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.
The UFC presented its third offering of the new year to fans on the FX network Saturday night as they returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil to pit former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (22-10) against elite middleweight title hopeful “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-5). The night was loaded with named talent facing hometown heroes. Fast rising Russian blue-chipper “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (19-0) backed up the comments printed on his weigh-in shirt when the Sambo International Master of Sports dominated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Thiago Tavares (17-5-1) of Santa Catarina, Brazil. “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6) sent “Big” Ben Rothwell’s (32-9) UFC record back into the sub .500s with a devastating Arm-in Guillotine Choke submission. In the “Fight of the Night”, TUF: Brazil stand-out Daniel Sarafian (7-3) came up short in his UFC debut when “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (13-4) used his wrestling to edge out the Brazilian in the final frame.
Back in Brazil for the fifth time in the Zuffa era, the UFC has set its seventh offering on the FX cable network for January 19. This time Thiago Tavares (17-4-1) will start the show against “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0) followed by a heavyweight showdown between “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6) and “Big” Ben Rothwell (32-8). Following the Brazil vs. the world theme of the evening, the de facto co-main will see TUF: Brazil standout Daniel Sarafian (7-2) face TUF 7 alumni “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (12-4). Capping off the event is a marquee feature with major title implications as “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-10) looks to blast his way into another shot at the middleweight crown by handing “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4) his second KO loss. The wily Brit of course has other ideas as he is certain that destiny will one day award him the 185lbs. crown.
The UFC hits the airwaves again just seven days following its final consumption of former rival promotion Strikeforce to bring the fans of Sao Paulo, Brazil a night of bouts headlined by brutal KO artist “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-10) and savvy British striker “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4). UFC on FX 7 offers fight fans an additional trio of quality MMA pairings on the main card starting with Thiago Tavares (17-4-1) against “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0). Next out, “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6) looks to continue rebuilding his stock in the UFC, this time at the expense of struggling heavyweight “Big” Ben Rothwell (32-8). The de facto co-main event of the evening features “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (12-4) against UFC newcomer Daniel Sarafian (7-2). While Sarafian appears a rather easy mark for the far more accomplished TUF 7 finalist, Dollaway is hardly in a position to take any opponent for granted, especially a hungry young blood eager to spit in the odds makers’ faces.
Friday night the UFC returns to the birthplace of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts as UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida hits the Garden State of New Jersey. Opening the main card action is a featherweight brawl between “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-5) and Cub Swanson (16-5). Playing the role of anchor is a welterweight affair between the harbinger of the hairrow “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) and TJ Waldburger (15-6). The main event will feature 155er “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1) against “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-12), but before they meet two other lightweights will face off in the center of the Octagon: “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-8) and “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (17-7-1).
Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Revel Casino will be the next venue to host the world’s greatest mixed martial artists as the UFC delivers UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida Friday night. Headlining the card is former lightweight title challenger “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1) as he sees action against long-time lightweight wrestling powerhouse “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-12). Also featured on the card is a lightweight stand-up affair between “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (17-7-1) and “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-8). Opening the festivities is yet another striker’s war between British transplant “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-5) and WEC veteran Cub Swanson (16-5), and rounding things off on the main card is a welterweight feature fight between “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) and TJ Waldburger (15-6).
The Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey will serve as the backdrop for UFC on FX 4 this Friday. With a headliner between “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1) and “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-12) backed by well-known fighters like “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (17-7-1) and “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-8), UFC on FX 4 is one of the more starlit cards to hit the cable channels. ”Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) is no unknown himself and will square off with TJ Waldburger (15-6) who has made a 3-1 mark in the UFC with back-to-back submission victories. Opening the card is another bout between two highly revered fighters, WEC staple Cub Swanson (16-5) and former lightweight British bomber “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-5). If nothing else, the pair have a long history of putting it all on the line and should provide an entertaining featherweight match to open the festivities.
The world’s most elite MMA organization stopped in the Sunshine State of Florida to settle unfinished flyweight tournament business between “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1) and “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall (11-3-1). UFC on FX 3 kicked off the night with Eddie Wineland’s (19-8-1) KO of “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (13-6). “The Dentist” Josh Neer (33-11-1) faced the first loss of his most recent UFC stint as “Quicksand” Mike Pyle (23-8-1) put him away in short order. Ultra talented prospect “Indio” Erick Silva (14-2) continued to impress by shutting down the high pressure wrestling game of “The Spaniard” Charlie Brenneman (15-4) en route to a first-round submission victory and in the main event, “Uncle Creepy” came up short over three rounds.
—MAIN CARD (on FX)—
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall: Johnson via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Charlie Brenneman vs. Erick Silva: Silva via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 4:33
Josh Neer vs. Mike Pyle: Pyle via KO (Punch), Round 1, 4:56
Scott Jorgensen vs. Eddie Wineland: Wineland via KO (Punches), Round 2, 4:10
This Friday the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida will host the highly anticipated rematch between two of the UFC’s top flyweights “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall (11-2-1) and “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (14-2-1). The last time these 125ers met it ended in a Majority Draw; now, they will duke it out once again to determine who will face Joseph Benavidez (16-2) for a shot at the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship title. But before the UFC on FX 3 main card kicks off, fans across the nation will be treated to a stellar line-up in the prelims aired live on Fuel TV and streamed on Facebook. Among those promising undercard fights is a welterweight match-up between undefeated Lance Benoist (6-0) and a potential future star, “The Polish Pistola” Seth Baczynski (15-6). The six-foot-four Baczynski, who was a member of Team Ortiz on Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, has grown into a well-rounded mixed martial artist since his professional debut in 2006, as his ten wins by submission, five by KO/TKO, and eight first-round finishes can attest. Despite having mixed success in his earlier career, “The Polish Pistola” currently enjoys a three-fight win streak and is MMA Gospel’s pick for the UFC on FX 3 “Undercard Sleeper”.