TUF 24 – Episode 5 thoughts
Coming into Episode 5, Team Cejudo led 3-2 over Team Benavidez.
Trying to even things out was No. 7 Ronaldo Candido facing No. 10 Jaime Alvarez.
Some background on these guys.
Candido is the Shooto South America flyweight champion and is from Brazil. During the short segment about him, we learned that he came up in a single family home and his dad has a drinking problem, but Candido is very proud of his humble life. He has the support of his family and girlfriend, so he just wanted to make them proud.
For Alvarez, he is the 125-pound titleholder of the Florida-based Absolute Fighting Championship organization. He is shown with his god-daughter and enjoying family time before he left for the TUF house. Like Candido, he is close to his family and wants to make everyone proud and to represent himself well.
The training session, I found interesting. Keep in mind, all of these guys are champs, so they are all coming in with experience and confidence. That’s important to have, but you also need to have an open mind to learn.
For Candido, his training is centred around getting things to the mat, but he showed that he wasn’t just a ground guy. He has solid striking as well.
For Alvarez, his training was centered around not being taken down, but he starts talking about what he plans to do, that he is a well-rounded mixed martial artist. He talked about how he can defend himself and hold his own on the mat.
Against Jose Aldo’s BJJ coach Candido? The guys were allowed to watch UFC 200, both Candido and Alvarez had training partners fighting for belts. Candido had Jose Aldo fighting Frankie Edgar for the interim belt and Alvarez had Amanda Nunes fighting for the women’s bantamweight belt. That was basically their break time, to mentally relax.
Alvarez mentioned that he was thinking about how he was watching these fights across from a guy he was going to fight.
The fight went the way you would expect.
Alvarez moved well on the outside of the cage, landing good kicks. Then he suddenly dropped Candido with a solid straight right. The problem was that he jumped right on Candido. He landed some ground-and-pound, but as such a high-level BJJ guy, he went into muscle memory and got a heel-hook until he recovered. When Candido fully recovered, he jumped on Alvarez’s back and secured the rear-naked choke for the tap.
Next week, we will see No. 6 Matt Schnell from Team Cejudo vs. No. 11 Matt Rizzo from Team Benavidez.