GOIANIA, Brazil -- Sam Sicilia returned to Brazil one year after his first UFC trip to the country, and he finally returns home with a victory.
The TUF 15 veteran suffered a second-round TKO loss to TUF: Brazil winner Rony Jason in his featherweight debut in Rio de Janeiro’s UFC 153 on October 2012, and he returned to the win column at UFC Fight Night 32 in Goiania on Nov. 9.
Sicilia dominated Godofredo Pepey at UFN 32, stopping him with punches and elbows in the first round.
"Disrespect" was the key to earn his first victory in the featherweight division.
"I kind of went there and just disrespected his hands," Sicilia said after the fight. "I went down at CM System to train with a bunch of jiu-jitsu guys that were very active in their guard, so when I went with him he seemed slow, so I could tee off on him and beat him up."
To succeed in his second trip to Brazil, Sicilia decided to train in Brazil two weeks before the fight, and he got the help of fellow TUF 15 veteran Cristiano Marcello. Sicilia, who stopped Marcello at TUF 15 Finale on June 2012, credits his first UFC Brazil experience and the help of the MMA veteran for his performance on Nov. 9.
"I fought Rony, and Rony is better than Pepey, and I fought him in Rio, that is a tougher environment," he said. "The first time I came here was tough and this time it wasn’t as bad. I got used to it, so that did help me out a lot.
"I just got early to Brazil to get used to the environment. They kind of boo you, but once the fight starts going they just cheer for a good fight. The point is, just put on a good fight and afterwards they get high fives and start cheering for you."