The first international edition of the long-running UFC reality TV series features UFC veterans Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva, coaching 16 of the best up-and-coming featherweight (145 pounds) and middleweight (185 pounds) fighters from Brazil, with two lucrative UFC contracts on the line.
“I am pumped that Fuel TV is going to air season 1 of TUF Brazil! The fights are awesome and it shows how deep the talent pool is in Brazil,” says UFC president Dana White. “As we continue to grow globally, not just the UFC but The Ultimate Fighter too, we will have so much more content that I know U.S. fans will love to get their hands on.”
“We’re excited to bring the first international edition of the very popular TUF series to U.S. television audiences,” says George Greenberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Fuel TV. “While the series has been available to fans domestically online, the reach television provides will help broaden the audience and strengthen the franchise. Our sneak peak last Saturday posted a strong rating and helped push Fuel TV to its third most-watched day ever.”
The premiere episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil showcases the elimination bouts, narrowing down the initial group of 32 hopefuls to the final 16 who will move into the TUF house. From there, they will be split between “Team Vitor” and “Team Wanderlei” and face weekly elimination fights until the finale, where a winner from both weight classes will be declared The Ultimate Fighter and win an international UFC contract.
Coaches Belfort and Silva have a long-standing rivalry. They fought more than 13 years ago at UFC Brazil on Oct. 16, 1998. Belfort won that night via first round TKO, and the two have since gone on to greatness, with Belfort winning the UFC light heavyweight title and Silva reigning as the Pride middleweight champion for five years in Japan.
Throughout the season, there are special appearances by UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, and former UFC light heavyweight champions Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.