Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Morning After…’ where we review UFC on FX 8.
Like a good red wine, some fighters tend to get better with age; and it’s hard to deny that Vitor Belfort is one of those fighters. This card told us a lot about who the real title contenders are, and who needs to go back to the drawing board.
Rafael Natal vs. Joao Zeferino
Natal defeated Zeferino by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
To be honest this fight under delivered for me! Both are very capable BJJ practitioners however neither really tried to get the fight to the ground and find a submission. The stand up battle fluctuated with a clear absence of effective striking; it had the makings of a wild brawl that never really got of the ground. Credit to Zeferino who stepped in on late notice at a weight he is not totally comfortable with; however the fact that he gassed so badly definitely hurt the fight.
If Natal wants a long career in the UFC he will need to concentrate more on his ground game (mirror Damian Maia type fight plan). Maybe a Chris Camozzi fight would make sense given the circumstances around the changes on the fight card. As for Zeferino, I think he would be more comfortable at Welterweight against a mid card opponent.
Rafael Dos Anjos v Evan Dunham
Dos Anjos defeated Dunham via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
This was a great stand up battle that was action packed with high output the whole way through; the only problem was the wrong man got the nod! In my opinion Dunham controlled the fight standing and won 2 rounds to 1. Some will say that Dos Anjos landed the cleaner shots and that may be the fact; but given Dunham landed 3 shots to 1 throughout the fight I cant see how Dos Anjos wins the decision.
Given Dos Anjos was given the victory he will get another step up in opponent; I’d like to see him fight Ross Pearson as he will provide a stellar test for Rafael’s developing striking. Even though Dunham lost the fight I still rate him very highly and as such he deserves another decent fight; an Evan Dunham vs. Diego Sanchez fight works for me.
Jacare Souzza vs. Chris Camozzi
Souzza defeated Carmozzi via Submission (Arm Triangle) in Round 1
The much-hyped UFC debut of Jacare certainly didn’t disappoint as he earned his first win in the UFC and in the process helped Camozzi take an afternoon nap. Lets be honest here; as much as I respect Camozzi for stepping up and taking this fight he never really had a snow flakes chance in hell of winning. Souzza take a couple of minutes to suss out Camozzi’s moves and then took him down with ease; once the fight was on the ground it was obvious what was going to happen but the fact that Souzza put Camozzi to sleep in under 4 seconds is extremely impressive.
I’d like to see Souzza fight Rockhold in a rematch from their Strikeforce days. If Souzza wins he would stake his claim for a title shot. Camozzi still has some development ahead of him but he needs to be pushed so maybe Alan Belcher once he returns from injury.
Vitor Belfort v Luke Rockhold
Belfort defeated Rockhold via KO (Head Kick) in Round 1.
Well all I have to say here is KO of the year! With a beautifully timed spinning back kick Vitor Belfort earned himself a lifetime of highlight real cameos and in my opinion another shot at the Middleweight title. The fight started as expected with a bit of a feeling out process, Rockhold did look a little nervous and didn’t get the chance to put some leather of Belfort to release some of that tension. Belfort tried a few head kicks to suss out the Rockhold defence and then tried the spinning back kick… the rest is history.
From here give Belfort another shot at the Middleweight title! Be it Weidman or Silva in his current form he beats both. As for Rockhold, as previously discussed a rematch with Souzza makes sense to determine one of the next top contenders.
Nik Lentz defeated Hacran Dias via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 28-27, 29-28)
Francisco Trinaldo defeated Mike Rio via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) in Round 1.
Gleison Tibau defeated John Cholish via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 2.
Paula Thiago defeated Michel Prazeres via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Yuri Alcantara defeated Iliarde Santos via TKO (punches) in Round 1.
Fabio Maldonado defeated Roger Hollett via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27).
John Lineker defeated Azamat Gashimov via TKO (punches) in Round 12
Jussier Formiga defeated Chris Cariaso via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lucas Martins defeated Jeremy Larson via KO (punches) in Round 3.