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Is Brazil truly back on top of the MMA world?

  • Has Brazil regained the top spot in MMA?
Modified 15 Mar 2020, 16:46 IST

UFC held UFC Fight Night 170 in an empty arena
UFC held UFC Fight Night 170 in an empty arena

Things in life are cyclical. That's especially true in the world of sports. For a long time across the MMA world, Brazilian fighters ruled the roost as the best. While many people joke that "if (pick an art form) was easy it would be called jiu-jitsu"; the fact is BJJ is one of the purest and original art forms.

Now, yes, the fans like to be vocal and support their own chanting "uh vai morrer" (you're going to die); but it's all in fun and not truly wishing death. But over the last couple of years, the stars of Brazil have gotten older. That tends to happen in life. But they weren't being completely replenished by equal talent. While some stars were able to shine through, the majority were not able to do so. Those who were taking the throne were Americans and even sitting on the pedestal right now are the Russians. Across the UFC, Bellator, Rizin, One FC, the PFL, and all other organizations, Russians dominate with their sambo skills.

But it seems as if we are about to enter the beginning of Brazil 2.0. In Bellator for example, 4 of their belts belong to Brazilians — including champ-champ Patricio Pitbull. In the UFC, while the only one holding gold is also a champ-champ; Amanda Nunes, you can arguably call her the greatest woman fighter ever. But throughout the UFC's divisions, there are a plethora of Brazilian fighters making moves now.

Ironically it was without their usual rambunctious supporters at UFC Fight Night Brasilia they continued to make waves. And the wars that will come from their latest victories might just put them all on the doorsteps of wearing 10.45 pounds of leather and gold (the weight of a UFC belt for those wondering). There were 3 that are perfect examples of this.

Charles Oliveira with a huge win over Kevin Lee should easily jump into the top 10. He did say he'd be sitting in the 1st row when Khabib and Tony throw down, but let's see if and when that fight actually happens. He's sprinkled his name in the record books and truly needs a big name to be next to his on a poster. There are two that fit that bill and neither has a fight scheduled — Justin Gaethje and or Dan Hooker. Both love to bang and all three fighters don't ever take a step backward. This would see if "Do Bronx" is a real threat to the 155 champ.

Renato Moicano after losing 2 in a row made a successful move up to the very same division. Although ranked 7th at 145, he's probably a ways away from getting the 7th ranked lightweight, even though he and Paul Felder would be fun to watch. Yes, Gregor Gillespie is coming off of a loss and Al Iaquinta has dropped back-to-back fights, but either of those would be a better judge of his chances at lightweight.

Gilbert Burns moved up as well, from lightweight where he was barely staying afloat to 170, which is a much better place for the widely built 33-year-old. After he disposed of Demian Maia he made one of the most logical and best call outs possible. With a back story and much more, he wants Colby Covington; and it works. The pace that "Chaos" keeps is ridiculous. Gilbert after finishing Maia has 14 finishes out of his 18 wins, so he won't look to counter with the ATT fighter, which is another good connection. Burns is with Hard Knocks 365 so it would be Florida gym battle rights. Plus Burns will return fire with the tongue if pushed, and he would be.

Now it's time to just keep your fingers crossed, hope, and pray that not too many cards get scratched and fighters can stay on solid timelines and ready to go at a moment's notice with the current global situation being what it is.

Published 15 Mar 2020, 16:43 IST
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