UFC on FX 8 fight card primer: Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC on FX 8 fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold live from Brazil. Here, we look at the main event: Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold.

The main event at UFC on FX 8 features a Middleweight contender's fight. Brazilian phenom Vitor Belfort (22-10 MMA; 11-6 UFC) welcomes former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold (10-1 MMA; UFC Debut) to the Octagon. This is the last of four fights on the main card, and is scheduled for five rounds. UFC on FX 8 is live from Brazil this Saturday May 18, with the main card beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

There are a lot of parallels between this fight and the last UFC on FX card. Just like last time, you have Vitor Belfort headlining a card in Brazil. Just like last time, he's facing an opponent who, if he can get past Vitor, is possibly looking at a title shot and a date with Anderson Silva. And just like last time, Belfort is going to try and spoil those plans. He pulled off the win against rising contender Michael Bisping in January. Can he derail Rockhold's train here? We'll find out soon.

How do these two stack up?

Belfort: 36 years old | 6'0" | 74" reach
Rockhold: 28 years old | 6'3" | 77" reach

What have these two done recently?

Belfort: W - Michael Bisping (KO) | L - Jon Jones (Sub) | W - Anthony Johnson (Sub)
Rockhold: W - Tim Kennedy (UD) | W - Keith Jardine (TKO) | W - Jacare Souza (UD)

How did these two get here?

Before that Bisping fight in January, I said Belfort was on arguably the best run of his hall of fame career. After that impressive head kick KO win, I think there can be no arguing that fact. Belfort has been on a great run in the past six years, going 8-2 with his only loses coming against Silva and Jones. He has found the patience and overall level of technique to go with his raw ability. The result is an extremely dangerous fighter, who should not be overlooked by anyone. For old school UFC fans, there's not much in the game right now that is as satisfying as seeing Vitor still winning after all these years.

More on UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold

Luke Rockhold is the final Strikeforce Middleweight champion and is making his UFC debut here. He won that title from Jacare in 2011 and made two successful defenses before the company closed up shop. He's looking to unify the Strikeforce belt with the UFC's crown, but unlike Gilbert Melendez, he was not given an immediate shot at the champ. A win here makes that a definite possibility, though Rockhold doesn't seem like a particularly engaging challenger to Silva. If he wants that shot, he needs not only a win here, but a big stoppage.

Why should you care?

Like I said, Belfort is just great to watch right now - one of the best stories in the UFC today. I'm very excited to see if he makes it happen once again.


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