The UFC returned to FX and Brazil with last night’s UFC on FX 8 card to roaring success, especially for Brazilian fighters who went 9-1 against those visiting their country for the event. On the main card, the Brazilians took a clean sweep with the only loss going to “The Brazilian Samurai” João Zeferino (13-5) who dropped a Unanimous Decision to his fellow countryman “Sapo” Rafael Natal (16-4-1). Rafael Dos Anjos (19-6) won a close and, as a result, controversial unanimous bid over Evan Dunham (14-4). In his UFC debut, “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (18-3) made short, one-sided work of journeyman Chris Camozzi (19-6), and the main event saw a strong contender for “Knockout of the Year” as “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (23-10) handed Luke Rockhold (10-2) a sound thrashing in his first trip to the Octagon, culminating with a stunning spinning hook kick KO. MMA Gospel is here, as always, to break down each bout and the potential consequences for the winners and losers.
—MAIN CARD (on FX @ 9:00pm ET)—
Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold: Belfort via KO (Head Kick and Punches), Round 1, 2:32
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Chris Camozzi: Souza via Technical Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke), Round 1, 3:37
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham: Dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Rafael Natal vs. João Zeferino: Natal via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
The UFC is back on the airwaves Saturday night with a strong offering from Santa Catarina, Brazil. In Part I of MMA Gospel’s coverage of the upcoming matches, close looks were taken at 2008 BJJ world champ “The Brazilian Samurai” Joao Zeferino’s (13-4) debut bout against “Sapo” Rafael Natal (15-4-1), and the meeting of mid-tier lightweights Evan Dunham (14-3) and Rafael Dos Anjos (18-6). In this second look at the main card, the co-main and main events get the rundown. Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (17-3) will meet TUF standout Chris Camozzi (19-5) who replaced “Costa” Constantinos Philippou (12-2-1) after he sustained a cut in training. Headlining the event is the man who stripped Souza of his title and never relinquished it, Luke Rockhold (10-1). The final Strikeforce champ will face a tall order as he meets a man who has destroyed every middleweight he has faced not named “The Spider” Anderson Silva (33-4), “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (22-10).
The FX Network again plays host to the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization as the UFC on FX 8 pits former champion “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (22-10) against the final king of the Strikeforce middleweight division, Luke Rockhold (10-1). Fellow Strikeforce standout “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (17-3) will fill the co-main against TUF alum Chris Camozzi (19-5). Before the former kings of the Strikeforce 185 scene hit the mats, two solid pairings will open the night’s festivities. Evan Dunham (14-3) will fight to rebuild his chances at 155-division gold against the streaking Rafael Dos Anjos (18-6). Opening the main card, fans will find newcomer “The Brazilian Samurai” Joao Zeferino (13-4) pitting his varied and lethal submission skill set against those of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt “Sapo” Rafael Natal (15-4-1). Here, MMA Gospel takes a closer look at the first half of Saturday evening’s main card offerings.
Two titles were fought for Saturday night at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy in the Rose Garden of Portland, Oregon. The middleweight belt remained firmly around the waist of Luke Rockhold (10-1) after he handed Tim Kennedy (14-4) a Unanimous Decision defeat and “The Great” Nate Marquardt (32-10-2) gave “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (10-1) a very cold welcome to the big leagues with a fourth-round KO to capture the vacant welterweight title. Roger Gracie (6-0) handed UFC veteran “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (17-11) a lopsided beating and “The Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin (13-0) remained undefeated at the expense of veteran striker “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (19-9). Though not the most fan friendly event in Strikeforce history, the card did help to reestablish the middle- and welterweight divisions which have seen a bit of chaos with the recent trend of high profile Strikeforce fighters either moving to the UFC or otherwise compromising their position with Zuffa.
The UFC’s sister promotion Strikeforce returns to action in the Rose Garden of Portland, Oregon for Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy on July 14. The night’s main event features a middleweight championship tilt between US Army sniper Tim Kennedy (14-3) and reigning king pin Luke Rockhold (9-1). Co-main duties will see “The Great” Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) return after a year-long hiatus to face “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (10-0). The anchor bout of the evening sees two devastating punchers clash as “The Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin (12-0) puts his undefeated record on the line in his middleweight debut against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (19-8). UFC veteran “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (17-10-2) will pit his eclectic kickboxing style to the test against dangerous submission artist Roger Gracie (4-1).
The second installment of Strikeforce action in 2012 takes place this Saturday in the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (17-9) returns from a timely lay-off to take on one of the middleweight division’s rising new stars, Lumumba Sayers (5-2). “The Punk” Josh Thomson (18-4) is back from injury and will be greeted by KJ Noons (11-4) in his return. Midway through the main card, two dynamos of the sport meet as knockout artist “Semtex” Paul Daley (29-11-2) battles a fellow veteran in “Hitman” Kazuo Misaki (24-11-2). Bristol Marunde (12-6) makes his Strikeforce debut in the co-main event but has a steep mountain to climb in the form of submission ace, “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (14-3). The main event has been turning heads for some time and now it finally comes to fruition when “Takedown” Miesha Tate (12-2) puts her women’s welterweight title on the line against “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (4-0). With all the action already placed on the main card, here’s a glance of what to look out for when the combatants take to the cage.