On Thursday the 18th of September all the fighters and reporters going to BSF Vale Tudo met in the Rio airport to head to Rio Grande do Sul.
On Thursday the 18th of September all the fighters and reporters going to BSF Vale Tudo met in the Rio airport to head to Rio Grande do Sul. Rio Grande do Sul is the southern most state of Brazil and not a short flight due in part to a layover in Sao Paulo. To avoid any unnecessary problems between hotheaded fighters opponents were put on separate planes for Porta Alegre the capital of Rio Grande do Sul and the location for the next evenings fights.
One last minute change had been made in the card. Jorge "Macaco" Patino from Macao Gold Team, had fought and defeated Ronaldo "Jacaré" Santos in a tough fight at Jungle Fight just the weekend before. BSF promoters` deiced to replace Macaco with a healthy Silmar Rodrigo from the Kimura/Nova UniÃ£o Team just to insure safety and good fights. Silmar Rodrigo would now face Minowa.
When this event was fist announced it raised a question in many peoples mind. How would the Japanese Ikuhisa Minowa do fighting in Brazil with the Brazilian Top Team cornering him for the first time? Especially since Ikuhisa Minowa doesn`t speak Portuguese or English. This was to be his first fight out side Japan and flying his new team flag.
The expected layover in Sao Paulo had an unexpected turn, after a very rough landing left everyone wondering if this Brazilian pilot really could fly. We were not scheduled to change planes but it seemed the rough landing took its toll on the plane and we need to switch planes. This undermined the event promoters by causing a delay of both planes and grouping all the fighters together including Macaco & Minowa who traded glances but luckily couldn`t communicate.
The planned schedule set up by event promoters was completely thrown off by the unexpected delay in Sao Paulo. Upon arrival in Porto Alegre everyone needed to cooperate and pay attention to make the prior scheduling work. We all quickly met in the hotel lobby for head count and then it was up stairs for the BSF press conference.
The press conference featured the 14 competitors set to fight in the seven matches and the press of course. But also in attendance were many of Brazil`s top fighters: Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira, Renato "BabalÃº" Sobral, Carlos Barreto, Allan Goes, Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira, Ricardo Arona and Murilo Bustamante. It was great to see the event getting all this support.
It seemed Minowa was the biggest attraction of the event. There was a lot of non-NHB press there and they seemed most interested in him. During the press conference Minowa kept himself with his usual Japanese flag draped over his back. He only removed it at one time and that was when the vent promoter, Mr. Jose MÃ¡rio Sperry, brought out the absolutely beautiful BSF title belt. Obviously he wanted a good look at it and even more I think he wanted to be wearing it in the near future.
Minowa would have a tough fight before he could put the BSF belt on. Rodrigo is known as one of the toughest fighters out of the northeast of Brazil where most all the Vale Tudo events are held. Turns out he has only ever lost once in WVC 13 and that was to our very own wreslting sensation Darrel Gholar.
A good nights sleep for everyone and early in the afternoon it was time to get ready for the event. After all the fighters did deserve some good press. As the press arrived at Gigantinho Arena everyone agreed that Mr. Sperry was right this was going to be more than some fights it was going to be a show. From the look of things they had really put some time and effort in to the event every thing looked professional including a very nice ring and great lights.
The show started promptly at 9:00 pm with two guitarists playing what I was told was special theme music just for BSF. This was then followed by the traditional Brazilian national anthem.
Then after the music and light show began the fighter introductions and then finally the fights.
The first fight of the night was between Marcello "Grilo" Alfaia (BTT) and José Ricardo "DragÃ£o" (FlorianÃ³polis). Grilo started out well on the feet out striking DragÃ£o. DragÃ£o did have some takedown attempts and tried every opportunity he got. DragÃ£o was really only surviving thought the whole out first round. At one point he got clumsy and caught a stiff right-straight and was on the ground. Grilo capitalized and took his back but could not finish. The second and third rounds were pretty equal with DragÃ£o and Grilo trading blows. At one point Grilo went for a double-get takedown and missed. This gave DragÃ£o his best shot at finishing the fight by kicking Grilo or making a move while Grilo was butt scooting around. DragÃ£o resigned to just kicking his legs occasionally. This gave Grilo the unanimous decision against DragÃ£o.
Coming of a string of bad luck Raus Vale Tudo fighter Aloisio "Dado" Barros was up to fight Autrailian Brazilian Top Team representative Luke "The Duke" Piclum. Dado`s string of bad luck started with his last two MMA matches that he lost and also a few submission matches as well. Then in the ADCC Brazilian Trails he not only did he loose but he was also lost to Marcelo Garcia giving up the fastest submission of the whole event. Piclum is new to Brazilian MMA and was coming in with a four and zero record but again who we don`t know.
Dado came in firing knowing that he need to win this event and maybe feeling a little confident about his foreign competitor. Dado was trying to dictate the pace of the fight with some good kicks but slow hands. Dado seemed to be doing well till Piclum threw two good punches and that made Dado decide to take it to the ground with a good takedown. Once on the ground however Dado seemed lost looking to his corner for guidance. The fight stalled on the ground and the referee stood the fighters up. Now Piclum saw that Dado was lost on the ground an took Dado to the ground right away. Piclum was on top and Dado was in haft guard. Dado was able to escape using a RVT signature move, a heel hook but while coming up Piclum lost a point because he kicked Dado in the face while he was still down. The second round was pretty boring after the first both men tired they spent a lot of time clenched on the ropes. In the third round Dado seemed unwilling to let his streak of bad luck continue and came out strong. Eventually landing a big knee on Piclum`s eyebrow and opened a big blood cut for the TKO.
The next three fights would all seem to follow a predetermined script and the script no doubt called for the looser to take large doses of painkillers because they all left with monster headaches.
The third fight was Leonardo Souza from Kimura/Nova UniÃ£o team against Haroldo "Cabelinho" Bunn from BTT. Everyone knew Cabelinho was in trouble from the get go when in the first excange he ate two hard left-crosses from Souza. Cabelinho seeing he wwas getting whooped on the feet deiced he better take the fight to the ground but Souza sprawled perfectly determined to keep the fight standing and landed two knees to Cabelinho`s head. Cabelinho knew his only chance was taking it to the ground and while Souza was trying to throw blows shot in for a takedown. However not much happened on the ground and the fight was restarted on the feet. Cabelinho finally landed a blow on Souza and Souza reacted with a takedown leaving the two tangled on the ground near Cabelinho`s corner. Souza worked a week kneebar while Cabelinho defended and worked towards a better position. The fighters were stood up yet again for inactivity on the ground. Surprising for two jiu jitsu guys. The second round started with Souza taking Cabelinho down again. Cabelinho must have forgot that Souza was a lefty because he blocked his right arm and opened up for a triangle attempt. Souza blasted away at Cabelinho chin putting him right out cold.
The fourth fight of the night was between Eric Tavares of Ruas Vale Tudo System and André "Mau" Legendre from Macaco Gold Team. Mau started out the fight with a good combination of punches that should have made Tavares retreate. But, instead he hung in there and landed a big bomb that Mau ate. The referee jumped in like he was going to give a standing eight count, why I couldn`t understand. Mau was ok, but walked back in to fight only to eat another huge punch and another again. Tavares for some reason decided to take it to the ground. In Mau`s guard now he decided to open it with pure force. More blasts to Mau`s face, with the guard now open Mau exposed his back and Tavares charged on to it and let the thunder fly on Mau`s head. The referee stopped the fight at 2:53 in the first round.
A Muay Thai match was help in between the MMA fights and BTT fighters Gerson Silca used his long legs to punish Zileu Ferreira landing one kick right in his mouth. A mismatch for sure it ended quick in 2:26 of the first round.
The fifth fight was between Luiz Azeredo from Macaco Gold Team and Rodrigo Ruas from Ruas Vale Tudo System. This fight was full of energy it was a war. Azeredo and Marco Ruas`s nephew went at it 100 percent with kicks and knees flying everywhere. The fight didn`t even last two minutes and it seemed either fighter could go down at any time. Finally there was a clinch that on would assume would slow the fight down. But they separated quickly and Azeredo landed a punch that dropped Ruas. Now in Ruas`s guard Azeredo landed two more big punches before backing up a bit. Azeredo then came in with a huge punch that slammed Ruas head on the floor. He followed that up with another shot but Ruas was already out it seemed. All that action in a minute twenty six seconds. Rodrigo needs to take a look at his training since he now has a negative record in MMA of 1-1-2.
The co-main event was between Rodrigo "Durok" Asmuck of Gracie Barra-BH againt Muriez Linke from Macaco Gold Team. Two seasoned Jiu Jitsu guys Durok is a student of world class Gracie Barra black belt, Vinicius "Drakulino" MagalhÃ£es who`s students have become active in MMA recently but not with much success. His last three students who fought lost. Drakulino told us he has a lot of confidence in Durok and felt he would do a good job representing Gracie Barra-BH. Muriez is Polish fighter training at the Macao Gold Team camp. Both fighters started out with a great deal of caution on their feet. This made it obvious that Muriez had no stand up skills and Durok was nervous about his first MMA fight.
There was no action standing up so Durok took the fight to the ground. Durok didn`t land any effective punches from the top and fought more like it was a no-gi match. It worked well for him passing the guard and then mounting effortlessly. Durok through some quick punches but he was reversed by Muriez. One in the guard Muriez could not mount an offence and the fighters were stood up. Durok took a risk an jumped guard against Muriez. It turned out to be ok because Muriez was not able to attach. The fight stalled yet again and they fighters were asked to stand up. This time Muriez decided to be the aggressor and shot for a double leg. His poor wrestling technique proved to be a big mistake. Durok sunk his right arm for a guillotine choke and Muriez tapped quickly at 4:35 in round one. Minotauro presented the proud Gracie Barra-BH fighter with a large BSF trophy.
The main event was now on and the fans were sure ready for it. Ikuhisa Minowa from Brazilian Top Team against Silmar Rodrigo from Kimura/Nova UniÃ£o Team. As Minowa walked to the ring there was an excitement in the air that let us know it was going to be an exciting fight. His entrance was very grand with the Japanese flag draped over his shoulders and special music blearing. He leaped over the top rope and set about testing the ropes of the ring. Rodrigo came of in a much more serious manner wearing a strictly business face. He too was ready to fight and he calmly entered the ring.
Rodrigo`s height and reach gave him a slight advantage in the beginning of the match as his jab kept Minowa from closing the distance. Minowa did shoot a takedown but Rodrigo avoided it. Minowa expended a lot of energy trying to set up takedowns against Rodrigo, he looked a little too excited. Rodrigo decided to take his try at taking the fight to the ground and was successful, but Minowa kicked him back and was up to his feet. Rodrigo took Minowa down again but this time Minowa has secured one of Rodrigo`s arms and was working for an arm lock. Rodrigo worked himself free but in doing so lost his balance and ended up on the bottom with Minowa trying to set up a submission on him. Both fighters were fighting for position when Minowa went for a knee bar. The fighters separated and stoop up. Minowa landed a good right in Rodrigo`s face at the end of round one.
Round two started with Rodrigo taking Minowa down. Minowa played an open guard and the fight stalled. The referee stood up the fighters. Rodrigo show yet again he had the better takedowns and took the fight to the ground where pounded Minowa face a little till it stalled out again. The fighters were stoop up again. On the feet this time we saw some action with Minowa trying a spinning back fist which left his back open for Rodrigo. Maybe this was Minowa plan because he did a huge roll and grabbed Rodrigo`s leg landing in a perfect knee bar. Rodrigo resisted but it was just too tight. He has to tap or loose the use of his leg. Minowa celebrated with his new teammates and got the beautiful BSF belt he was eyeing the day before.
Congratulations to all the fighters Minowa especially proving he is still one of the best Japanese fighters in the world, even if he lives in Brazil.