10/07 SUPER CHALLENGE: PRIDE ENVIROMENT IN BRAZIL
by Denis Martins, Images by Alex Okuma
Barueri, Sao Paulo- Two 8 man tournaments, one night: with this fight's ingredients the Super Challenge became so far the most important MMA event in Brazil ever made. The card was superb and the excitement was kept from the begining until the end. The partnership between West Promotion & Entertainment and B-Tough Fight Management was a brilliant marriage with the high professionalism and the seriousness that all Brazilian events will need to follow if the success is the target.
The good organization was noticed by the fighters and their camps already in the press conference in a famous Shopping Center in Sao Paulo and during the weigh-ins elaborated in the molds of the best of the international events.
At the weigh-ins only Mauro Thimento, Milton Bahia and Leonardo Lucio 'Chocolate' Nascimento didn't make weight in the first attempt. But without much trouble they made it in the following opportunities.
The Jose Correa Gymnasium was the stage of this show in Saturday 7th and the speculations and expectations were larger than you can imagine. With people picking their favorites to win the tourney, plus a piece of worrying on keeping this pick due to the 3 fights per night issue.
The huge partnership between Super Challenge in Brazil and Pride FC in Japan was shown soon in the first fight, when Pride referee, Oshiro Moritake, refereed the first fight of the night involving ChuteBoxer Jean Silva against BJJ ace Leonardo Santos of Nova Uniao for the under 73kgs tournament. Santos decided to fight on the feet and paid for this when a big hand strike connected at his chin and he dropped unconscious in less than premature 40 seconds of R1.
Milton Vieira and Johnny Eduardo fought match number #2 of under 73kgs and battled frankly in R1, with a small advantage to Eduardo, who connected his punches better and avoided with propriety the
takedowns attempts of Vieira. Still in R1 a small controversy when in an exchanging, Vieira alleged to the referee that Eduardo eye gouged him, Eduardo stopped his actions and referee said 'keep going', so Vieira took Eduardo down and worked from the ground.
The Boxe Thai camp complained a lot, but even so Eduardo had 10-9 in R1. R2 was dominated by Vieira who got to bring the fight to his battlefield (the ground) and submitted Eduardo with an anaconda choke.
Luis 'Beicao' Ramos and Luciano Azevedo fought a balanced match, and even I did think Bericao was a little weak for this weight class (his one would be 76kgs) and Azevedo was apparently less focused than his prior fights. Beicao tried to work on the feet, but Azevedo has other intention and when the fight hit the ground, Azevedo had a huge chance of finish the contest by a tight triangle, Beicao resisted slammed and finally escaped from that. However; that
submission attempt let Beicao dizzy and he didn't render much more in the R2- losing by unanimous decision.
Like Silva, Fabricio 'Morango' Camoes had quick work to do when he was subbed by a smart move Sao Paulo's native Mauro Thimento by guillotine choke in less than 1 minute.
So after the under 73kgs action stopped the under 83kgs gladiators began- this category started with World BJJ champion and only 2-0 in MMA Demian Maia of Brasa schooling a nervous Katel Kubis (Nogushi). Maia got to circling around the ring to escape of the
Kubis' muay thai abilities, when Kubis threw a lot-kick Maia shot and then the rest of the fight was a total dominance of Maia who got the mount, took the back and finished the match by choke.
Gustavo 'Ximu' Machado and Leonardo Lucio 'Chocolate' Nascimento squared-off in a tight match which went the distance for two rounds. Powerhouse Chocolate kicked Ximu’s legs in R1, but his intention was the ground and he made it after one minute of fight. With a ground & pound Chocolate kept Ximu under his control and took the R1. However at R2 Chocolate didn't get his takedowns and ate a lot of low-kicks and seemed to feel a few of them. Chocolate tried to answer Ximu kick with his kicks, but he didn't with same sharpness. End of both rounds and a tough decision in the judges' hand who decided for Ximu to advance.
Fight number #3 was the big upset of the night when virtual favorite in the bets, Alexandre 'Cacareco' Ferreira lost by decision after two rounds to Alexandre Pequeno's protégé Felipe 'Mongo' Arinelli. Cacareco sunk his feared guillotine choke early R1, but Mongo escaped of it after a few minutes of tension and started his arsenal of punches a flurry after other was mauling Cacareco. They returned to their feet, and even though Cacareco had better technique he didn't connect with his punches, while Mongo showed zero tenacity, but a barrage of accurate punches. R2 was a little similar and Mongo (surprisingly) got the decision.
Fabio 'Negao' Nascimento and Carlos Baruch did the last quarter finals match, and Baruch worked his better Boxing on the feet and his better Wrestling to take the fight down. But when the fight was on the ground, he didn't work his Jiu Jitsu. By his side Negao didn't much at first stanza, and besides to pursue Baruch around the ring, he connected less than Baruch. The R2 was similar to R1 and Baruch was assuring his victory by decision when he decided to shoot in and take Negao down, Negao landed his knee in the face of Baruch and finished the fight by KO.
One more round of the rivalry between BTT x ChuteBoxe in first semifinals when Vieira met Silva and showed the best and most balanced fight of whole event. Vieira wanted to dictate the pace, but the one combo landed by Silva forced Vieira to walk back and try another game-plan. The fight kept going very balanced with Vieira (when on the ground) displaying his arsenal of submission attempts and Silva landing punches. End of R2 and Silva took the decision by 2-1 in a tough fight.
Morango and Azevedo in semifinal #2 made the eyewitness realize how the strategy of Morango inside the tourney was perfect. He faked a few punches on the feet and took the fight down to work a ground and pound. Without rushing, he dominated Azevedo on the ground and reached the mount. Azevedo suffered a little but escaped from that terrible situation and the R1 finished. R2 was all or nothing to Azevedo, but he started feeling the effects of fighting two rounds in first fight. Once again Morango mounted Azevedo, but this time Azevedo escaped quickly and paid back mounting Morango. At this point Morango escaped too, but in my opinion he lost his focus when didn't keep the same enthusiasm on the fight. The clock was running fast and when it reached 4:50 of R2, Azevedo mounted again but it was too late and Morango came
across as the winner by decision.
At Under 83kgs Ximu and Maia had an ugly match in R1, Ximu didn't press the fight while Maia tried to sit down on the ring and to pull the Ximu down. Ximu kicked Maia’s legs and when the fight was on the ground, Ximu threw a few strikes. More action in R2 as Maia took Ximu down and worked his BJJ over the former KOTC fighter. On the ground, Maia passed the guard and mounted in the last 40 seconds of the fight. With strikes he shook the Ximu's head and conquered the decision after two rounds.
Once standing the fight involving Mongo versus Negao was wild, Mongo didn't have enough technique but he never stops his strikes and Negao had to take care a bit more to not eat a KO. The R1 was an advantage to Mongo, who landed more strikes on the feet and he did the same at R2, but Negao did as well, and such as Mongo was warned by a yellow card the war went to a extra round. A tired Mongo resisted and fought until Negao took him down and with a vicious ground and pound to decree the TKO by referee stoppage.
Jorge 'Macaco' Patino (Chute Boxe) def. Roberto Godoi
(BTT) by TKO (referee stoppage) at R2
One side note on this superfight, the personal rivalry between them was the only reason for booking this fight like a superfight. Godoi was a good opponent for Macaco, who used his larger experience to maul Godoi on the feet and on the ground. Godoi had only a good moment in R1 when the connected a punch in Macaco, but even cornered Macaco escaped. Macaco proved his superiority in R2 when a barrage of punches on the ground forced the referee to stop the fight.
Grand Final Under 73kgs:
The BJJ black belt of Royler Gracie and Vinny Aieta, Morango didn't refuse the fight on the feet and went ahead of Silva with punches. Silva connected more than Morango, so Morango shoot and put the fight down. Morango nearly submitted Silva with an armbar, but Silva freed himself. The fight went once again to the ground and Morango got side control, and punched Silva while this one landed knees which connected. Morango hid his head and worked for an armbar, Silva tried once again to free his arm, but this time was too late for this and he tapped out in 4:20 of R1.
Grand Final Under 83kgs:
Quick work for Maia on this final, after an 3 rounds of war against Mongo, Negao wasn't in good condition for this final and became an easy prey for Maia, who high kicked and waited for Negao. Negao tried a take down, but Maia defended and sunk a guillotine choke to finish the fight and conquer the Super Challenge under 83kgs belt, plus around $18000 (US) of prize money!
SUPER CHALLENGE RESULTS
Jose Correa Gymnasium
Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Saturday, October 7th
TOURNAMENT UNDER 73kgs
Rafael Manteiga (Never Shake) def. Cicero Costa
(Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu) by TKO (referee stoppage) at R2
Jean Silva (Chute Boxe) KO'd Leonardo Santos (Nova
Uniao) at R1
Milton Vieira (BTT) def. Johnny Eduardo (Boxe Thai) by
Anaconda Choke at R2
Luciano Azevedo (RFT) def. Luis 'Beicao' Ramos (GBCT)
by Judge’s Decision
Fabricio 'Morango' Camoes (Gracie Humaita/Tijuca) def.
Mauro Thimento (Never Shake) by Guillotine Choke
TOURNAMENT UNDER 83kgs
Flavio Alvaro (MGT) def. Milton Bahia (Alvaro de
Aguiar) by TKO (referee stoppage) at R2
Demian Maia (Brasa) def. Katel Kubis (Nogushi Team) by
Rear Naked Choke at R1
Gustavo 'Ximu' Machado (GBCT) def. Leonardo Lucio
'Chocolate' Nascimento (RFT) by Decision after R2
Felipe 'Mongo' Arinelli (Alexandre Pequeno) def.
Alexandre 'Cacareco' Ferreira (BTT) by decision after
Fabio 'Negao' Nascimento (Lotus MMA) def. Carlos
Baruch (Vitor Belfort) by KO at R2
Vanessa Porto (Iglesias Team) def. Juliana Aguiar
(Junior Aguiar Team) by Arm Triangle at R1
UNDER 73kgs SEMIFINALS
Camoes def. Azevedo by Unanimous Decision after R2
Silva def. Vieira by Split Decision after R2
UNDER 83kgs SEMIFINALS
Nacimento def. Arinelli by TKO (referee stoppage) at
Maia def. Machado by Decision after R2
Jorge 'Macaco' Patino (Chute Boxe) def. Roberto Godoi
(BTT) by TKO (referee stoppage) at R2
UNDER 73kgs FINAL
Camoes def. Silva by Armbar at R1
UNDER 83kgs FINAL
Maia def. Nascimento by Guillotine Choke at R1