Nova Uniao, Thomas Almeida Win Big at Brazilian MMA Awards

By: Marcelo Alonso
Mar 22, 2014

Rio de Janeiro-based fight team Nova Uniao and unbeaten prospect Thomas de Almeida were two of the major winners at Friday’s second annual Osvaldo Paqueta Awards, held at the Radisson Hotel Ballroom in Maceio, Brazil.

Nova Uniao took home “Team of the Year” honors, as well as “Best Coach” for Jair Lourenco, the leader of Kimura Nova Uniao in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte.

Almeida, the 22-year-old Chute Boxe fighter who has compiled a 15-0 record full of finishes, took home two trophies: “Best Fighter” and “Comeback of the Year” for his July 2013 bout against Valdines Silva.

Awards were handed out in 16 categories, with the winner from each group of five nominees being decided by online vote. Created by journalist Cristiano Martins, the awards bear the name of the late Osvaldo Paqueta, a cameraman and vale tudo fighter who passed away in 2012.

The highlight of the ceremony was the speech made by Paqueta’s brother, Edimar Rosa, who asked permission to read a few lines remembering the life of his brother. Paqueta was one of the most beloved figures in the Brazilian MMA world, often helping fighters to film their bouts or study opponents.

“My brother never asked for money for his tapes,” said Rosa. “He took pleasure in helping fighters. He always said, ‘My payment is your victory.’”

Below, a complete list of winners and nominees from the Osvaldo Paqueta Awards:

Organization of the Year: Coliseu Extreme Fight
Also nominated: Bitetti Combat, Jungle Fight, Nitrix Champion Fight, Watch Out Combat Show

Best New Event: MMA Talent Circuit
Also nominated: Imperium MMA Pro, Smash Fight, Standout Fight Tournament, Web Fight Combat

Best Event of the Year: Jungle Fight 59
Also nominated: MMA Super Heroes 1, Smash Fight 1, Standout Fight Tournament 1, Watch Out Combat Show 32

Team of the Year: Nova Uniao
Also nominated: Chute Boxe Diego Lima, CM System, Renovacao Fight Team, Team Tavares

Coach of the Year: Jair Lourenco
Also nominated: Marcio Cromado, Josuel Distak, Diego Lima, Thiago Tavares

Referee of the Year: Flavio Almendra
Also nominated: Jose Aparecido Baioneta, Chico Melo, Alessandro Souza, Roberto Thomaz

Cage Girl of the Year: Thays Pires Leao
Also nominated: Syllvia Andrade, Fernanda Hernandez, Katiely Kathissumi, Aryane Steikopf

Announcer of the Year: Tarcizio Manzano
Also nominated: Marcos Braga, Xicao Joly, Fabio Leandro, Ton Munhoz

Male Fighter of the Year: Thomas de Almeida
Also nominated: Raoni Barcelos, Rodrigo Cavalheiro Correia, Julio Cesar dos Santos, Wendell Oliveira Marques

Female Fighter of the Year: Talita Nogueira
Also nominated: Kalindra Faria, Larissa Moreira Pacheco, Herica Tiburcio, Juliana Werner

Revelation of the Year: Gabriel Checco
Also nominated: Douglas Silva de Andrade, Ismael Bonfim, Luis Rafael Laurentino, Andre Lourenco

Fight of the Year: Giovanni Diniz vs. Jose Lucas Fabiano de Melo (WOCS 32)
Also nominated: Larissa Moreira Pacheco vs. Irene Aldana (Jungle Fight 63), Hernani Perpetuo vs. Tommy Depret (Shooto Brazil 42), Guilherme Vasconcelos vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (Jungle Fight 54), Junior Assuncao vs. Guilherme Faria de Souza (Premium Fight Championship 2)

Knockout of the Year: Wendell Oliveira Marques (vs. Jose de Ribamar Machado Gomes, Smash Fight 1)
Also nominated: Lucas Martins (vs. Oberdan Vieira Tenorio, Jungle Fight 46), Ismael Bonfim (vs. Marcio Cesar, Shooto Brazil 41), Claudiere Freitas (vs. Lucas Mascena, Talent MMA Circuit 4), Julio Cesar Neves Jr. (vs. Dener dos Santos, WOCS 28)

Submission of the Year: Kalindra Faria (vs. Carina Damm, MMA Super Heroes 1)
Also nominated: Jorge Rodrigues Silva (vs. Ken Jackson, Brasil Fight 7), Ary Santos (vs. Marcos Reyes, Jungle Fight 55), Goiti Yamauchi (vs. Diego Marlon, Smash Fight 1), Carlos Alexandre Pereira (vs. Vicente Luque, Smash Fight 2)

Comeback of the Year: Thomas de Almeida (vs. Valdines Silva, MMA Super Heroes 1)
Also nominated: Rafael Nunes (vs. Arinaldo Batista da Silva, Jungle Fight 58), Junior Assuncao (vs. Guilherme Faria de Souza, Premium Fight Championship 2), Rodney Wallace (vs. Matheus Wendell Santi Scheffel, Smash Fight 2), Edson Camargo (vs. Renan Cinaqui, Talent MMA Circuit 3)

MMA Personality of the Year: Luiz Prota (TV announcer)
Also nominated: Carlos Barreto (CABMMA), Ricardo Carlini (TV announcer), Pedro Henrique and Fabiola Nishi (Dama de Ferro), Wallid Ismail (Jungle Fight)

Luiz Alves Trophy for Merit and Honor
Marcelo Alonso (for the book “From Vale Tudo to MMA: 100 Years of Fighting”)
Carina Damm and Rodrigo Damm (for the social project “Solidariedade”)

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