Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns from two-week mixed martial arts (MMA) hiatus TONIGHT (Sat., May 18, 2013) with UFC on FX 8: "Belfort vs. Rockhold" which is scheduled to take place inside Arena Jaragua in Santa Catarina, Brazil.
UFC on FX 8 will feature a top middleweight contender fight that pits storied MMA veteran Vitor Belfort against the last man to hold the Strikeforce 185-pound strap, Luke Rockhold. In the co-main event, Ronaldo Souza will makes his return to Brazil -- and Octagon debut -- opposite Chris Camozzi.
That's not all ... not even close.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FX 8 fight card below, starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FUEL TV-televised under card bouts at 6 p.m. ET and then main card action, which is slated to begin at 9 p.m. ET on FX channel.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the televised action to share their thoughts on all the exciting action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment (or eight) before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis after "Belfort vs. Rockhold"
Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC on FX 8 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold -- Belfort via KO (rd 1, 2:29)
Chris Camozzi vs. Ronaldo Souza -- Souza via Arm Triangle (rd 1, 3:37)
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham -- dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Joao Zeferino vs. Rafael Natal -- Natal via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
Hacran Dias vs. Nik Lentz -- Lentz via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 28-27)
Mike Rio vs. Francisco Trinaldo -- Trinaldo via Arm Triangle (rd 1, 3:08)
John Cholish vs. Gleison Tibau -- Tibau via Guillotine (rd 2, 2:34)
Michel dos Prazeres vs. Paulo Thiago -- Thiago via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Yuri Alcantara vs. Iliarde Santos -- Alcantara via TKO (rd 1, 2:31)
Roger Hollett vs. Fabio Maldonado -- Maldonado via Unanimous Decision (29-27 x2, 29-28)
Azamat Gashimov vs. John Lineker -- Lineker via TKO (rd 2, 1:07)
Chris Cariaso vs. Jussier Formiga -- Formiga via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Jeremy Larsen vs. Lucas Martins -- Martins via KO (rd 3, 0:13)
UFC ON FX 8 PLAY-BY-PLAY MAIN CARD COMMENTARY (FX):
Braiterman gonna be here all afternoon and evening!
185 lbs.: Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold
Round one: Main event time, and here we go. They both start out circling clockwise but slips on a headkick. Vitor misses a wheel kick. Luke shoots and gets stuffed. Vitor moves forward and gets in a couple shots until he pushes Rockhold to the cage. They disengage. Rockhold with a pair of leg kicks and a head kick. Vitor misses on a flurry, then comes forward while Rockhold slips to his right out of harm's way. Left from Luke. HUGE wheel kick from Belfort that lands flush and Luke is dangadadang'd. Follow up ground and pound ends it quickly and Vitor Belfort is the new linear Strikeforce champion!
Final result: Vitor Belfort wins via KO (wheel kick & punches) at 2:29 of round 1
185 lbs.: Chris Camozzi vs. Ronaldo Souza
Round one: Souza blocks a headkick. They clinch and Camozzi reverses Jacare. Souza wings a clipping right. Upkick from Camozzi. Jacare passes to half, but Camozzi shrimps away, keeping his back off the mat. Jacare lands a pair - make that three lefts to the jaw. Jacare stands and Camozzi with a light upkick. Ronaldo passes to side control on Camozzi's left. They scramble and Jacare has an omoplata that he uses to rotate on top. Jacare passes to mount and slaps on a lightning quick arm triangle. He slips off of mount to the side and turns off Camozzi's lights before he even has a chance to tap.
Final result: Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza wins via submission (arm triangle) at 3:37 of round 1
155 lbs.: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham
Round one: RDA with the first shot of the night - a big leg kick 20 seconds in. Anjos lands a head kick that is partially blocked. RDA with some nice body work in the combos. Dunham catches a leg kick and punches Dos Anjos for his troubles. Dunham with a 1-2. Dunham blocks a head kick, but eats a hook. RDA comes forward and hits a leg kick, but he's lazy in bringing his leg down and Dunham catches it and dumps him. Dunham on top, working in mostly closed guard. RDA keeps throwing his legs up to try for triangles or arm bars, but Dunham is too slick and is having none of it. Light GNP from Dunham. Ten seconds left and the ref breaks it up. Close round, but Dunham probably takes it 10-9 for the 80 some-odd seconds of top control.
Round two: Dunham ducks under a hook from Dos Anjos and hits a double-leg. RDA gets a leg out for a second, but Dunham grabs it and dumps him back down. Anjos gets up, and this time he stays up, landing a loud punch to the body. RDA tries for a shot, but gets stonewalled. Dunham up against the cage, but works off of it. RDA with a flurry and they exchange in center-octagon. Right from Dunham and a jab and RDA is bleeding from somewhere on his face. I think they might've clashed heads a couple times in exchanges. RDA backs Dunham into the fence. Dunham reverses and RDA swings coming out of it. Dunham's right gets blocked. RDA whiffs on a huge left. Leg kick from Dos Anjos. They both miss lefts. Dunham with a knee and Dos Anjos counters. Leg kick from RDA stumbles Dunham, and Evan trips him down to end the round on top again. I guess Dunham again? Whatever. 20-18 Dunham, but it could be 20-18 Dos Anjos, too.
Round three: Even start to the final stanza here. Dunham eventually tires of striking and shoots for a low single. Anjos defends, but he's back against the cage. RDA is crafty and escapes out. Body kick to the left side of Dunham's torso. They both miss on punches. Slapping body kick from RDA. Overhand left from Dunham and a combo to follow. RDA with a low right and a left upstairs. Knee from RDA and an uppercut from Dunham. Dos Anjos ducks a jab. Winging overhand left from RDA lands, but it was a pure arm punch with nothing on it. Dunham is backing RDA down, and though both are landing, I wouldn't be surprised if the judges went with forward progress + striking rather than backing up + striking. Dunham shoots a single, but Rafael uses the cage to stay upright. Dunham in the clinch with some short lefts. RDA grabs a plumm and uses it to escape. 40 seconds left. RDA with a few strikes. Dunham gets a front headlock and a knee. Dunham with a right as RDA whiffs. RDA with a big right hook with five seconds left, but they both swing til the end. Pretty sure this is Dunham's round, but the other two? Who knows. Technically 30-27 Dunham on my scorecard.
Final result: Rafael Dos Anjos wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Round one: Zeferino opens up with a nice hook that lands. Natal lands, too. Zeferino drops down and they scramble for a bit before they work on trading heel hooks and foot locks. 50-50 guard and both fighters are looking at submissions here. Natal fights off an inside heel hook and a foot lock. Natal kicking down on Zeferino's chest and Joao sticks his head in the spot to try and get an illegal blow to land. The ref warns. Natal gets a footlock this time. They keep battling back and forth without either man gaining a huge edge. 10-9 Zeferino, I guess?
Round two: Zeferino wings another overhand that glances, but gets his takedown stuffed. Big takedown from Zef, but he can't control Natal, who pops right back up. Battling back and forth up against the cage, then in the center. Natal stuffs another takedown and starts landing some good shots. Natal with the "stand up" motion, but then doesn't let him stand and kicks at the leg of the prone Zeferino. Zef with a straight that lands. Natal tries a spinning backfist, but Zeferino ducked under it and tried for a takedown to no success. Zeferino flops to his back and Natal is landing a few sparse strikes. 19-19, easy Natal round.
Round three: They hug and gesture to the crowd for some noise to start the round in a show of sportsmanship. Not much here to start, Zeferino misses a right, but lands a liver shot that doesn't have too much on it. Big right from Zef hits as Natal lands a kick, but Rafael eats it. Natal leans back away from the overhand and then bounces back from another. Natal tries a side kick that misses. Zeferino tries to take him down off it, but can't finish with his cardio failing and Natal powers back with a trip of his own. Natal on top in half guard hitting short punches and elbows to keep the ref away. Zeferino regains full guard. Natal passes and tries for the submission du jour - the arm triangle. Side control now and elbows to the body. Natal mounts, Zeferino rolls and Natal punches a turtling Zef. The ref looks close to stopping it, but Zeferino rolls to his back again. Dominant round for Natal, possible 10-8 here. 29-28 Natal.
Final result: Rafael Natal wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
UFC ON FX 8 PLAY-BY-PLAY "PRELIMS" COMMENTARY (FUEL TV):
Round one: Quality matchup here, as Lentz looks to keep up his winning ways while Dias is no slouch either. I have Dias at 15 and Lentz at 18 in this crowded 145 division. Both guys are trading back and forth fairly evenly. Dias stuffs a pair of takedown attempts. Lentz coming forward and landing some punches clean. Another single-leg attempt here lands Dias against the cage. Lentz hooks a foot, but Dias uses it to reverse. Lentz back in front, but not much is happening here, as Dias' balance is too good. Dias gets a trip, but Lentz reverses it and ends on top. Lentz pressuring, but Dias grabs the cage to nullify it as Yamasaki yells at him. Dias hits a switch to get Lentz's back. Lentz fights out of it and backs Dias into the cage. 10-9 Lentz I suppose, although it's very close to a 10-10.
Round two: Dias listens to his corner and comes out aggressively, but Lentz isn't going to be put off from his game that easily. They trade knees and Lentz gets the much better out of it as Dias falls to his back. Lentz jumps on and is working and pressuring with small GNP and brutal top position. He's got the back of Dias and is hitting him constantly. Dias rolls to half guard, but Lentz hits a bunch of elbows as Dias is unable to maintain the posture. Halfway through the round now and it's been all Lentz so far. Dias finally shrimps out and gets to his feet. The briefest of kimura attempts from Lentz and Dias is up standing. Front headlock for Lentz and he keeps pressuring. Slight cage grab from Dias, but Lentz gets the takedown anyway. Upkick for Dias, half guard for Lentz. Elbows from Lentz and a slick transition into mount. GNP from Lentz as Dias tries to push off the cage with his legs, but doesn't get out. 20-18 Lentz.
Round three: Dias hits a good right and Lentz goes for a takedown. Dias gets off of it and lands a left and a couple of rights as he searches for the knockout. Another failed takedown from Lentz. Knee from Dias. Yet another takedown gets stuffed, and now Dias picks Lentz up and slams him down hard. Lentz latches onto a guillotine, however and holds onto it for a good 20 seconds. Three minutes to go, and Dias slams into an arm triangle. Lentz, however, is no Mike Rio, and Dias is unable to finish from the half-guard. Dias on top, Lentz working a couple of butterfly hooks. Lentz tries a deep half for a minute, but fails. Full guard, half guard, and now a kimura attempt. Lentz pushes off and gets up. It was kind of an upkick to a downed opponent, but not really - more of a push. Dias coming forward and Lentz swings back then ducks for a takedown. Looks like he knows he's up and is surviving, but I wouldn't be too sure - that first round was close. The fight ends with Dias stuffing the single and both fighters raising their fists. 29-28 Lentz
Final result: Nik Lentz wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 28-27) (wtf?)
Round one: Pardon if I'm a bit slow this round, I am munching on a great burger I cooked real quick in between fights. Rio eats a left from Trinaldo, but hits a low single. Rio has a front headlock as well as Trinaldo's left leg trapped and holds onto that for a good minute. Rio switches off the leg for a guillotine and Trinaldo uses it to stand. Rio goes for a guillotine, but Trinaldo escapes. Trinaldo gets a body lock on and finally lands a takedown on the wrestler. Trinaldo is in half guard, and starts to look for an arm-triangle choke, but he's on the opposite side... and wow, never mind. Mike Rio taps and we've got a likely submission of the night.
Final result: Francisco Trinaldo wins via submission (opposite side arm-triangle) at 3:08 of round 1
Round one: Cholish trying to come forward, but Tibau backs him up and lands a nice body left. Cholish ducks and lands a right, while Tibau lands another left. Leg kick from Cholish. Tibau changes levels and gets Cholish on his back with a takedown. Cholish gets his back to the cage and stands up, but eats a left on the way out. Cholish blocks a head kick. Tibau catches a leg kick and Cholish has to limp leg into a somersault to get away from the takedown threat. Another leg kick gets caught, but Tibau misses a left. Tibau with a big takedown, but is unable to keep Cholish down. They go back and forth, not landing anything significant until the round ends.
Round two: Cholish isn't using his length well here, as his kicks are riding up the thigh of Tibau and he can't keep the stocky Gleison at bay with any semblance of a jab. Anik: "Cholish moving more than he's sticking". They back into the cage with Tibau pressuring but they break with nothing done. Big, big left from Tibau wobbles Cholish and Cholish ducks down. Tibau uses it to grab a guillotine that the New Yorker fights off briefly, but Tibau cinches it in again and he nails it on the second try. Cholish taps and the undercard superstar wins again.
Final result: Gleison Tibau wins via submission (guillotine) at 2:34 of round 2
170 lbs.: Michel dos Prazeres vs. Paulo Thiago
Round one: Paulo "Sam the Eagle" Thiago opens up circling away from "Tractor" Prazeres. Prazeres catches a body front kick and backs Thiago tot he cage. He drags Paulo down for a second, but can't keep him there. He tries using his shoulder to trip Thaigo down, but the BOPE officer has a judo background as well and manhandles Prazeres to his back. Thiago in mount but Prazeres gets up right away. They clinch with Prazeres backing Thiago into the cage. The ref breaks and we're back to center cage. Front leg kick from Prazeres, and he throws a high kick. And again. Prazeres circling well. Prazeres ducks under a hook and grabs a body lock, but is unable to bring Paulo down. The round ends with the two clinching. 10-9 Prazeres
Round two: More heavy leg kicks from the stocky Prazeres. Handfighting from the two leads to a left hook from Thiago. Knee to the chest of Prazeres drops him and Thiago follows him down. Thiago in half guard. Thiago mounts, but Prazeres uses the transition to stand up. Prazeres backs Thiago up, but Thiago catches him napping and uses a whizzer and a trip to get him down. Prazeres in turtle position and Thiago gets in some elbows. Prazeres to his feet and backs up Thiago. Now Prazeres gets Paulo's back, but has no hooks. Hip toss from Thiago but Michele is back up. Enormous thudding left hand from Prazeres that Thiago eats like a candy bar, but Tractor gets the takedown. Prazeres on top and getting in some ground and pound. Thiago reverses when Prazeres tries to move to a different position and gets on top. GNP for Thiago to end the round. Hard round to score, and it could go either way. I'll guess 10-9 Thiago to make it even at 19-19
Round three: Thiago pressing the pace now, as he's realized you can't kick as well backpedaling and that's been Prazeres' best weapon standing. Couple of shots for Thiago and Michele lands one back. Left-right for Prazeres. Knee for Thiago but Prazeres uses it to try for a takedown. Jab from Thiago gets met with a 1-2 from Prazeres. Brazilian/question mark kick for Thiago. Prazeres misses a 1-2. Leg kick from Prazeres who is sucking wind but fighting strong. Knee for Thiago and he tries a hip toss that Prazeres evades. Foot trip from Thiago and he lands in half guard. He passes to side mount and is landing some strikes as the ten-second mark claps on. Thiago ends in side control punching, and it's a really, really close round and fight. I guess 10-9 Prazeres, but it could go either way, as could the fight. Pretty much any score from 29-28 Thiago to 30-27 Prazeres is acceptable here.
Final result: Paulo Thiago wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
145 lbs.: Yuri Alcantara vs. Iliarde Santos
Round one: Alcantara backs Santos into the cage and tries a flying knee. Santos underhooks him and reverses him, but Yuri gets him back and lands a few shots on the break. Santos with a leg kick and one from Alcantara right back. Alcantara lands a smashing left hand that plants Santos as he tried for a leg kick. Yuri pounces and the ref stops it, saving Iliarde from more damage.
Final result: Yuri Alcantara wins via TKO (strikes) at 2:31 of round 1
Round one: Hollett with a big swing and a miss. Leg kick from Hulk. Hollett charges forward, but doesn't land. Maldonado clips in a right. Hollett goes for a spinning back kick, but throws it blind and it bashes Fabio's nuts. "That'll leave a mark" states Anik. Yup. Maldonado takes a couple minutes of writhing on the ground to recover before doing the Rich Franklin sumo stomp to try and feel better. Eventually he does. Left for Fabio. Jab to the body. Fabio beckons Hollett in and Roger obliges with a double leg direct into half-guard. Fabio ties him up and Hollett shoulder strikes him to free an arm. Somewhat of a quick standup from the ref, but here we are. Hollett backs Maldonado into the cage and eventually drops for a takedown that gets nixed via underhooks. Wall and stall from Hollett, and Leon Roberts separates them even with Maldonado landing the better shots off his back. Fabio wants to counterstrike and keeps trying to get Hollett to engage standing. Hollett just gets a takedown and ends the round in half guard doing nothing with it. 10-9 Hollett, but I wouldn't care if you told me 10-10.
Round two: Hollett with a right and another spin kick attempt - this time up high. Maldonado limp-legs out of a single attempt. Maldonado backs Hollett into the fence and lands some nice dirty boxing inside. Uppercuts and elbows from Maldonado before Hollett reverses him. They break and Maldonado hits a few punches. More dirty boxing and cagework from Fabio. Thai plumm for Hollett, but he does nothing with it and gets body punched again. Now Hollett backing Maldonado to the steel. Maldonado wants a firefight, but Hollett is fighting his fight, despite the repeated Diaz antics from Fabio. Hollett uses a single-leg to back Maldonado all the way across the cage into the fence. Fabio reverses and he's still winging and landing tons of punches inside. 19-19
Round three: Maldonado opens with a left, but gets taken down. He stands right back up, though and is back to dirty boxing the hell out of a gassing Hollett. Hollett lands a nice right, but the iron-jawed Maldonado tells him to do it again. Hollett tries then goes for a single, but fails. More Diaz-style tight boxing here, as he just holds him tight with his head and strikes high volume to the body. Maldonado is taunting Hollett now every time they separate, but he's backing it up with punches. Hollett stumbles into the cage and Maldonado goes contentedly back to slamming his fist into Hollett's sides. Maldonado is just toying with Hulk now, who's too gassed to really do anything much. Inside trip on a body lock for Maldonado who ends the round punching poor Hollett. 29-28 Maldonado.
Final result: Fabio Maldonado wins via Unanimous Decision (29-27 x2, 29-28)
UFC ON FX 8 PLAY-BY-PLAY "PRELIMS" COMMENTARY (FACEBOOK):
Round one: Lineker throwing big early as he always does. He promptly lands a big right about 30 seconds in that knocks Gashimov down. He follows with some GnP, but Gashimov has recovered, threatens an armbar and manages to get up. He does eat a knee for his trouble, however. Gashimov with a body-lock throw, but Lineker scrambles promptly. Gashimov shoots and the mohawked Lineker stuffs it and gains top position. Gashimov with an elbow from the back and Lineker hits a right. Gashimov stands. Hazmat knocks Link off balance with a teep/leg kick. Lineker throws a right to the body and follows it up with a left hook that lands clean and a right that does too. Lineker goes for a takedown and Gashimov grabs the cage to elicit a warning from Mario Yamasaki. Gashimov stands, and Yamasaki changes his mind and takes a point! Gashimov tries to kick Lineker and stumbles to the ground. Lineker pounces on top. 10-8 Lineker.
Upon replay, it showed that Gashimov curled his fingers a bit into the fence to stand, so a legit point deduction.
Lineker gets into swinging early again and lands a nice left. Lineker lands a big right leg body kick that damages Gashimov, and he swarms after it. A big right punch to the ribs and Gashimov crumples. Lineker pounces with punches and Yamasaki rescues the defenseless Gashimov.
Final result: John Lineker wins via TKO (strikes) at 1:07 of round 2
125 lbs.: Chris Cariaso vs. Jussier Formiga
Round one: Formiga looking good early as he gets the takedown and works into half guard. JuicyA maintaining top control as Cariaso struggles with various attempts to stand. Formiga keeping Cariaso away from the cage and passes into side control. Cariaso manages to regain half guard as Formiga attempts a mount. Full guard. Half guard. Mount. Half guard. Full guard! Fun stuff on the ground, but Kevin Mulhall is bored and stands them up. Juicy gets an issue fixed with his glove and we're back to standing with 50 seconds left in the round. Cariaso misses with a couple of kicks and flurries to little effect. Inside leg kick for Formiga. 10-9 Formiga.
Round two: That was quick - Cariaso stepped forward and Juicy instantaneously shot a double into half guard. A quick pass to side and now mount. Formiga threatens, but Cariaso bucks and shrimps back into half guard. Cariaso working butterfly guard and regains full. The crowd is jeering and whistling, which is pretty classless for what's been an entertaining grappling match so far. Mount and some ground and pound for Formiga. Cariaso regains full guard with a sweet little shrimp and he lands a nice elbow from bottom. Finally three and change minutes into the round, Mulhall stands them, much to Florian's dismay, as it was simply a moment in closed guard. Cariaso lands a right and they clinch but separate. Ineffective striking from both ends the round, but 20-18 Formiga.
Round three: Cariaso looking a bit desperate to start, as he realizes he's way down on the cards. Throwing heat, but not landing. Leg kick from Juicy. Formiga shoots a single, and elevates Cariaso's leg above his head into a takedown. Cariaso gets to his feet, but can't escape the clinch. Mulhall gives him the exit with 3 minutes left as he breaks them up. Cariaso is tired and not getting a lot on his punches. Formiga catches him coming forward with a takedown attempt that gets stuffed. Clinching up against the cage and Formiga is still working for the takedown while Cariaso tries to stay upright. Formiga screws up and leaves his head in for a D'arce attempt that Cariaso NEARLY finishes, but Formiga rolls out out of it after some danger. Cariaso finally lands a takedown and starts to go nuts in side control. He's throwing elbows like they're going out of style. Formiga escapes but Cariaso regains the position and is desperately trying to end this with strikes. He doesn't have enough on them, despite cutting open the forehead of JuicyA and he lives out the round. 29-28 on my cards, but maybe some judge doesn't give Formiga credit for top control in one of the rounds? We go to find out.
Final result: Nope. Jussier Formiga wins via Unanimous Decision 29-28 x3
Round one: Good start for Larsen in the green and white trunks - he catches a Martins leg kick and trips him down. Larsen lets him up and tags him with a right as he stands. Roaring crowd for the hometown boy early. Big uppercut for Larsen in the clinch. Martins lands an elbow that starts the mouse process underneath Larsen's eye. Martins is holding his chin up like a dartboard and Larsen is tagging it. They stand and wang for a bit, and while Martins is landing clean, his upright chin means he goes down in the flurry exchange. Larsen gets him down, but Martins rolls for a heel hook, into a calf slicer. Larsen scrambles and Martins takes his back, but Larsen scrambles up quickly. More rock 'em sock 'em and they both land. Larsen with a takedown, but Martins scrambles up and gets in a knee. Head kick from Martins who slips. The round ends with Larsen in Martins' guard. 10-9 Larsen.
Round two: Uppercut from Martins to open up. Martins lands again which causes a shot from Larsen that gets stuffed. Larsen body clinching him up against the cage and lands a bunch of knees. They break and Larsen re-engages but eats a punch on the way in. Another clinch. They go back to boxing and Larsen lands a pair of solid rights. Good chin from Martins, because he's eaten a bunch of flush hooks and crosses. Martins misses a switch kick. Larsen blocks a high kick with his arm that seems to hurt him a bit. Larsen lands two enormous right hands and Martins is wobbly, but Larsen can't put him away. Close round, but 20-18 Larsen.
Round three: Great fight so far and... wow, Martins hit an enormous right that puts Larsen face down on the mat as Larsen was coming forward. What an ending to a fantastic little Bangfest™
Final result: Lucas Martins wins via KO, round 3 0:13