The middleweight winner of the first international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter" will be decided as Brazilians Ferreira and Moraes collide.
Ferreira, 27, earned his spot in the finals with victories over Gustavo Sampaio, Leonardo Maccarao and Thiago Perpetuo.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt fighting out of Las Vegas’ Xtreme Couture gym, Ferreira is primarily a submission specialist, though he packs heavy power in his strikes, knocking out Perpetuo with a head kick in the semifinals.
Ferreira was the first pick by Vitor Belfort and the two have trained together for years leading up to the show.
Moraes, 29, is a replacement for the injured Daniel Sarafian in the finals. During his stint on the show, Moraes submitted Thiago Rela and Delson Heleno before a vicious knockout loss at the hands of Sarafian in the semifinal round.
A world-renowned Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Team Nogueira and Alliance Jiu Jitsu and multiple-time gold medalist in the BJJ World Championship, Moraes has submitted five of his six career victims, including Tommy Depret.
Moraes showed a susceptibility to heavy power strikes in his loss to Sarafian, a weakness Ferreira will be looking to exploit Saturday night.
Instead of tangling with Moraes where he’s most comfortable, look for Ferreira to keep this fight standing, picking Moraes apart before unloading with a fight-ending combination.
Verdict: Ferreira via TKO, Round 2
Godofredo Pepey vs. Rony Mariano Bezerra (10-3)
TUF Brazil lightweight final
In the lightweight final of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil," the unbeaten Pepey clashes with the Team Nogueira pupil Bezerra.
The 24-year-old Pepey punched his ticket to the finals with wins over Johnny Goncalves, Wagner Galeto and Vina Borges Pancini. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and Marcio Cupim Team representative, Pepey’s game revolves largely around his submission base, a similar strength of his opponent.
The 28-year-old Bezerra defeated Dileno Lopes, Anistavio Gasparzinho and Hugo Viana to earn his spot in the finals. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and Team Nogueira member, Bezerra already owns a win over UFC veteran Felipe Arantes and also fought No. 1 bantamweight contender Renan Barao to a split decision loss in November 2006.
Bezerra was picked first by Wanderlei Silva, while Pepey was the 12th overall selection.
Pepey made his professional debut in 2003, but Bezerra has already racked up more professional fights by staying active since his debut in May 2006. In a battle of savvy submission specialists, Bezerra’s superior striking and more dominant ground game could be the difference makers as he outworks Pepey and hands him his first blemish in a hard-fought decision, earning himself the title of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Verdict: Bezerra via decision
Yuri Alcantara (28-3) vs. Hacran Dias (20-1-1)
In a tantalizing featherweight contest, a pair of dangerous Brazilians will be looking to make a statement on their native soil.
The 31-year-old Alcantara has dominated his opposition, racking up a three-fight winning streak under the WEC and UFC banners, including a knockout of Ricardo Lamas and decisions over Felipe Arantes and Michihiro Omigawa.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has showcased excellent striking, while always posing a threat on the mat. His biggest weakness is his conditioning as he tends to fade late in his fights.
The 28-year-old Dias is an exciting addition to the featherweight roster as he rides an eight-fight winning streak under the Shooto Brazil banner.
Anchored at Nova Uniao, Dias strategically breaks opponents down with muay thai and pounces at the opportunity to finish foes by submission. Relentless training with the likes of Jose Aldo, Marlon Sandro, Eduardo Dantas and Renan Barao could pay off as Dias would send a message to the rest of the division by dispatching his Brazilian counterpart.
Alcantara should have his way if he remains aggressive and presses the action. Dias has a granite chin, however, so we could be in for three unforgiving rounds.