Breathe deep and relax, MMA fans. Your wait for the next UFC fight card is almost over, and to make things a little sweeter, the card will air on free television.
On Saturday, May 18, the promotion will make its return to Brazil for UFC on FX 8, a fight card that will be headlined by a middleweight contest between Vitor Belfort and Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold. The contest will mark the debut of Rockhold under the UFC banner.
And now, a little primer about some of the fighters who will be competing on the main card.
*All stats via FightMetric.
Rafael dos Anjos and Evan Dunham will face off in a lightweight contest in Brazil, and the odds of this one hitting the mat are pretty low.
That’s not because the two fighters are not active in their takedown attempts, but due to the fact that these two are the third- and fourth-ranked active UFC lightweights in takedown defense.
Dos Anjos has stopped 22 of 27 attempted takedowns for a 81.5 percent defense rate. Dunham ranks right behind Dos Anjos at 79 percent.
With that being said, Dunham may face the stiffer test in takedown defense since Dos Anjos has attempted 22 takedowns in his last two fights.
Chris Camozzi will compete in his ninth UFC fight when he meets Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in Brazil. During his eight previous fights, one thing has become evident: Camozzi likes to throw some leg kicks.
In total, Camozzi has landed 100 leg kicks. If he can land six on Souza, he will overtake Chris Leben for the most leg kicks landed in UFC middleweight history.
He ranks second in three categories with the now shuttered promotion.
Souza's 25 takedowns on 47 attempts put him second to Pat Healy’s 28 takedowns. Souza was also second in takedown average with Strikeforce. His 3.83 takedowns per 15 minutes ranked him behind only Muhammed Lawal, who averaged 4.46 takedowns per 15 minutes.
Souza has 13 career submission victories. Of those, four came while he fought under the Strikeforce banner. That number ties him for second all time in submission victories with the promotion.
Vitor Belfort has a total of 18 finishes in his MMA career (15 knockout, three submission). Of that number, 15 have come before the end of the first round. When looking at his 11 UFC finishes, 10 of them have come within the first round—a UFC record.
Overall, Belfort ranks behind only Anderson Silva (14) and Matt Hughes (13) in UFC stoppage victories.
Luke Rockhold enters his UFC debut with a record of 10-1 as a professional. Of those 10 victories, eight have come via stoppage (six submission, two knockout). All eight of those stoppages have come within the first round.
Rockhold’s other two victories go to the other extreme. His decision wins over Jacare Souza and Tim Kennedy both came in title fights and went the full five-round distance.