The UFC on FX 8: "Belfort vs. Rockhold" main card on cable television kicked off tonight (Sat., May 18, 2013) in at the Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, with a middleweight mash up pitting promotional newcomer and relative unknown Joao Zeferino against vested veteran Rafael Natal.
This wasn't actually the first time these two met, as they had previously competed against one another in a jiu-jitsu tournament. If you're wondering, Zeferino was victorious in that match.
It makes sense, then, that much of the first round was contested on the mat with both guys working for leg locks and heel hooks and really anything they could do from their back while holding on to their opponent's leg. The Brazilian crowd was none too happy with this and eventually cheered loudly when the referee finally stood the fighters up despite the rapid fire submission attempts.
It might be because not a one of those attempts even yielded a single grimace of pain.
The second round saw a much slower pace than the first, mostly because it was actually fought while the two were standing. Zeferino's gas tank started to fail him -- Octagon jitters, perhaps? -- and Natal used his experience to work his wrestling and top game to score points before the round closed out.
The story stayed the same in the final frame. Though Zeferino managed to to score a few powerful strikes while they were standing, Natal earned a takedown later in the round and worked to score points from there.
That was all she wrote.
The final scores came down 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 in favor of Natal, who has now won four of his last five bouts.
For complete UFC on FX 8 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.