UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs Rockhold

Rockhold_Belfort_FXBrazil gets the luxury of great events every time for two reasons; an almost unreasonably large market and certainly unfairly deep talent pool. Even their mediocre fighters are exciting; it seems to run in their blood. Once again, Captain TRT, Mr Belfort tops the bill and the so-called ‘StrikeForce Invasion’ continues with promising StrikeForce champion Luke Rockhold making his long awaited debut.

Following this middle-weight bout, is Jiu-Jitsu wizard, Jacare Souza and Chris Camozzi preceeded by the guaranteed slug-fest that comes in all Evan Dunham fights, as he faces the resurgent Dos Anjos.

That’s enough pillow talk, here’s how they’ll each look to win;

Belfort vs Rockhold

Vitor is a man of extreme speed and power, no matter your thoughts on his use of TRT and past misdemeanours, namely dabbling in banned substances; he is a phenomenal athlete and lives up to his fight name. Due to this, he has no obvious gaps in his game as far as weaknesses to exploit, having very nearly arm barred the 205lbs king on my birthday last September, and knockouts over names like Bisping, Akiyama, Franklin, Eastman and several others.

So what strategy will Vitor use? Ballistic assault is my guess. He should know his cardio won’t beat Rockhold’s, so he should look to capitalise on the occasionally slow starting StrikeForce vet. Rockhold tends to stand very tall with his striking and his technique and power does not match that of the Brazilian’s, so pushing the early pace and throwing his strong straight punches that he has become famous for, could serve him well. It is highly likely Rockhold will look to initiate a grappling exchange, so Vitor can also look to have an uppercut cocked and loaded at all times, and hope to catch the visitor on his way in.

Rockhold is no slouch on the feet, and has a height advantage. He would be well advised to keep Vitor away with his jab, and ensure he doesn’t move in straight lines, as that’s where Vitor is at his most dangerous. Luke’s biggest threat in this bout is in the grappling, he has a decent submission grappling pedigree, with gold’s in the IBJJF blue and purple belt divisions, which should be enough to prevent Vitor’s attack off his back, and as the rounds wear on, the chances of Belfort conceding to fatigue, much like we saw against Jones, increase by the minute. With 25 of them to play for, Rockhold will have plenty of time to work a submission or perhaps a flooding of strikes to produce a late finish or see him to a dominant decision.

Rockhold also is in a camp where Thomson and Cormier have both recently come off wins, and the quality of training partners is incredible. In comparison to the Blackzilians, the training camp advantage may be the edge Rockhold needs.

Rockhold bts Vitor via decision (48/47)

 

 

Souza vs Camozzi

That first analysis was long, so I’ll compensate you with a quick one here. Souza out classes Camozzi comfortably. His BJJ is up there with the best in the world, not just in MMA. Meanwhile Camozzi is very average, coming off a questionable win over Nick Ring, and some unimpressive wins over the majority of the UFC’s middleweight cut list. Now he’s stepping up to face a true contender in the middle weight division.

The Redundancy Maker, aka Camozzi, has to try to keep this fight standing and use his slight reach advantage and leg kicks to take a decision.

Ronaldo wants to bulrush Camozzi and get the fight to the mat. Once there, Souza will be prepping his victory speech with Kenny Florian.

Souza bts Camozzi via submission (R1)

Dos Anjos vs Dunham

What a fight this is! Dunham was tipped to be a lightweight contender not long ago, but losses to Melvin Guillard and TJ Grant faltered his hype train, but he has added two FOTN bonuses to his resume in his last three appearances. Dos Anjos also looked a likely challenger the pinnacle of the division before an injury forced him out of a fight with Guida and he lost a razor thin decision against Tibau.  Since the latter loss, he has accumulated three wins, and has clearly been working on his wrestling, which saw him passed Njokuani and Bocek.

Dunham is a decent wrestler, and had the cardio to squeeze a win against Tibau in his last outing, but he’s reckless on the feet and isn’t the most dangerous fighter. His strategy is usually to make life difficult for his opponents with endless movement and action, scoring points but not causing devastating damage. This will probably be the same again here, relying on heart rather than talent to try to wear down Dos Anjos in the latter stages of the fight.

The Brazilian has more ways to win this fight than Dunham, with powerful kicks and, although both hold black belts in BJJ, superior grappling credentials. Ironically, his game plan will most likely be similar to Dunham’s, so this could come down to who is the physically stronger or quicker. I’d have to give both these aspects to Dos Anjos, but he will have to be able to see through the first 10 minutes, get the first two rounds in the bag and survive the last.

Dos Anjos bts Dunham via decision (29/28)

 

That covers the main three fights; I’m not going into Natal vs Zeferino because I know nothing about the late replacement. Also worth watching on the undercard are Linekar vs Gashimov flyweight fight which I think could be fight of the night and it will be interesting to see how Hacran Dias does against Nik Lentz.

Great card in all, hope you enjoyed this and enjoy the fights!

 



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