Vitor Belfort Believes ‘Ultimate Fighter Brazil’ will be Huge in His Home Country

January 11, 2012
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The Ultimate Fighter will finally debut in an international format later this year when TUF Brazil debuts with coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva.

Brazil has long supported mixed martial arts, but new coach Vitor Belfort believes that when you combine fighting with the Brazilian’s love of reality TV, the UFC might be in for a huge hit.

“We’re not even beginning yet. We’re going to do the reality show, Brazil is one of the biggest country in the whole world, and they love reality shows,” Belfort told MMAWeekly Radio. “Big Brother, almost half of the population sees Big Brother every day in Brazil. After the reality show, you guys are going to see what the UFC is going to turn into in Brazil.”

Belfort himself has appeared in a small role on a Brazilian reality show, and is already one of the most well known fighters in his home country.

Now with The Ultimate Fighter about to land in Brazil in just a few short months, Belfort is confident that MMA will take an even larger step forward in his home country, becoming the second biggest sport next to soccer.

“UFC is the only sport that can compete with soccer,” said Belfort. “We can have a UFC every weekend in Brazil. We’re going to be able to teach people and many kids. We’re going to be a sport where the athletes are going to be able to teach good behavior, kids are going to look up to a lot of the athletes. UFC has a lot to offer.”

Over the last several months, UFC president Dana White has said several times that Brazil may soon become the second largest market for the sport, taking over where Canada once stood not long ago. Belfort believes Brazil may one day actually be the biggest.

“Brazil is going to be if not the biggest, it’s going to be one of the biggest markets for sure,” said Belfort.

As for his own coaching stint on the reality show, Belfort doesn’t want to spend much time talking about it right now. Sure, he knows that it’s going to happen as soon as his fight with Anthony Johnson is done at UFC 142, and he’s already got his next bout lined up against Wanderlei Silva, but his focus is only on one thing right now and it’s not the reality show.

“If you worry about today, today will take care of tomorrow. I need to focus on the Anthony Johnson fight, that’s where my focus is right now,” Belfort stated. “After that, my focus will be The Ultimate Fighter, taking care of the fighters, getting the fighters where they need. Then I need to train to fight Wanderlei.”

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil will begin filming later this year and will air in Brazil, as well as on Fuel TV in the United States.

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  • fitefan

    I wonder if Americans will lose interest in MMA or the UFC when Brazillians are clearly dominating the ranks. Similarly as the Japaneese did/have when Americans started dominating in Pride.
    There’s a great deal of patriotism involved in the sport. Nothing inherently wrong with that. But tends to be disheartening when you don’t feel represented. And when a bunch of screaming forigners are going crazy for their hometown hero, and you don’t have horse in the race, you kinda feel left out. It’s not as much fun.
    I also wonder if a Brazillian Fighting Championship will form considering how huge the sport is over there. I know next to nothing about the day to day life of Brazillians. But it seems as if Soccer and MMA is all they have. Meanwhile we are split between a myriad of different activites from Bowling to Xgames.

    • I really dont think thats a concern. Americans are going to continue to do well in MMA.

      • Lesnardo

        I don’t worry about Americans at all. In the HW division, Dos Santos is the second Brazilian to capture the title in UFC or PRIDE. The other was Nog.

        Let’s look at HW and LHW champs in PRIDE and UFC and see if Brazilians actually “dominated.”

        JDS: Brazil
        Cain: American
        Lesnar: American
        Carwin: American
        Mir: American
        Nog: Brazil
        Randy: American
        Sylvia: American
        Arlovski: Belarus
        Mir: American
        Ricco: American
        Barnett: American
        Randy: American

        Fedor: Russian
        Nog: Brazilian

        Jones: American
        Shogun: Brazilian
        Lyoto: Brazilian
        Evans: American
        Forrest: American
        Rampage: American
        Liddell: American
        Randy: American
        Tito: American

        Hendo: American
        Wandy: Brazilian

        So…I am not sure what you mean by “Brazilians dominating the sport of MMA.”

        • fitefan

          Uncanny understood what I meant, tho I can see my wording could be interpreted two ways.
          “when Brazillians are clearly dominating the ranks”
          Wasn’t meant to mean that they are presently dominating now. It was meant as an expectation of the future.

          Also I said “ranks”, I didn’t say champions.

    • Lesnardo

      “Similarly as the Japaneese did/have when Americans started dominating in Pride.”

      (1) Japanese never lost interest in MMA because foreigners were winning. In fact, the popularity of PRIDE sky rocketed as Fedor, Cro Cop, and Wandy rose through the ranks.

      (2) Americans NEVER dominated in Pride. HW: Fedor, LHW: Wandy, MW: Hendo, WW: ?? LW: Gomi.

      (3) I have a feeling you have NO IDEA what you are talking about.

      (4) FYI, PRIDE folded because they lost a TV deal over yukuza scandal. They were doing extremely well in terms of viewership.

      (5) Finally, I would recommend that you stop mumbling on about stuff you have no idea about. Just go back to the Brock Lesnar articles and comment on why you think Brock is a fake WWE MMA fighter poser.

      • Man I miss the old Pride days!!! You seem to know a lot more about it than I do… Is Dream in any way related to Pride? Isn’t One FC going to have the same rule rules as far as kicking and stomping a ground opponent?

      • fitefan

        “Similarly as the Japaneese did/have when Americans started dominating in Pride.”

        I made that statement in response to either something I saw on TV, or read onliine.
        It suggested MMA in Japan was losing popularity due to the fact that Japaneese MMA fighters were coming up short here in the UFC, and that Americans and other nationalities were coming to Japan and beating their favorite fighters there too.

        You are correct, I have no clue what I was talking about. That’s why I started with ” I wonder ”

        I knew they lost a TV deal, but didn’t know it was attributed to a yakuza scandal. Interesting to know, thanks.

        Finally, after giving your recommendation fair consideration, I have chosen to decline.
        1. I’m not mumbling
        2. My name is ‘fitefan’ not ‘MMAproffesor’. So I’m here to get ideas about things I have no idea about.

        PS. I fail to see the reason for you to resort to insults, except perhaps I’ve stomped on your feelings with my candid assesment of Lesnar’s MMA career. Your name implies a fanatical devotion to him.

        In addition, I don’t appreciate you implying I made statements I did not. It only reflects poorly on you.
        Never have I used the word ‘poser’ to describe Brock.
        I never said Brock was a fake WWE MMA fighter. I said he was not a fighter, never has been never will be.
        I also said Brock was a wrestler of the fake WWE kind, not a fake WWE wrestler.

        You should compose yourself better emotionally and get your facts straight before you launch into an ‘in your face, I know more than you rant’ that ends with a weak insult at best.

        This is all a misunderstanding on your part due to a failure for me to be explicitly clear with my grammer, and a lack of a comprehension of uncanny390s context clue.

        And really, #5 is beneath you. You should be ashamed.

  • Doesn’t wandy look a little puffy in the face…