a good show making its debut to end accordingly. Although it is great to see our sport developing and new promotions appearing all the time in the country, it’s sad to see unprepared people venturing in promoting, and hopefully those cases won’t continue to happen as the sport is still banned in some cities in Brazil.
- Reality TV shows seem to be popular everywhere, and Brazil is no exception. The newest edition of the Brazilian Big Brother version just debuted this Tuesday in the county’s most important channel, and among the participants are two fighters! MECA veteran Marcelo Dourado, who defeated Rafael Capoeira at MECA 8 by knockout is competing for the prize money of around 160.000 dollars. Luta-Livre fighter Marcelo Zulu, who has been competing in both wrestling and submission wrestling, is also another participant on the race for the final prize money. This shows an interesting trend where MMA fighters have been attracting interest in reality shows, as Vitor Belfort was once a participant in a sort of Big Brother for famous people here, and Wanderlei Silva’s first opponent in MMA, Dilson Filho, was also a participant in the last edition of the regular Big Brother in Brazil.
- The Chute Boxe team just opened its new academy in the city of Curitiba, presenting better facilities for their fighters and bringing a better structure to the team. The new academy opened its doors for the first time this past Monday, January 12th, at one of the best parts of the city of Curitiba. Counting with a big mat, as well as a good parking lot and rooms to receive fighters from other cities, the academy will feature Jiu-Jitsu classes by Cristiano Marcello, Luta Livre classes by Daniel Acacio, as well as the usuall Muay Thai under Rafael Cordeiro and MMA under Rudimar Fedrigo. Fighters are welcome to train in the academy as Chute Boxe plans to expand even more in 2004.
- Speaking of Chute Boxe, Murilo Ninja Rua is training hard preparing for his likely fight at the next PRIDE show, in early February. After his win by KO over Akira Shoji at PRIDE’s New Year’s Eve show, Ninja received endless compliments from DSE and is reported to be taking part at the next PRIDE card as well. His brother Mauricio Shogun is also training hard for a likely fight at the next PRIDE BUSHIDO, as well as Wanderlei Silva who is keeping himself in shape for a PRIDE appearance very soon.
- After HEAT FC 2 at December 18th of 2003, the promoters are already working on the next edition of the show, scheduled for early April of 2004. The date will be decided in the next few days, and there’s a good chance HEAT FC 3 will not happen in the city of Natal for the first time in the event’s history, being held in another city at the Brazilian Northeast instead. While we await for more news on HEAT FC 3, the second edition of the show, featuring the controversial fight between Allan Goes and Gustavo Ximu as well as the participation of Carlos Barreto, Travis Wiuff, Forrest Griffin, Ebenezer Braga and others will finally be broadcast on Brazilian pay per view from February 7th to February 22nd, through Premiere Combate.