The 19-point peak on the Ibope scale, ranking television viewership results, for the network TV broadcast on Globo channel last night, as reported by the station, was just one of the signs of how big a hit UFC 147 was.
There were others.
Early on, there were fears the outcome would be lackluster compared to what the UFC was capable of offering. Especially due to the absence of Vitor Belfort, who broke his hand, and Daniel Sarafian, who tore the tendon in his bicep (only to return in November).
In the end, though, the replacements fit the bill. Rich Franklin didn’t just step in for Vitor, but he survived a devastating knockdown in the second round, practically saved by the bell, to win the main event of the evening.
In the second-to-last fight on the UFC 147 card, it was the turn of two-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion Sérgio Moraes to prove he too had what it takes to put on a show on a live broadcast for all of Brazil to enjoy.
In his case, “for all of Brazil” didn’t just mean mainstream commentator Galvão Bueno. Sérgio was training with Mauricio Shogun in Curitiba, where he now lives, his friends and teammates at Alliance rooted for him from São Paulo, and his uncles are from the state of Mato Grosso. All of them went to sleep after flipping the TV switch brimming with pride.
Sérgio didn’t make much effort to go for the grappling game. He took the blows and spinning capoeira kicks Cezar Mutante dished out. When he’d fall, he’d stand back up. He got hit and hit back. And in a riveting second round, reminiscent of the Forrest Griffin-Stephan Bonnar fight from the maiden TUF season in the USA, the Jiu-Jitsu champion managed to wobble his opponent and launch an attack, landing the bomb pictured in the photo.
Favored-to-win Mutante deservedly won the TUF Brazil middleweight contest, but the underdog became something of an idol to those with the odds against them, who no one believes in when they arrive, fuse effort with discipline and prove their worth.
In the end, proving the fight was more evenly matched than the judges reckoned, both went to the doctor. Mutante had a routine tomography, and Sérgio had a chipped tooth.
The strongest sign that UFC 147 delivered what was promised, yet again, was the crowd that chanted nonstop in a Mineirinho Gymnasium packed with around 17,000 people.
Aside from the millions of new fans watching from the sofa.
UFC 147 BH
MINEIRINHO, BELO HORIZONTE, MG
JUNE 23, 2012
Rich Franklin defeated Wanderlei Silva via unanimous judges’ decision
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira defeated Sergio Moraes via unanimous judges’ decision
Rony “Jason” Mariano Bezerra defeated Godofredo “Pepey” via unanimous judges’ decision
Fabricio Werdum defeated Mike Russow via TKO in R1
Hacran Dias Yuri defeated “Marajó” Alcântara via unanimous judges’ decision
Rodrigo Damm defeated Anistavio “Gasparzinho” Medeiros via rear-naked choke at 2:12 min of R1
Francisco “Massaranduba” Drinaldo defeated Delson “Pé de Chumbo” Heleno via TKO at 4:21 min of R1
Hugo “Wolverine” Viana defeated John “Macapá” Teixeira via split judges’ decision
Thiago “Bodão” Perpétuo defeated Leonardo “Macarrão” Mafra via TKO at 0.41 min of R3
Marcos Vinicius “Vina” defeated Wagner “Galeto” Campos via TKO at 4:04 min of R3
Felipe Arantes and Milton Vieira fought to a draw
Fight of the night: Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei Silva
Knockout of the night: Marcos “Vina”
Submission of the night: Rodrigo Damm