Home field advantage is often talked about in team sports. MMA is no different.
Jason High, Eddie Mendez, and Anthony Smith were the only Americans featured on UFC on Fuel TV 10. The three promising American fighters entered into Saturday’s event with a combined record of 39-15-1.
All three hot prospects, however, were submitted in less than three minutes by their Brazilian opponents.
High, Mendez, and Smith were not alone in their struggles on foreign soil. The other four non-Brazilians on the card were all defeated, including heavy-hitting middleweight Karlos Vemola.
This was not the first time Americans have struggled fighting in Brazil. In May, UFC on FX 8 was held in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil. That event featured three American contenders in the main card: Luke Rockhold, Chris Camozzi, and Evan Dunham. In that event, all three Americans were also defeated by their Brazilian opponents.
For American fighters fighting in Brazil, the strain of the long travel and unavailability of specific dietary needs certainly prove to be hardships. The native Brazilian crowd, however, is the main disadvantage for foreign fighters. The crowds are electric and consistently provide the home fighter extra motivation. Brazilian arenas are intimidating places for American fighters to enter.
The UFC travels back to Brazil for UFC 163. This time, three of MMA’s most prolific Americans will be featured on the main card. If rumors are accurate, Anthony Pettis, Phil Davis, and Josh Koscheck will all be featured on the event’s main card. All three are contenders in their weight classes, and all three are fighting tough Brazilian opponents.
If the recent trend of Brazilian domination on home soil continues, Pettis, Davis, and Koscheck will soon regret their decisions to agree to fight in Brazil.