UFC on FX 8 started a tad slow, but finished strong with a slick submission and vicious knockout.
In the night’s main event, UFC veteran Vitor Belfort annihilated forever Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
In a moment of hilarity, Rockhold fell when attempting a head kick at the beginning of the bout, but hopped up before Belfort could attack. Belfort threw an, out of character, spinning head-kick that came nowhere near connecting with Rockhold. Vitor displayed his quick hands and stalked Rockhold down with punches, but the former Strikeforce standout didn’t absorb a lot of damage. Then, Belfort attempted another spinning head-kick, only this time his heel planted directly on Rockhold’s temple. The UFC debutant collapsed to the ground and Belfort finished him off with a few punches.
Belfort has won four of his last five outings- that sole loss came against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones- and he finished those four adversaries. The victory surely places Belfort extremely close to title contention.
Rockhold, though, lost the fight and had a nine-fight winning streak put to an end, should still be a Top 10 middleweight in the UFC.
In the opening round of his first UFC bout, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza put a stop to Chris Camozzi.
Camozzi kept his distance in an effort to avoid a Souza’s takedowns. “Jacare” got a hold of Camozzi, but the American reversed Souza against the cage. Souza broke away and then accomplished a takedown. Camozzi did exceptionally well defending Souza’s superb transitions, but the inevitable ensued.
“Jacare” worked intelligently, while utilizing his craftiness until sinking in an arm-triangle choke. Within seconds Camozzi was unconscious and referee Mario Yamasaki stepped in to end the match.
Souza won his UFC debut and extended his win streak to four straight victories. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion also requested the winner of the main event on UFC on FX 8, Belfort, following his submission of Camozzi.
Camozzi, due to the loss, had his four-fight win streak broken.
Rafael dos Anjos won a close decision against Evan Dunham at UFC on FX 8.
Dunham was on the defense for the first minute of the bout, but turned up the pace by mid-round. Dunham showed good speed, but didn’t utilize his reach to it’s full potential. While dos Anjos was mixing up a wide variety of strikes, Dunham was basically boxing and throwing the odd leg kick, nonetheless, the fight stayed eventful. Dunham got dos Anjos to the mat, but after a lackluster minute, the referee stood the combatants up.
In Round 2, Dunham started with a flurry of hard punches and hit a double-leg takedown. It wasn’t long before dos Anjos was up and retaliating. Dunham opened a cut on dos Anjos’ right eyebrow, but the Brazilian was winning the exchanges on their feet. Dunham managed to get a takedown at the end of the second frame, but the buzzer sounded immediately after the two fighters hit the mat.
Round 3 looked similar to the opening frame, as Dunham used boxing and a minimal amount of leg kicks, while dos Anjos mixed up strikes. Dunham could not complete a takedown, but he kept dos Anjos guessing. Both combatants put on an exciting show towards the end of the bout by standing in the pocket and tagging each other with punches until the time clock expired.
Dos Anjos won the match via decision (29-28×3) and is on a four-fight win streak.
Dunham, however, is 3-2 in his last five fights.
Rafael Natal, through a combination of intelligent striking, smooth Brazilian jiu-jitsu and an opponent’s exhaustion, defeated UFC newcomer João Zeferino.
Zeferino and Natal spent a large part of possible heel-hook positions. They stayed just busy enough to not get stood up by the referee due to lack of action, but the strikes thrown were not effective. The two mixed martial artists were eventually instructed by the referee to stand up, but with only 25 seconds left in the opening frame not much was attempted before the round ended.
Zeferino attempted a high number of kicks and punches, but Natal remained calm and evaded any damage. As Zeferino tired, he attempted an effortless takedown that Natal denied with ease. Zeferino, on the ground from a punch Natal hit him with, laid exhausted and “Sapo” dropped into his opponent’s guard with a punch. Natal finished the round on top of Zeferino, battering him with punches.
Natal pressed forward in Round 3. He elevated his output of strikes, yet avoided a drained Zeferino’s attacks. Natal took down Zeferino midway through the round and started working for a submission. “Sapo” continued bashing Joao Zeferino with fists when he couldn’t nail a submission until the match finalized.
Natal won a decision (30-27, 29-28×2) and is now and has won two consecutive bouts since losing to Andrew Craig in July 2012.
Zeferino’s UFC debut and seven-fight win streak were spoiled with the loss.