Fight Xchange Episode 2 Recap – Day 1 at Nova Uniao
This week’s episode starts in the city of Rio de Janeiro where Canadian’s Michael Imperato, Kara Kirsh, and Nate Stark are going to be training for a while. The reality is setting in for the trio that they will be fighting in Brazil. This is especially true for Kara and Nate who will be fighting their first MMA fights ever.
Pretty impressive, Kara Kirsh has picked up Portuguese from training with Mauricio Amado.
The fighters will be staying and training in Copacabana, near the famous beach.
Nate likes his two companions. Kara “keeps me grounded,” he says. Mike is a character that he can have fun with and let out his wild side with.
All three seemed to be concerned about living in close quarters with each other, keeping their space neat, and not getting a long with each other’s personalities.
While eating breakfast, they wonder what Day 1 will bring. Imperato assumes it will be hard, shark tanking on the first day putting the new comers through the paces. Kirsh thinks it will be “pretty rough and pretty smelly.”
After some banter about Stark’s five children legacy and Imperato calling him ‘Princess’, the trio go shopping for groceries. Imperato is an outgoing character. He calls the cashier beautiful and then starts hamming it up with construction workers.
As they walk around, Imperato is looking for a girl with “tan lines and big, fake boobs” and Kirsh is getting upset. Imperato gets a picture with someone he calls Stark’s ‘Home Girl’ and Stark educates him, “Not every black person you see is my homie.” Stark says they bicker a lot but it is fun.
Training Day 1
They head to Nova Uniao. They meet Claudia Gadelha, a 23 year old black belt in BJJ and Nova Uniao’s only female professional fighter. She is also attending law school and will graduate next year. She hopes to become an MMA agent and help her teammates.
Imperato has trained at Nova Uniao before. Several fighters, including Marlon Sandro, remember him. Others training include Ronys Torres, Johnny Eduardo, and Eduardo “DuDu” Dantas. Overseeing the three hour pro training session is Andre Pederneiras.
Kirsh finds out that Gadelha has fought her upcoming opponent and gets some tips.
Imperato spars with Bellator champion ‘DuDu’ Dantas. Stark’s first sparring partner is Ronys Torres, former UFC fighter and Nova Uniao’s wrestling coach. Stark realizes just how big each fighter is for their weight class. Kirsh spars with Gadelha, who Kirsh thinks is a great sparring partner. Neither of them have trained with many other women before.
Imperato also spars with Torres who was in the shark tank and then Pederneiras tells Imperato to take his turn in the shark tank, but Imperato turns him down. Sandro looks surprised and asks Imperato, “Are you going to just sit there like an asshole?” but Imperato refused. He said he is weak from his weight cut and his stamina is not where it should be.
Next episode: Stark and Kirsh go in the shark tank and Imperato gets a cut.