Assuerio and Saulo in Muay Thai, RN Vale Tudo 2 results, MECA 9 in the works, Cacareco with Barra Gracie, Minotauro ready to fight and Belfort hitting the TV shows!
The Brazilian Beat:
As June flies by, with no major events taking place in Brazil, plenty of action is going on behind the scenes. New events are in the works all the time and July will come bringing plenty of action for all types of fighting fans. The next edition of STORM Muay Thai is coming up, and MECA 9 is already taking shape. Both events will have one fighter in common: PRIDE veteran Assuerio Silva will be making his return to the NHB ring as well as competing in Muay Thai for the first time in three years! If that may seem amazing, how about July bringing Jiu-Jitsu great Saulo Ribeiro in Muay Thai action as well? Yes, you read it right! Saulo will be venturing into a new NHB and Muay Thai show to take place in Rio de Janeiro, bringing NHB back to the Jiu-Jitsu capital of the world. Now, this is not the only odd set of news for this edition of this column, as long time Ruas Vale Tudo team member Alexandre Cacareco is now with Barra Gracie, something that was unthinkable in the past. In this edition we also bring you Vitor Belfort news, Minotauro’s plans, and RN Vale Tudo 2 results, as well as plenty more, so get your fighting gear ready as Full Contact Fighter once again unleashes "The Beat" in odd style and as always full of Brazilian rhythm!
- After his quick work of tough KOTC veteran Marvin Eastman at UFC 43, Vitor Belfort has been taking some time to make appearances on numerous TV shows in Brazil. This past week "The Phenom" could be seen on some of Brazil’s most famous TV shows, which target different types of audiences, talking about his last fight and showing footage of it, mentioning his plans, and most importantly talking about the sport of NHB, giving it a good exposure to the general public. Vitor criticized the lack of support for such a tough and exciting sport such as No Holds Barred, and explained to the general audience the intense commitment and tough training an NHB athlete must submit himself to in order to succeed, helping to erase the image of pure brawlers and trouble-makers that fighters usually have. Next Monday, Belfort is going to get back to his training routine, and he told FCF he wants to fight Couture as soon as possible.
- After a long hiatus due to knee problems and personal issues, Chute Boxe heavyweight Assuerio Silva is now finally getting back to action! In fact, he is going to get plenty of it, as he is set to fight both Muay Thai and NHB in the near future. Assuerio’s adventure will start with a tough gig at the next edition of STORM Muay Thai in Curitiba, where he is set to face Brazilian Top Team member and STORM GP runner up Edson Drago, in a truly heavyweight match. Assuerio hasn’t fought a Muay Thai match in three years, but is indeed excited about the chance and looking for a knockout in the fight. After his STORM outing, the PRIDE veteran is also scheduled to fight at MECA 9 in early August, probably against another Brazilian Top Team member in Fabiano Scherner.
- Speaking of STORM Muay Thai, the next show promises some entertaining battles for the fans, showing the always-improving trend of the event. STORM is scheduled for July 5th, as always in the gorgeous Opera de Arame, one of the traditional landmarks of Curitiba. Tickets are already on sale, and besides Assuerio Silva’s fight, the likely card will have 11 more fights, with the most important ones being the return of Chute Boxe fighter Mauricio Amado facing Wagner Nega, his teammate and STORM veteran Fabio Tigrao matching up against Carlos, as well as the return of STORM GP stand out Helio Dipp facing STORM veteran Urso.
- Muay Thai seems to be in vogue theses days in Brazil, and STORM won’t be the only action happening in this sport in the coming days. In a very surprising move, Jiu-Jitsu great and Abu Dhabi champion Saulo Ribeiro is going to make his Muay Thai debut in July! Following Carlos Barreto’s trend, Saulo is going to be yet another Jiu-Jitsu fighter being brave enough to put his neck on the line in a Muay Thai match, showing signs that he is probably preparing hard for an NHB comeback in the near future. Ribeiro is going to fight Muay Thai at a brand new event to take place in Rio de Janeiro, mixing Muay Thai matches with NHB fights, called 1st Knock MMA & Muay Thai. The show will happen, as of now, on July 23rd. Among the 6 NHB matches scheduled for the night, fighters such as Claudionor Fontinelli and RVT member Aloisio Barros are likely to participate.
- The PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix, set to take place in August, is still the main subject in NHB circles in Brazil. With names like Wanderlei Silva, Quinton Jackson, Kazushi Sakuraba and now Hidehiko Yoshida confirmed, there is still a big question mark regarding which Brazilian Top Team member is going to represent the team in the big show. At this point, chances are high that Ricardo Arona (who is now once and for all accepted as a BTT member again) will be the team’s representative at the GP, although there is still a chance that UFC Champion Murilo Bustamante may be the chosen one! Either way, look for the one that ends out of the GP to do a single bout in PRIDE soon, likely in August as well.
- After leaving the Ruas Vale Tudo team, Abu Dhabi 2003 Absolute and up to 99kg division runner-up Alexandre Cacareco is now surprisingly training with Barra Gracie! Cacareco was training under Master Osvaldo Alves, who is on good terms with Barra Gracie, and received an invitation from Marcio "Pe de Pano" Cruz to join the training at the BG Academy. Alexandre not only accepted, but he liked the training as well.
- Speaking of the Ruas Vale Tudo team, training in the academy is still going strong after Pedro Rizzo’s win at UFC 43. UFC, RINGS and WEF veteran Renato "Babalu" Sobral is training hard for his fight at Britain’s newest NHB show, Extreme Force, scheduled to take place on July 13th. Babalu has been feeling well and is excited about his fight against Golden Glory member Khalid Arrab. The Brazilian fighter is set to depart for England along with his trainers on July 6th.
- MECA World Vale Tudo 9 is already in the works, with plans to take place in early August! Promoters Rudimar Fedrigo and Jorge Guimaraes are likely taking the show out of Curitiba for the first time in MECA’s history, bringing it to the traditional and gorgeous small city of Teresopolis, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The show is likely to be held in the same venue where Carlson Gracie’s show HEROES took place, and the fight card is in the works promising some exciting bouts, such as Assuerio Silva squaring off against BTT fighter Fabiano "Pega Leve" Scherner, Chute Boxe sensation Mauricio "Shogun" Rua against Carlinhos Lima, and MECA 8 stand outs Daniel Acacio and Delson "Pe de Chumbo" facing each other in what has the potential to be an energetic and exciting bout.
- Brazilian promoter and K-1 representative in Brazil, Sergio Batarelli, has a new weapon in his arsenal that he is going to unveil to the Japanese audience soon. Montanha Silva is the newest Brazilian fighter planning to take K-1 by storm, with the difference that he has some peculiar characteristics. Montanha is a giant with 2.20 meters (approximately 7’3") and 180kg (397 pounds), allegedly with only 5% of body fat. Even if those numbers aren’t entirely accurate, one thing is certain, he is huge! On June 29th, he will be making his K-1 debut against Japanese fighter Musashi, at K-1 Beast 2, and has already signed a 2-year contract to fight in K-1, NHB and do Pro Wrestling. The 26-year-old fighter is being marketed as the Brazilian version of Bob Sapp, let’s see what the future holds for the South American giant.
- Brazilian Top Team legend and PRIDE idol Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira is already preparing himself to make his comeback to NHB after his loss by judges’ decision to Emelianenko Fedor. The former PRIDE Heavyweight champion is fighting on August 10th, in PRIDE as always, in a single bout with an as yet to be confirmed opponent. Rumors are going strong that he may going to face Croatian fighter Mirko "Cro Cop", but at this point this is not certain. Minotauro was in Europe doing seminars recently, and when asked about a fight against Mirko he, as his usual self, said he welcomes the match. His manager Mario Sperry is going to fly to Japan next Monday, and will likely come back with plenty of deals for his fighters as usual.
- The second edition of RN Vale Tudo took place this past Friday, June 13th, in the beautiful city of Natal. The minor league show promoted by Conrado Carlos, had two 4-man tournaments, one below 72kg and the other below 82kg, serving as a qualifier for his next big event. The Palacio dos Esportes Arena had a crowd of 1,200 spectators that witnessed Jiu-Jitsu fighter Magnus Decio defeat both Renato "Mao de Pedra" and Loca to take the up-to-72kg title, while Kimura/Nova Uniao fighter Fabio Bolinho cleaned the house defeating Ary Marcel and surprising Bitetti Combat veteran Rivanio Aranha in the final, getting the up-to-82kg title. In the event’s superfights, Junior defeated Chicao by TKO, while Chute Boxe black belt and Kimura/Nova Uniao fighter Wallace defeated Bambam by judges’ decision. Both Magnus Decio and Fabio Bolinho are likely to appear in Natal’s next big show.