The wait is over. After a highly successful opening season featuring UFC superstars Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, The Ultimate Fighter Brasil returns to Rede Globo on March 17. This time, the reality show that crowned featherweight and middleweight winners Rony Jason and Cezar Mutante will put some of Brazil’s finest welterweights to the test.
Led by two of the UFC’s top heavyweights Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum, the hopefuls will train and live together for 12 weeks, competing with each other for a coveted contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighter Brasil 2, kicking off right after Big Brother Brasil, will initially feature a group of 28 welterweights. These fighters will battle it out in elimination scraps in episodes one and two until only half of them remain. The lucky 14 will then become official cast members and move into The Ultimate Fighter house, where they will be split into two opposing teams. After the end of each episode, an eliminatory fight will decide a winner, who will advance in the tournament until only one is crowned The Ultimate Fighter.
The final 28 were picked from an initial list of over 300 applicants at the TUF tryouts in Rio de Janeiro. Ranging from 18 to 35 years of age, these fighters came from all corners of Brazil, as well as countries such as Argentina and the United States. The fighters underwent interviews, medical exams, and were tested on their striking and grappling skills until the final 28 emerged.
“I think the level this season is extremely high. I’m confident that apart from the season winner we will be sending a lot of great fighters to the UFC in the future. Basically, we have the very elite of Brazilian MMA welterweights in front of us,” said Nogueira.
The competitors featured on the first 2 episodes of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil 2 are:
Bruno Dias “Jacaré” (11-3-1), 26, Bragança Paulista, SP
Cleiton Duarte “Foguete” (12-1-0), 32, Rio Grande, RS
Daniel Oliveira de Azeredo “Gelo” (4-1-0), 29, Nilópolis, RJ
David Vieira da Silva (4-0-0), 31, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Felipe Olivieri (11-4-0), 27, São João de Meriti, RJ
Gil Freitas (14-5-0), 29, São Paulo, SP
Henrique Batista “Sucuri” (4-0-0), 27, Linhares, ES
Juliano Wandalen “Ninja” (7-3-0), 35, Blumenau, SC
Leandro Silva “Buscapé” (5-0-0), 26, São Paulo, SP
Leonardo Santos (11-3-0), 33, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Luciano Contini (8-1-0), 29, Curitiba, PR
Luiz Jorge Dutra da Silva Jr “Besouro” (11-2-1), 31, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Marcio Santos “Pedra” (4-0-0), 24, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Neilson Gomes (14-2-0), 26, Salvador, BA
Pedro Iriê (9-5-0), 33, Bragança Paulista, SP
Roberto Barros Martins Amorim “Corvo” (6-1-0), 23, Goiânia, GO
Robson Ferreira “Negão” (4-0-0), 28, Guarulhos, SP
Ronaldo Oliveira Silva “Rony Silva” (3-0-0), 26, Vitória da Conquista, Bahia
Santiago Ponzinibbio (18-1-0), 26, La Plata, Argentina
Thiago Silva “Bel” (9-3-1), 22, Curitiba, PA
Thiago de Lima Santos “Marreta” (8-1-0), 29, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Thiago Gonçalves “Jambo” (15-3-0), 33, Maceió, AL
Tiago Alves “Unstoppable” (3-0-0), 33, São Paulo, SP
Viscardi Andrade (13-5-0), 29, São Paulo, SP
Wande Lopes Santana (6-0-0), 30, Campo Grande, MS
Weguimar de Lucena Xavier “Big Big” (17-5-1), 31, João Pessoa, PB
William Macario “Patolino” (6-0-0), 21, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Yan Cabral (10-0-0), 29, Rio de Janeiro, RJ