In what was a bout between two seemingly evenly matched opponents, Cezar Ferreira defeated Sergio Moraes in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil middleweight tournament at UFC 147. The victory promises to propel Ferreira to bigger and better things, but it may be equally as damaging for the talented Moraes.
This was an exciting bout, full of knockdowns and huge kicks and elbows. Ultimately, Ferreira won with a unanimous decision.
The card took place at Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, so it was a homecoming of sorts for both men. The crowd was split for the Brazilian stars, just like it was for much of the night, so it made for a fantastic atmosphere that ensured that a big fight felt like exactly that.
Ferreira was initially supposed to face Daniel Sarafian in the finals, but he was forced to pull out due to injury. That opened the door for Moraes, as he was presented with a golden opportunity, but Ferreira was able to persevere. Ferreira was likely at a disadvantage since he had to change his preparation, but that didn't show in his performance.
Will Ferreira develop into a star?
Ferreira entered The Ultimate Fighter Brazil with just a 4-2 career record and was knocked out in 25 seconds by Elvis Mutapcic in his last professional fight. Ferreira was dominant for Team Belfort, however, as he defeated Gustavo Sampaio, Leonardo Maccarao and Thiago Perpetuo en route to the tournament finals.
Moraes lost to Sarafian by way of first-round knockout in the semifinals, but he was gifted a spot against Ferreira. Unfortunately for Moraes, however, he was unable to take advantage of his good fortune. Ferreira built off the momentum he created in his previous three fights, while Moraes obviously wasn't able to rebound from the loss to Sarafian.
The win figures to reach Ferreira to new heights, as he is a rising star in the MMA-crazed country of Brazil. There are plenty of options for him to fight in the stacked middleweight division and it will be interesting to see if he has what it takes to sustain his success. His first foray into the professional ranks wasn't overlay successful, but he has grown a lot as a fighter throughout this process.
The Ultimate Fighter Brazil may very well have been the stepping stone that Ferreira needed to get on track, and it appears as though he now has an extremely bright future. Time will tell if he takes advantage of what he has learned and accomplished, but for now his win over Moraes should be celebrated.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter