“The Ultimate Fighter” season eight cast member Vinny Magalhaes finally got his face time, but it wasn’t under the best circumstances.
The jiu-jitsu ace’s verbal sparring session with coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was front and center on the show’s seventh episode. During the spat, Nogueira accused Magalhaes of disrespecting his reputation.
The 24-year-old prospect on Thursday explained his side of the story to MMAWeekly.com.
“The only time I remembered I mentioned my credentials and his credentials, was just like once. And even though I wasn’t lying, I didn’t say that I was a better grappler than him, I just said I had better credentials. They’re like, in a grappling match, how would you do against Nogueira? I was like, well, I have better credentials, so I’ve got to trust that (with) my credentials I could beat him. But that’s just a grappling match.”
Magalhaes says it was a simple misunderstanding amplified by gossip from members of Nogueira’s red team, as well as the people behind the scenes.
“The producers wanted to show drama,” he said. “As you saw, they didn’t show me saying that he was good.”
Magalhaes told the coach to watch the tapes for evidence that he had said he was the better fighter. As the two separated, Nogueira said he would do so and apologize if he had been wrong.
Magalhaes is still waiting for that call.
“That’s the thing,” Magalhaes said. “He even said, ‘if you didn’t say anything, I’m gonna to watch the show and I’m going to call and apologize,' but he hasn’t called me. I don’t expect him to.”
At one point in the show, he joked that it wasn’t anything new that a fellow Brazilian hated him.
“When I was working at Team Quest, I was in Dan Henderson’s corner against Wanderlei,” Magalhaes explains. “People in Brazil called me a traitor. Then I worked in Sokoudjou’s corner against Arona and against (Antonio Rogerio) Nogueira, so things just got worse for me, because I was training the Americans. But it’s just 16-year-olds on forums. It wasn’t like I had adults or fighters talking crap about me. It's just kids on the internet.”
Now, Magalhaes is training mostly alongside Americans. He’s currently at Xtreme Couture alongside season eight cast member (and ratings gold) Junie Browning. He hasn’t been back to his native city of Rio de Janeiro since 2005.
Does he regret making the comments about his grappling prowess?
“I should have never of answered those,” he said. “Yeah, I didn’t know I was going to be starting (expletive)."
Not two seconds later, he changes his mind.
“I don’t regret it at all,” he said. “I wasn’t lying, I couldn’t say Nogueira had better credentials that he didn’t have. His credentials as a fighter, it’s not even close. You can’t compare. I am like 2-2 and he’s the UFC champion.”
Magalhaes takes the whole experience in stride. Arguing goes with his territory.
“I’m Brazilian and I know how it is,” he said. “You get mad for no reason.”
After reading this, I'm not sure what to believe anymore.