The Brazilians are a passionate people. You could not, for example, walk out on your Brazilian girlfriend and expect to return in a few days to collect your clothes and belongings. They would be cut into pieces or on the street in front of the house not long after your exit. Possibly on fire too.
Such passion extends into all walks in of life in South America including, it seems, the television industry. Because like a woman scorned, the Brazilian television network RedeTV has not taken well to the UFC’s decision to leave it in favour of a move to the Globo network.
RedeTV was the home of the UFC in Brazil for some time. They showed fights on a delayed basis and used professional fighters, usually from the UFC, to provide commentary and analysis. With delays of up to two weeks between the fight and its RedeTV broadcast, sometimes they were able to have the fighter himself provide commentary over his own fight.
The relationship continued up to UFC 134, which was the organisation’s first show in Brazil since their one-off 1998 show. By this point, the UFC was attracting serious attention in Brazil and when the UFC 134 broadcast did huge numbers, it was not long before Globo got in touch.
Globo is enormous. It has the fourth-largest audience of any single television channel in the world and its soap opera alone dwarfs the viewing figures that other large Brazilian TV stations get on average. So there was no way the UFC was going to resist the advances of such a useful partner - but that hasn’t stopped Rede TV feeling jilted.
And so RedeTV has found itself a new MMA partner, Amazon Forest Combat. According to sources, there is considerable bitterness at RedeTV over losing the UFC rights to Globo and a consequent determination to try and build AFC into a serious rival to it in Brazil.
The partnership has already stated a joint intention to stage ten events in Brazil next year and so they can out-do the UFC in terms of frequency if nothing else. Of course, it will be extremely difficult - nigh impossible - for them to actually challenge the UFC in any other area, especially as TUF Brasil is about to blow up, but judging by their March 31 card they are trying to stage the best events they can:
AFC 2 - Card so far
Murilo Bustamante v Dave Menne
Thales Leites v Matt Horwich
Gustavo Machado v Patrick Cote
Satoshi Ishii v Sokoudjou
Daniel Acacio v Josh Burkman
Ronys Torres v Ferrid Kheder
Dileno Lopes v Javier Ocampo
Fabiano Capoane v Emiliano Sordi
Rivaldo Jr. v Marcelo Rojo
Luiz Fernando v Pablo Javier Llampa