Brazil has fallen.
Typically a powerhouse in the world of MMA, Brazil now no longer has any UFC champions following the loss of Rafael Dos Anjos to Eddie Alvarez. This is the first time since 2006 that there are no champions from the country.
The fight started out with both fighters being competitive and throwing punches. However, Alvarez quickly began to out strike RDA and had him on the defensive early. By the end of the fight, Alvarez had out struck the former champion by over 50. Alvarez rocked him halfway through the first and followed it up with a precise flurry of strikes that wouldn't let Dos Anjos regain his composure. Dos Anjos showed why he was the former champion by hanging in there for as long as he could, but Alvarez's pressure was too much and eventually won by TKO in the first round.
Since Murilo Bustamante became the first Brazilian champion in 2002, there have only been two periods in which the organization has not had a champion from the country. The last time that Brazil did not have a single UFC champion was between Aug. 21, 2004, when Vitor Belfort lost the Light Heavyweight Championship to Randy Couture and Oct. 14, 2006, when Anderson Silva began his historic run as the Middleweight champion.
Luckily for the country, Brazilians may not have to wait too long to have a new champion crowned. There are three opportunities for Brazilians to win a UFC belt this weekend. Claudia Gadelha will have her long awaited rematch with Joanna Jędrzejczyk on Friday for the TUF 23 finale, Jose Aldo will be fighting for the Interim Featherweight Championship against Frankie Edgar on Saturday, and Amanda Nunes will fight Miesha Tate for the bantamweight belt on Saturday as well. Nunes or Gadelha winning would also be historic as either of them would be the first Brazilian woman to be a UFC champion.
With these three title fights, the odds are good that at least one of these Brazilians will bring a belt back to the birthplace of modern MMA. However, if they all fail to win, there is no Brazilian scheduled for a title fight in the foreseeable future. And with all the troubles that are going on in Brazil as they prepare for the Olympics, this could be a dark time for the country in the world of sports.