On Saturday, May 18, the UFC held UFC on FX 8 from the Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

In the night’s main event, former UFC champion Vitor Belfort clashed with Strikeforce’s final middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold. Each hoped that a win would propel them to a title shot against the winner of the UFC 162 title fight between champion Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman.

Also on the main card, another former Strikeforce title holder, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza made his promotional debut against surging Ultimate Fighter veteran Chris Camozzi, lightweight Evan Dunham and Rafael dos Anjos locked horns looking to move up the 155-pound ladder, and Brazilian middleweights Rafael Natal and Joao Zeferino went to war.

The 13-fight event kicked off Saturday, May 18, at 4:30 p.m. ET with three bouts streaming on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Six additional bouts followed on Fuel TV at 6 p.m. ET, with the FX main card starting at 9 p.m. ET.

Belfort knocks out Rockhold

In the main event of the evening, “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort squared off with former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in a five-round battle.

After a quick feeling out process, Belfort pressed forward looking for the knockout. Rockhold stay patient and technical, while Belfort did not waste time. Belfort landed a spinning wheel kick that dropped Rockhold, and finished off with punches on top to earn the highlight-reel victory.

“Jacare” submits Camozzi

Chris Camozzi took on the biggest challenge of his career on Saturday in former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

Camozzi came out looking to exchange, which was where he wanted the fight to be contested. But it would not stay on the feet long, as Jacare earned a trip takedown to put Camozzi on his back. Instead of going for a submission hold, Souza landed punches on top, then transitioned to side control. Jacare locked up an arm-triangle choke, stepped over, and forced Camozzi to go to sleep to end the fight.

The finish came at 3:37, giving Jacare an impressive win in his UFC debut.

Dos Anjos edges out Dunham

In a battle of two potential lightweight contenders, No. 10-ranked Rafael dos Anjos defeated Evan Dunham by unanimous decision.

Dos Anjos began the first round mixing up his strikes, but was eventually taken down by Dunham. Dunham worked on top, but nothing major to clearly win the round, leaving the judges a tough decision to make.

Dunham shot in for a double leg takedown to begin round two, but dos Anjos turned it into a guillotine attempt to work his way back to his feet. Dunham continued to press forward, leaving a mark over the face of the Brazilian with his punches. Late in the round, dos Anjos came back with shots of his own, but Dunham took him down as the round ended.

As the third round began, Dunham stayed smart by not putting himself in harm’s way, but got his punches off well. As the clocked ticked down, both men loaded up in a back-and-forth battle until the fight end.

All three judges scored the bout the same, 29-28, seeing dos Anjos as the winner.

Natal decisions Zeferino

Joao Zeferino stepped in on two weeks notice to make his debut inside the Octagon, taking on Rafael Natal on FX.

Zeferino came out showing no signs of jitters whatsoever in the opening round, looking to land haymakers on Natal. Natal tried to take his opponent to the mat, but Zeferino countered and ended up on top. Zeferino dropped down for a leg lock, but was unsuccessful as the two battled for position until the referee stood them up.

Both men started round two similar to the first, with Zeferino applying pressure to Natal. The pace slowed as the round progressed as Zeferino appeared to have become winded in his debut. This allowed Natal to work while in Zeferino’s guard until the horn sounded.

The two fighters exchanged a hug to begin the final round, but went back to work as soon as it ended. Natal picked up where he left off by taking Zeferino down and scored as many points as he could. In the final 40 seconds on the round, Natal mounted Zeferino and reigned down punches before taking the back of his opponent. “Sapao” couldn’t get the finish, but clearly did enough to win the round.

The judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, all for the winner by unanimous decision, Rafael Natal.

Preliminary Card Summary

The final prelim bout of the evening featured two up-and-coming featherweights as Hacran Dias squared off with top 10-fighter Nik Lentz. Lentz used his wrestling game to control Dias in the opening two rounds. Dias came back to dominate round three, using his striking to go for broke, but was not enough as Lentz earned a unanimous decision.

In a lightweight clash, Mike Rio traveled to Brazil to take on Francisco Trinaldo in a match-up of two finishers. Rio started the fight well by taking the Brazilian down and looked for submission opportunities, but Trinaldo reversed the scene by submitting Rio with an arm-triangle choke while in half guard.

Brazilian Gleison Tibau put on an impressive display in his home country by defeating John Cholish by guillotine choke. Tibau landed flush punches in the second round, locked on the neck of Cholish for a guillotine, and forced a tap. It is expected that Cholish will hang up the gloves following this fight.

Welterweight Paulo Thiago likely saved his job with a closely contested decision win over fellow Brazilian Michel Prazares. Prazares pushed the pace early, forcing the veteran against the cage and working hard for a takedown. Thiago rebounded in the second and third rounds, using his Octagon experience to take home the narrow victory.

Yuri Alcantara wasted little time dispatching of countryman Iliarde Santos with a violent first-round stoppage. Alcantara used his size and striking advantage to hurt Santos early before dropping him with a straight left hand. A flurry of ground and pound forced referee Kevin Mulhall to step in and waive off the contest halfway through the opening round.

Light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado survived an early groin strike from Roger Hollett to snap a three-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision win. Maldonado used his boxing experience to batter Hollett with body shots and uppercuts in the final two rounds and earn the victory.

Brazilian John Lineker made sure that Azamat Gashimov’s flyweight debut would end poorly, battering the sambo specialist from the opening bell. Lineker dropped Gashimov twice in the opening round and referee Mario Yamasaki deduction a point from Gashimov for holding the fence. In round two, Lineker delivered a body kick and flurried, forcing the stoppage.

Flyweight Jussier Formiga bounced back from a loss in his UFC debut to score a unanimous decision victory over Chris Cariaso. Formiga smothered Cariaso with his slick ground game in the first two rounds and survived a third-round surge from Cariaso to take the fight on the scorecards.

Brazilian lightweight Lucas Martins earned his first Octagon win with a third-round knockout of TUF alum Jeremy Larsen. Larsen connected with numerous overhand rights through two rounds, but Martins delivered one of his own to halt the bout early in the final frame.

Vitor Belfort def. Luke Rockhold by knockout (wheel kick and punches). Round 1, 2:32
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Chris Camozzi by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 1, 3:37
Rafael dos Anjos def. Evan Dunham by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rafael Natal def. Joao Zeferino by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Nik Lentz def. Hacran Dias by unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Francisco Trinaldo def. Mike Rio by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 1, 3:08
Gleison Tibau def. John Cholish by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2, 2:34
Paulo Thiago def. Michel Prazeres by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Yuri Alcantara def. Iliarde Santos by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 2:31
Fabio Maldonado def. Roger Hollett by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
John Lineker def. Azamat Gashimov by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 1:07
Jussier Formiga def. Chris Cariaso by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Lucas Martins def. Jeremy Larsen by knockout (punch). Round 3, 0:13

Photo: Vitor Belfort (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.