Every UFC event that has taken place in Brazil has seemed to end in fireworks and the crowd going bananas. Whether it is Jose Aldo hitting Chad Mendes with that insane knee or Anderson Silva KO’ing Stephan Bonner or just anytime Vitor Belfort steps in the cage you can expect to see 2 things: crazy fans going nuts for 3-5 hours and a vicious knockout and last nights UFC on FX was no different! In a card that seemed to be packed with UFC debuts and fighters looking to crack the top ten this card did deliver! It also snapped the “BlackZillians” streak of disappointing losses. So lets take a look back at the fights and see what now lies ahead for each fighter on the main card.
Rafael Natal defeats Joao Zeferino via decision
This was a fight that didn’t seem to wake up until the 3rd round. the first two were filled with cage control and takedowns but in the third Natal went to work on the feet and really set the tone for the main card. While not a career defining win for Natal it is better than a loss. There were a couple times that if Natal had performed in the first like he did in the third he may have had the gas to finish the fight but that wasn’t the case.
Natal: This now gets Natal two wins in a row in a division (middleweight) where every fight has become a win or go home. While this isn’t a career defining win it does help him move in to the top 15 but at 30 years old he will have to start pushing the envelop with the level on competition he is facing if he wants to crack the top ten.
Zeferino: At 27 years old he still has time but this is not the UFC debut he was looking for. he did look good at times and hopefully that will be in his favor in his next scheduling of opponents, only time will tell.
#10 Rafael dos Anjos defeats Evan Dunham via decision
This was yet another battle of cardio and who would outlast the other. This was the one fight that I disagreed with the judges as Dunham landed the better of the striking and opening dos Anjos up in the second and garnering yet another takedown in the 3rd but the judges saw differently and have it to dos Anjos.
dos Anjos: Looking at the ranking before the fight he had dropped to #10 even though he was on a 3 fight win streak. After this performance he could drop even further as many feel he lost this fight. . Even so with 4 straight wins a bout with Bam Bam Healy or Jim Miller could be on the horizon.
Dunham: This loss ends the momentum built on the win over Tibau at 156 but he should be able to rebound quick. He should still be hovering around the top 15 and perhaps a rematch could be in order and many saw this as a win for Dunham before it was announced.
#8 Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza defeats Chris Camozzi via Arm Triangle SUBMISSION OF NIGHT
This was an absolute clinic on BJJ and Souza showed in his UFC debut why he had all that hype coming in and has been seen as one of the top BJJ guys for years. He controlled the fight from the opening bell and had a deep Omaplata locked in until he decided to end the fight from Camozzi’s half guard via arm triangle. It seemed like two seconds passed and all the sudden Chris was out cold, that is just proof that Souza is that good when it goes to the ground.
Souza: This is a win over an unranked fighter (according to the UFC rankings) but a win in such dominating fashion over a guy who was on a 4 fight win streak should but Souza around number 5 or 6. Perhaps a fight with Rockhold who fell short tonight or a what would be epic showdown with Costa Philippou who is also coming off a win.
Camozzi: He was a huge underdog coming in to this fight and as soon as the fight became a grappling match it showed why. Chris is a solid fight and with a record like his and only being 26 there are big things in store for him if he continues to improve. Tonight showed him what needs work.
#2 Vitor Belfort defeats #4 Luke Rockhold via spinning heel kick KNOCKOUT OF NIGHT
Like I said before, every time Belfort steps into the cage in Brazil just hold on to your seat cause something awesome is getting ready to happen. We all remember his amazing TKO win over Bisping in January and this fight ended in similar vicious fashion. The drama started at the weigh-ins and kept going up until Vitor’s heel met Luke’s head. It was quick and brutal as they got through the feeling out process then Vitor turned his body and everyone had a flashback of the groin shot from a spinning heel kick landed in the prelims (Hollett) but this one hit it’s mark and Vitor pounced like a lion as Luke fell. It was over three punches later.
Belfort: Title shot vs the winner of Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. Well deserved after his showing vs Jon Jones (loss but was the closest man to beat Jones without terrible officiating) and his last win over Bisping.
Rockhold: It was disappointing not being able to see Luke open up and go to work but Vitor is a top of the world fighter. This loss will drop him a little in the rankings but shouldn’t be too bad, I think he stays in top 5 or 6 and a fight with Souza or Bisping could be next.