Torrential rains in parts of Brazil triggered landslides that have killed more than 500 people. This has had a chilling effect on the MMA community, so closely tied with Brazil.
To lend a helping hand, the MMA teams at American Top Team and Team Armory have joined together to found Combat Athlete Charities. Money raised will buy food and shelter for people in Nova Friburgo.
MMA manager Alex Davis, a driving force behind Combat Athlete Charities, is in Nova Friburgo, one of the worst-hit areas and also the home to UFC fighter Edson Barboza, to assist with relief efforts. He described the scene to MMA Junkie:
"There are entire regions that have been wiped out. Thousands of people are without water and food. Hundreds of people, if not thousands, are buried under mudslides so deep that they will never be found. Whole families have been wiped out. It's to the point that there may be no one left to even remind us that these people were once there. [...]
"Roads and bridges have all been wiped out, leaving thousands of people isolated with no water, no food, no electricity."
The landslide has already claimed the mother of Pablo Popovitch, a BJJ world champ and Abu Dhabi champion, and he's asking for help in saving his father's life. UFC fighter Kenny Florian supported Popovitch, using his Twitter account to ask for donations and support for his friend.
Brazil's effect on MMA is undeniable. The sport owes its beginnings to the Brazilian Gracie family, and today, three of the top five pound-for-pound fighters are Brazilian.