The tenth episode of TUF Brazil was chock full of excitement for its viewing audience. Through to the reality show semifinals, Rodrigo Damm of Vitor Belfort’s green team was taken sick and was given medical advice not to compete against blue team’s Godofredo Pepey for a berth in the tournament final. In his place entered former Wanderlei Team member Vinicius Vina, who has represented Vitor’s team since a reshuffle in the second phase.
In the fight, Pepey looked to get the action going on the ground, pulling off a triangle, armbar and deep americana from guard, not to mention a scissor sweep and heelhook attempt, all of which Vina duly defended and responded with punches and kicks.
In the second round, against Pepey insisted in going with the guard attack and sunk another americana. Vina somersaulted to escape, but this time the MG Ceará black belt had the elbow locked down and wrapped up the fight.
“You can see how Pepey does a better job of positioning his body during his second attempt and gets leverage on the elbow. If Vina hadn’t screamed he would have broken his arm—it was at its full extent,” explained black belt Claudio Oliveira, Pepey’s brother and one of those responsible for having taught the fighter his gentle-art skills.
Team captain Wanderlei Silva heaped praise on Pepey for his performance. “Sometimes we judge people without justification. The guy’s a warrior, determined, and you could see that he, like me, came from the bottom; he’s moving up the ranks through grit and hard work. He earned my respect and admiration,” said Wand.
Now, Pepey is waiting for next Sunday to find out who he’ll be facing in the final, to be determined between Rony Jason and Hugo Wolverine.