Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC
Two weeks ago in Brazil, there was plenty to celebrate with national heroes like Demain Maia, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza claiming wins in Curitiba.
Yet, when it came time for heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum to make his first title defense in front of his passionate home support, the 40,000 in attendance were silenced as Stipe Miocic punished the champion’s aggression with a knockout blow in the first round.
Despite an amazing night for the Brazilians up until that point, the sudden change in dynamic in the arena almost made it sound as though the gathering had all come to the same realization at the same time—Rafael Dos Anjos is the last Brazilian holding a UFC title.
A country synonymous with the sport that has boasted more champions than any other nation on the UFC’s books for a number of years, there are some who believe their standing in the championship ranks is related to their failure to evolve as quick as their North American counterparts.
Last night in Vegas, Thomas Almeida was a narrow favorite to claim victory in the main event against his fellow knockout artist and unbeaten prospect Cody Garbrandt. To add to that, former bantamweight champion Renan Barao was making his debut at featherweight debut after a number of years of reportedly struggling to make the 135 lbs limit. Elsewhere on the card, streaking Vitor Miranda had a chance to claim a massive scalp when he met Chris Camozzi, and unbeaten Alberto ‘Uda’ Pereira was set to impress in his promotional debut against Jake Collier.
In the end, all four Brazilians lost. Not only that, but a young man who forced national fans to reminisce of heroes from their glory years at the top of the sport was stopped emphatically just as ….View full article