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Brazilian Fighters Basking in Warm Reception, but Foreigners Resigned to Boos

Anderson Silva squares off with Yushin Okami at the UFC 134 weigh-ins.UFC 134Ian LovelandYves Jabouin

in the first bout of the night, also known as the only fight on the card that doesn't feature at least one Brazilian.

When Loveland and Jabouin stepped on the scales, the crowd at the HSBC Arena could hardly be bothered to pay attention, which, in a way, let both fighters off the hook. The other foreigners on the card weren't so lucky.

Dan MillerBrendan SchaubForrest Griffin

. Translation: You're going to die.

Say what you will about this crowd's sensitivity, but you can't knock their passion.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

in Rio, and you're a gringo from the USA, you can't exactly expect a warm reception.

Yushin Okami

would have the entire world against them on Saturday night: "It's not the whole world; it's just Brazil."

UFCAnderson Silva


"It's like Brazil vs. Argentina in Macarana Stadium," he said, putting it in soccer terms any Brazilian would understand. As he added later, "A lot of idols come and go, but we're fighting to reach our place."

The Brazilians on the card certainly had the fans at the weigh-ins firmly behind them, even if the loudest boos were saved for Chael Sonnen, who only appeared via the giant video screen during one of the pre-fight promo packages.

The most half-hearted boos? Those were aimed at Bulgarian Stanislov Nedkov and Englishman Ross Pearson, who are slated to take on Brazilians Luiz Cane and Edson Barboza, respectively.

But even then, it felt more like a perfunctory habit than anything else. Pearson very nearly managed to turn the crowd around by stepping off the scale and rehydrating with help from a coconut and a straw. At least to some degree, it worked. The boos died down, and the crowd lost the urge to inform him of his impending death.

Well played, Mr. Pearson. It might take slightly more to bring about a change of heart toward Sonnen, however.

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