By Josh Reese
TUF Brazil you have seen it right? If not you should have! You might have heard plenty of media members and fans say that the TUF franchise is old, tired, boring and countless other adjectives. In fact sure it may have not been what it once has, but the UFC with TUF “Brazil” injected a breath of fresh air in to the lungs of TUF.
This past season in Brazil was a great season that had just about everything you could want in a compelling show, it was entertainment. Yes the entire show was in a Portuguese but if you could get past that, you enjoyed it. We recently caught up with one of the contestants from its inaugural season, team Vitor’s Featherweight Anistavio “Gasparzinho” Medeiros who we will refer to as Gaspar.
Gaspar entered the TUF house with a respectable 15-8 record with all of his wins coming by way of a finish, 12 submissions and 3 KO’s. Gaspar started training in MMA to survive, as the youngest of 5 brothers it was needed to not get picked on. With no ammy career he started in 2005 and went 2-0 before running into the UFC’s current interim Bantamweight champion Renan Barao. “I have MMA as a job and in this job victories and losses are a part of it. I fight to make money, to support my family, so if you pay me I’ll fight anyone. I don’t try to build my record or pick easy fights.” He said in reference to his record.
After never seeing the show or knowing what would happen he signed up for TUF Brazil. In the house Gaspar was the fun loving song starter that earned him many friends and at least one rival while the season went on. To even make it into the house he defeated Rafael Bueno in a 3 round decision, and ended up being Team Vitor’s very last pick.
During the show he had to fight lone time friend Rony Jason, after trying to avoid this situation they were forced to fight. The fight went Rony Jason’s way, and he submitted Gaspar in the 1st round. “Yeah, my mind wasn’t really into it. I knew I would have to fight him eventually, but I didn’t prepare myself for that, especially on the first fight. Did not imagine they’d screw us up like that”
After the show was over, he returned for the finale to face nemesis during the show Rodrigo Damm, which saw Damm finish Gaspar via a Rear-Naked Choke in the 1st round. “I am dropping to Bantamweight. In my UFC fights I was very well trained, but I wasn’t very lucky. My first fight was against Rony, who was my friend and my mind simply wasn’t into it, and then Rodrigo Damm who was one of the toughest guys on the house.” At 135 Gaspar should be able to have the ability to compete better at a lower weight class.
With the rumors of TUF Brazil heating up wants you to know some experiences he took away from the show “I learned that I need to keep my eyes open and that this world is full of cowardy people. There were a lot of people in the house that acted in a bad way and weren’t professionals, trainers. I won’t say names, but they know who they are. Some behaved like they were on Big Brother, and treated people better than most.” With the announcement of the coaches a ways off he offered this parting thought which could be interpreted to all versions of TUF “don’t trust anyone, only trust yourself. This is a reality show, it’s you by yourself. Don’t trust anyone!”