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.
The following fight bonuses were awarded for UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping
Submission of the Night:
Ildemar Alcantara (over Wagner Prado) receives $50,000
Knockout of the Night:
Vitor Belfort (over Michael Bisping) receives $50,000
Fight of the Night:
CB Dollaway and Daniel Sarafian each receive $50,000
Click here for the full list of UFC on FX 7 results.
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.