Note: Jared Dodds is filling in for Bryan Kern this week. We expect him back covering next week’s show.
In episode five, we have Ronaldo Candindo from Team Benavidez fighting Jamie Alverez from Team Cejudo.
The episode starts in the house, with a recap from Dana going over the score and how impressed he has been with the fights so far this season. He gives a quick breakdown of both fighters, explaining how Alverez trains out of ATT and is a rising star, where as Candindo trains out of Nova Uniao and is the Jiu-Jitsu coach for that gym, meaning he trains Jose Aldo and Claudia Gadelha.
We then flash to Candindo’s footage from Rio Di Janerio, Brazil. He gives us a tour of his home, and some footage of Jose Aldo inside the Nova Uniao gym training with Candindo. Then some footage of Candindo at the beach in Rio, some beautiful views.
He then travels to Sao Paulo to spend some time with his mother and grandmother. Gives us some background on him, how his mother is a maid and couldn’t provide a lot for children when they were growing up, but he reinforces how proud of her she is as she raised them practically by herself.
Candindo’s shares that his father is an alcoholic, and how his mother separated from him when Candindo was 11.
Candindo is in tears telling a story of how proud his father was when he spoke to him about his BJJ World Championship win, and how he wishes that he could have been a better father. He says his situation is what made him strong, and that he is already a champion in his own eyes. It was a touching look into his life.
Were back at the house, and the guys are granted a special TV allowance to watch UFC 200. Obviously there is more at stake for some of these guys, as Candindo trains Jose Aldo and Jamie Alverez is a training partner of Amanda Nunes. Both are happy for their teammates wins, but Alverez states that he is trying to stay as focused as possible on the biggest fight of his life against Candindo.
We now look in on Jamie Alverez’s camp, and Dana gives us the breakdown of his time before the show. He is the flyweight champion of the Absolute Fighting Championship in Florida, and he is currently 6-1.
Jamie views himself as a freestyle fighter who is comfortable wherever the fight goes, but prefers to strike and be exciting.
The Cejudo camp is preparing Alverez by doing everything they can to keep him away from the ground game due to Candido’s superior ground game. Alverez appears very confidant in what he already knows.
The team jokes withAlverez that due to his haircut he looks a lot like Donald Trump. Cejudo claims its all fun and games, but appears to be stiff like he has all season. He’s an unbelievable wrestler, but doesn’t seem to wear the coaching hat as well.
We get a look at Alverez’s life now. He states that he has never trained anywhere other than ATT, and he wants to stay there for his entire career. He thinks they’re the best gym in the world, and that training there gives him a huge edge. We see some of his family life, him celebrating the 4th of July early with his brothers, sister and his nieces. Pretty standard “meet the family” footage from this season.
Back to Team Benavidez and Candindo’s camp. Candindo says that he feels that they are underestimating his boxing by thinking he is just a Jiu-Jitsu guy, but the game plan is still to get the fight to the ground.
Turns out that Candindo was a coach on TUF already, as the Jiu-Jitsu coach for Caludia Cadelha. Cool fact for sure.
We see some of his previous fight video, and find out that he is a three time Jiu-Jitsu world champion. He is 6-0, and has won all of his professional fights by submission. Definitely seems like more of a natural training camp on Benavidez’s side. Not sure if this is the way it’s being edited, but Benavidez is definitely coming off as the better camp.
Some background on Candindo’s girlfriend, who lives in the United States. He says it’s hard, but makes it work with letters and good communication.
Weigh-ins go off without a hitch. Then comes the usual predictions from each fighter’s team. They both think their guy is going to win, Dana thinks that Alverez has the advantage as long as it stays standing.
Travis Browne gives the guys a Harley Davidson test-drive, normal promotional stuff for the season.
Each guy goes through his pre-fight ritual and warm up. Candindo tapes his name to the back of his jersey to remind Cejudo how to pronounce his name after the mess up at the fight announcement. It’s fight time!
Ronaldo Candindo (Team Benavidez) vs. Jamie Alverez (Team Cejudo)
Both fighters feel eachother out for the first portion of the fight. Candindo starts the action with a leg kick. Alverez fires back with a head kick that is blocked. Head kick is thrown and missed by Candindo, Alverez has good distance and movement to avoid the striking. Alverez drops Candindo with a short right hand and drops down to try and finish the fight. Candindo is surviving but is in big trouble as Alverez is dropping hammerfists. Candindo slips in a heel hook and it looks deep! Alverez manages to escape but gives up his back in the process. Candindo gets his hooks in and starts to try and lock in a standing guillotine. His arm goes under the chin and Alverez is forced to tap. What a crazy fight
WINNER: Candindo defeats Alverez by Submission in the 1st (Rear Naked Choke)
Dana thought that Alverez started out great, but Candindo stayed calm and was able to recover like a true champion and finish the fight. Alverez is obviously upset, feels that if he had just walked off after he dropped Candindo that the ref would have stepped in and he would have won.
NEXT WEEK: Matt Schnell vs. Matt Rizzo, striker vs. grappler it seems like. If its like the rest of the fights this season it should be great!
FINAL THOUGHTS: Really good episode this week, Candindo is the real deal an Alverez should be a solid UFC fighter some day as well. The score is tied up 3-3 going into fight #7! Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time!