Home field advantage, in any sport, can have a huge psychological impact on a team’s performance. When you hear that crowd cheering for you and encouraging you, it gives you a little boost and you can push a little harder, dig a little deeper and give more than your all to come out on top. In many sports, the home crowd is viewed as an extra player in the game and can help swing the momentum in pivotal moments of the game.
Just because MMA isn’t exactly a team sport, it’s no exception to having the advantage on your home turf. Every fighter that walks to the cage gets their share of cheer from their fans and boos from those who don’t care for them. However, when a fighter is in his home country and facing a “foreigner”, the fans tend to cheer for him regardless of whether they like him or not. Georges St. Pierre is notorious for having fights in Canada and walking out to thousands and thousands of Canadian fans on their feet and shaking the building.
With the UFC finally returning to Brazil after thirteen long years for UFC 134 and you can bet that every Brazilian is going to come out to a roaring crowd that will give them that extra boost they will need to go in and handle business. Other than the very first fight, there is a Brazilian fighter in every single bout and they will definitely be trying to put on a spectacular show for their countrymen. With Big Nog, Shogun Rua and Anderson Silva on the card, three of Brazil’s most popular fighters, the energy in the HBSC Arena could quite possibly be at a “GSP in Canada” level.
Can the Brazilians use this advantage to come out on top or will their opponents spoil the homecoming?