The episode opens at the TUF gym, and the situation from last week still has not defused. Wanderlei continues to demand an apology from Chael Sonnen, but thugs don’t cry and the American Gangster doesn’t apologize. Eventually Wanderlei comes to the realization that the show is about the fighters and he doesn’t want to hurt them so he backs off his threat to quit taping. He also adds, “[Chael] will apologize in the worst way when I knock him out.” To summarize the whole Wanderlei situation, Chael simply says, “The guy’s not a thinker.”
It’s finally time to pick teams and they flip a coin. Wanderlei wins and elects to choose the first fight. That gives Team Sonnen the first pick and they take Lyoto. After going through all the middleweights, they start drafting the heavyweight fighters. This time Wanderlei has the first pick and he chooses current frontrunner for coolest nickname Cara de Sapato aka “Shoe Face.” The two coaches make their way through the heavyweights and the teams look like this:
Marcio Alexandre Junior “Lyoto”
Joilton Santos “Peregrino”
Guilherme Vasconcelos “Bomba”
Marcos Rogerio de Lima “Pezao”
Vitor Miranda “Lex Luthor”
Ricardo Abreu “Demente
Wagner Gomes “Wagnao”
Ismael de Jesus “Marmota”
Antonio Carlos Junior “Cara de Sapato”
After they’re done choosing teams, Wanderlei starts to give a speech to the fighters about how the show is all about them and Chael interrupts. “Why don’t you call it what you think it is? Call it the Wanderlei Show stupid.” Not one to take the insult without retribution, Wanderlei walks over, throws out a few insults/expletives and aggressively shoves Chael back. The teams converge on their respective coaches, but no fight ensues. Later on the confession camera, Chael describes the experience as “the greatest moment of my day.” He’s not all smiles, though, when he adds, “Wanderlei Silva will not get within arm’s reach of me again.”
The fighters still have a variety of different opinions on the matter. Jollyson agrees with Wanderlei that Chael’s comments went too far. Peregrino doesn’t think that his coach is a bad guy and that all he was doing was trying to promote a fight. Marmota calls Sonnen “a chicken,” for not responding to Wanderlei’s aggression. We know this won’t be the last time the two coaches tussle, so we’ll have to see how the fighters’ opinions change.
After the excitement everyone head to the house. The next day their first order of business is to help choose the next Brazilian Octagon girl. They have a barbecue with the 16 hopefuls, rank them according to preference and the top eight will proceed. They’re all excited to be around such beautiful women, but Peregrino shows the right amount of savvy when he comments that, “None of them are prettier than my girlfriend.” Let’s hope he fights as smart as he thinks.
We’re then shown the different training sessions of the two teams. Team Sonnen drills wrestling and closes the session with Chael addressing each individual fighter and assessing their promise. Team Silva works a little bit of everything and the fighters comment on how intense the pace has been. It’s then time for the fight announcement and it will be Team Silva’s Wagner Silva taking on Team Sonnen’s Peregrino. Chael calls the choice to single out Peregrino “very bizarre” while Wanderlei says that they chose Peregrino because he’s undersized and Wagnao will be able to push him around.
We learn a little bit more about each fighter. Wagnao has been competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since he was 16 years old. Once an avid mountain biker, he always knew he wanted a career in sports. Peregrino (“Pilgrim”) earned his name because he identifies with the main character in a movie by the same name. The Pilgrim had to suffer through a lot of obstacles to reach his goals and Peregrino feels the same way. As he’s preparing for the fight, however, Chael and assistant coach Hortencia notice that he’s burning himself out and far too anxious. Hortencia sits down with him and tries to explain that he needs to calm down and not let the adrenaline take over. Weigh-ins go on without issues and then it’s fight time.
Both men start the round circling each other trying to find their range. Peregrino strikes first and avoids the counters. He utilizes a lot of straight punches while Wagnao tries to land power hooks. Despite not connecting on many of his strikes, Wagnao is still able to back his opponent against the fence. Peregrino tries to get some room by ripping a low kick, but Wagnao absorbs it and shoots. The initial takedown attempt doesn’t work, but he works an outside trip that brings the fight to the mat. Wagnao tries to pass the guard, but Peregrino’s defense holds. After holding position, Wagnao starts punching and dropping elbows. Peregrino uses the opening to reverse position and stand up. Both fighters return to their feet and clinch up. Peregrino takes the dominant position and closes out the round landing punches and elbows on the inside.
Both fighters trade kicks. Peregrino grabs a body kick and transitions to a takedown. Wagnao defends, reverses and puts Peregrino in a turtle position. Wagnao lands some punches, but Peregrino switches positions and answers with some ground and pound of his own. Wagnao makes it back to his feet, but Peregrino keeps the pressure right on and attacks from the clinch. One of the knees hits below the belt and the ref calls timeout. After the restart Wagnao lands another takedown and advances position. Peregrino tries to get to his feet, but the larger Wagnao is glued to him. Wagnao transitions to an arm triangle and it’s in tight. Peregrino survives, though, and is saved by the bell.
It’s tied on the judges’ scorecards and we’re moving to a sudden victory round.
Both fighters’ work rate has slowed down considerably and they open the third round pacing themselves. Peregrino lands the first flurry and it seems to wake Wagnao up. Wagnao shoots and immediately advances to referee’s position. He controls the majority of the round from there and batters Peregrino with short punches. Peregrino finally makes it to his feet, but only has 1:30 to try to take back the round. He fights for position against the cage and the ref breaks them up with 45 seconds remaining. Peregrino charges hard and lands a few more strikes, but the round ends with him fighting in the clinch.
The scorecards come back and Wagnao wins by split decision. Wanderlei, while impressed with Peregrino’s performance, credits his fighter for following the game plan perfectly. Chael is proud of Peregrino, too, but thinks that he made too many tactical errors that cost him the fight.
The episode closes out with a preview of the coming season. There are parties, the rivalry between Chael and Wanderlei grows and Dana White even kicks someone off the show saying, “You should probably be arrested.” Who’s involved? We’ll find out next week on The Ultimate Fighter!