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UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold Aftermath — The Debate Rages On


Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

“Can somebody beat him up for me, please?”

Aside from a genuine, non-ironic “talk to the hand” that I had no idea people still said, that was all that Vitor Belfort had to say to reporters during the post-fight press conference last night about the elephant in the room. And frankly, I’m not going to add much else about it, either. You couldn’t talk to many fans – or even the fighters involved – about this fight without engaging in a lengthy discussion about drug usage. Naturally, Belfort winning the fight only intensified these discussions, as though there should be an asterisk next to the W on his record.

In many ways, the elephant in the room seemed to overshadow the actual fight between Belfort and Rockhold. That’s tragic, considering what we were treated to.

I won’t write that Belfort’s chemical wizardry is completely meaningless in a fight; if it was, he wouldn’t bother with it. But attributing the absolutely brilliant spinning kick that ended this fight – and made a strong case for Knockout of the Year for this year’s Potato Awards – to a loaded syringe is just as laughably misinformed. Belfort was Rockhold’s first true test, and The Phenom simply proved to be too much for him.

Still, I wouldn’t be as optimistic about the idea of Belfort taking on the winner of Silva vs. Weidman as some people are being. Does Belfort deserve to fight the winner? Absolutely. But there’s a reason the UFC danced around the issue during the post-fight press conference, and yes, that reason is related to the same elephant in the room that overshadowed this fight. I’ll put it this way: If Silva wins, hosting a rematch against Belfort in Brazil makes sense. If Weidman wins? Not so much, and hosting Weidman vs. Belfort in the United States is playing with fire, as far as NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer is concerned.

Elsewhere on the card…

- The co-main event pitted former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza against last-minute replacement Chris Camozzi. Most of us dismissed this fight as little more than a bump in the road for Jacare, and most of us were correct in doing so.

Okay, that might be a little too harsh. Camozzi deserves a ton of credit for even accepting this fight on short notice, let alone for putting up the fight that he did. But Jacare is just that much better than Camozzi, and without much time to prepare, Camozzi was little more than a slightly-resistant grappling dummy. It’s a thrill to watch Jacare’s ground game, and hopefully we’ll get to see him test it against the deep end of the division soon.

- Here goes nothing: Did I think Dunham won? Yes. But did he get “ROBBED!!!!” in an unforgivably biased decision? No. This fight wasn’t under Stockton Rules – the blood on the face of dos Anjos shouldn’t affect your opinion on who won the fight. I personally think dos Anjos won round one, Dunham won round two, and the third round – although I gave it to Dunham – could have gone either way. It wasn’t a robbery, it was a very close fight that arguably deserved Fight of the Night honors. There’s a big difference between the two.

- Rafael Natal defeated Joao Zeferino. Zerefino was completely spent by the second round, and Natal couldn’t have given less of a fuck while in the cage with him. Not in the fun “I’m going to throw a bunch of spinning stuff because whatever you can’t stop me” way, but in the “Mir vs. Cro Cop: someone has to win, I guess” way. Move along people, there’s nothing to see here.

- I’m willing to bet that you didn’t watch the Fight of the Night winning scrap between Lucas Martins and Jeremy Larsen that kicked off the Facebook preliminaries. That’s a shame, because you missed a great fight. This wasn’t a technical masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, it was a downright brawl that saw Larsen control the first two rounds before walking into a devastating punch from Martins just thirteen seconds into the final round. It sucks to lose like that, but the $50,000 both fighters took home probably numbs the pain a bit.

- Submission of the Night went to Jacare, and Knockout of the Night went to Belfort. All bonuses were worth $50,000.

Full Results:

Main Card:
Vitor Belfort def. Luke Rockhold via KO (spinning heel kick and punches), 2:32 of Round One
Ronaldo Souza def. Chris Camozzi via technical submission (arm triangle choke), 3:37 of Round One
Rafael dos Anjos def. Evan Dunham via Unanimous Decision
Rafael Natal def. Joao Zeferino via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary card:
Nik Lentz def. Hacran Dias via Unanimous Decision
Francisco Trinaldo def. Mike Rio via submission (arm triangle choke), 3:08 of Round One
Gleison Tibau def. John Cholish via submission (guillotine choke), 2:34 of Round Two
Paulo Thiago def. Michel Prazeres via Unanimous Decision
Yuri Alcantara def. Iliarde Santos via TKO (punches), 2:31 of Round One
Fabio Maldonado def. Roger Hollett Unanimous Decision
John Lineker def. Azamat Gashimov via TKO (punches), 1:07 of Round Two
Jussier Formiga def. Chris Cariaso via Unanimous Decision
Lucas Martins def. Jeremy Larsen via KO (punch), 0:13 of Round Three

@SethFalvo

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kayla1231- May 21, 2013 at 6:40 am
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danomite- May 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm
2dogs - Even though your whole premise that the spinning heel kick required perfect timing to land is wrong (Rockhold was leaving his hands down, begging for a kick to the dome), to answer your question: Yes, Yes steroids do "make your brain quicker". Steroids have been proven to decrease central nervous system reflex time thereby effectively increasing your 'brain quickness'. Congratulations, you failed on two different levels with only one statement.
holeeball- May 20, 2013 at 6:15 am
As long as it's legal it's all good. Vitor went out there and put up an awesome display. Rockold seemed too tentative waiting for something and he got it way, way sooner than he ever expected it.
Thumblaster- May 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm
Yeah 2dogs " it mustve made his brain faster" obviosly it's worked for you , your fucking brilliant.
2Dogs- May 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm
Clearly one would be stupid to think Belforts team has not cross referenced everything to make sure he was in the legal boundries for any fight. If its legal, its legal. end of. I feel all this talk is crap about drugs and shite.he wouldnt be fighting if it wasnt. I think people who are saying trt makes you faster and stronger is balogne. It mustve made his brain faster too then huh, considering he had to think when the timing was right and blammo ....Congrats to Mr.Belfort on a great win, entertaining fight and devestating head kick.
Thumblaster- May 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm
Vitor's got that old man steroid user look in his muscles, I do'nt really know what that means but his build looks a little colemanesque. Great knockout, and because vitor's on the shit does'nt mean he's not a great fighter , but ped's make average fighters good, good fighters great and great fighters legands, ask couture or hendo.
crappiefloper- May 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm
The most important lesson in all of this is that I appartly have some sort of Telepathic connection with Jacare. I mean an arm triangle? That was just for me folks. Oh, hold on, Jacares sending me a mental image...HA! Little inside joke, sorry, can't really repeate it. Good stuff Jac. That's what I call him, it's a thing we do...
crappiefloper- May 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm
Is TRT a banned substance? No. Does it increase training ability which carries over into fight performance? Yes, yes it does. Does a cortisone shot into a young fighters bum shoulder do the same thing? Yes, yes it does.
phantom151- May 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm
blah blah blah and all the other bullshit ....personally i dont give a shit got to see a super bad ass knock out. now vitor has taken one of the coolest knock out (anderson push kick to the chin) and has now given one of the coolest
Mr_Misanthropy- May 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm
I still watch as many fights as I can but I just don't give a shit the way I used to. All the bullshit and drama that surrounds the actual fight itself that usually pops up in the news has sucked the life out of it for me. It would simply take too much effort to care or get worked up. So, whatever, pppffffffftt.
Sopapo- May 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm
Ive read someone complaining about double standards on TRT cause of people defending Chael and hating on Belfort. Theres a difference there guys, one has a normal set of balls, the other doesn't. end of story
danomite- May 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm
Here's a video of Vitor weighing in at UFC 126 against Anderson:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsVf2RGB6Wc
Now here's a video of Vitor weighing in for last night's fight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG8vXswYHAs
Pause it at about 44 seconds into the first video and 22 seconds into the second video and try not to say HOLY SHIT! as you compare the two. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go get my hands on some testosterone.
danomite- May 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm
Steroids make you stronger and faster. That's not a debatable opinion, that's a fact. A kick that is faster is harder to evade or block. A kick that is thrown with more strength lands harder and makes it more likely to cause a knock out. That is how I can attribute a syringe to that spinning heel kick knock out.
SethF- May 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm
Let me clarify: *Entirely* attribute it to a syringe.
jimbonics- May 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm
Your reply completely dismisses his point.
SethF- May 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm
I get his point. I write as much in the article. I just am not going to say "Vitor only did that because he's on TRT!" either (No, not saying that's what Danomite said, either).
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