This Saturday’s UFC on FX 8 in Brazil, will feature a number of UFC fighters that while unfamiliar to many UFC fans, have the potential to one day be household names.The main event does have an octagon veteran in the explosive Vitor Belfort [22-10-0], who is once again making a run at Anderson Silva and the middleweight belt. Standing directly in the path of the Brazilian is former Strikeforce Middleweight Champ, Luke Rockhold [10-1-1], a somewhat underrated fighter, who is making his UFC debut and has won nine straight fights heading into Saturday.
With a [11-6] career record in the UFC, Belfort has always brought an exciting mix of both power and speed to the octagon and looked no different in his last outing this past January during his second round KO/TKO of fellow UFC middleweight Michael Bisping. Besides the versatility and experience that a fighter such as Belfort brings to the table, most of the competitors that have faced the Brazilian jiu jitsu black-belt know when his hands can be the most lethal.
Luke Rockhold seemed as though he was well aware of Belfort’s extensive history as one of the sport’s most exciting knockout artists, as was evident in his comments made to the media earlier in the week.
” That first round with Vitor is hell.” Said Rockhold. “You have to tame the beast.”
A well-rounded, atheletic middleweight, Rockhold will enjoy a four-inch reach advantage against Belfort, which may very well be enough to prevent the Brazilian from getting in tight and using his knockout power. Awaiting the winner of Saturday’s main event is rumored to be a shot at the elusive middleweight championship and a date with Anderson Silva [33-4-0], provided that Silva defeats his next opponent, Chris Weidman [9-0-0] in July at UFC 162 in Las Vegas.
The co-main event will also feature a former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion in Ronaldo ”Jacare” Souza [17-3-0], who is making his UFC debut against middleweight Chris Camozzi [19-5-0]. Both 185-pounders were originally scheduled to fight other middleweights, but due to an injury suffered by Souza’s first opponent, Costa Philippou, Camozzi stepped in to take advantage of the opportunity.Camozzi, who last fought in March at UFC 158, has won three of his past four contests and was initially slated to fight Rafael Natal [15-4-0].
Natal, who is also been victorious in three of his last four bouts in the octagon, will now fight Brazilian Joao Zeferino [13-4-0], who is making his UFC debut and has won seven straight fights overall.
Rounding out the main card on Saturday, Rafael Dos Anjos [18-6-0], will face Evan Dunham [14-3-0] in a lightweight battle that is expected to challenge for ”Fight of The Night”. Dos Anjos who is coming off a three-round, unanimous decision victory at UFC 154 against Mark Bocek, has won three straight and initially ”called out” his first scheduled opponent, Chris Camozzi. Dunham last fought at UFC 156 in a win against Gleison Tibau this past February and would like nothing more than to continue his rise up the 155-pound rankings.
This weekend’s card which has a total of 13 scheduled fights, will begin at 6pm EST with the nine-bout, prelim card. The first three contests of the evening can be seen free of charge on Facebook. The main card kicks off at 9pm EST and will start with the Natal-Zeferino bout, followed by Dos Anjos-Dunham, Souza-Camozzi, and will conclude with the battle of the former champions, Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold.
Both cards can be seen free of charge, check your local listings.