UFC on FX 8 Info and Predictions for Belfort vs. Rockhold

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterMay 14, 2013

UFC on FX 8 Info and Predictions for Belfort vs. Rockhold

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    Like a desperate man slouching through the desert, MMA fans look upon UFC on FX 8—coming to you live from Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, this Saturday—as a life-giving pool in the middle of a dry and barren wasteland. Never mind if it's just a scummy cesspuddle. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, bro!

    But as we drink in the majesty of this event nearly three full weeks in the making, let us also prime our pumps with a full, eh, primer. What follows are information capsules and predictions for every single fight, from Facebook to finale, including details on how and when to watch.

    Please enjoy, and hey, don't drink too fast out there, as you will get stomach cramps. 

Lucas Martins vs. Jeremy Larsen

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    Division: Lightweight
    See it on: Facebook (starting 4:30 p.m. Eastern)

    When we last saw Lucas Martins, he was tapping out to Edson Barboza's strikes. When last we saw Jeremy Larsen, Joe Proctor was knocking him out on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Live. Remember that show?

    Larsen likes to bull his way forward, and with his horns down is rather prone to the counter. That may not be such a big problem here because Martins is the exact same way. This could be a very nice little slobberknocker in the fashion of The Simpsons.

    Prediction: Larsen by TKO, Round 1

Jussier Formiga vs. Chris Cariaso

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    Division: Flyweight
    See it on: Facebook (starting 4:30 p.m. Eastern)

    Just a little over six months ago, Jussier Formiga was one of the hottest flyweights on the planet. Now he's moldering on Facebook after one measly TKO loss to John Dodson.

    That's more a testament to the rather loosely tethered safety net below the flyweight division than anything else, in my opinion. That same rule applies to Chris Cariaso, who was on a good roll of his own before being cut down by John Moraga.

    Formiga has the best jiu-jitsu in the division. Cariaso is tough and a good fighter, but was submitted with some slick stuff in his last bout. If Formiga brings the slick, which I think he will, he should bring home his first UFC win, and perhaps a little bonus check.

    Prediction: Formiga by submission, Round 2

John Lineker vs. Azamat Gashimov

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    Division: Flyweight
    See it on: Facebook (starting 4:30 p.m. Eastern)

    John Lineker hadn't lost in two years before he went out on his shield against Green Fry Guy, whose government name is Louis Gaudinot.

    Lineker got a Fight of the Night bonus for that one, and he should get back on the good foot against Azamat Gashimov, who didn't have much for Ivan Menjivar in his UFC debut. Unless the weight drop works a miracle for Gashimov, this is Lineker's fight to lose.

    Prediction: Lineker by TKO, Round 2

Fabio Maldonado vs. Roger Hollett

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    Division: Light heavyweight
    See it on: Fuel TV (starting 6:00 p.m. Eastern)

    Fabio Maldonado received accolades aplenty after showing spectacular toughness against Glover Teixeira at UFC 153. But that was his third straight loss. 

    There were not accolades aplenty for Roger Hollett after he spent three rounds gasping for breath and trying to correctly guess the safe word that would get Matt Hamill to stop lying on top of him.

    But like Maldonado, Hollett has a boxing background. So I guess that makes this interesting? Maybe. Though I have to say that my gut says maybe not.

    Prediction: Maldonado by TKO, Round 2

Yuri Alcantara vs. Iliarde Santos

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    Division: Bantamweight
    See it on: Fuel TV (starting 6:00 p.m. Eastern)

    There is an open question as to whether Yuri Alcantara fell victim to some effective thespianship at the last UFC on FX card. Either way, he now has the chance to take matters back into his own hands.

    As for Iliarde Santos, well, I've never heard of Iliarde Santos. This might be his first fight outside of Brazil. Oh, wait, this is in Brazil. 

    Prediction: Alcantara by submission, Round 1

Paulo Thiago vs. Michel Prazeres

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    Division: Welterweight
    See it on: Fuel TV (starting 6 p.m. Eastern) 

    Paulo Thiago once beat Josh Koscheck. Now he's toiling in the UFC hinterlands.

    Thiago probably has enough good will among fans and UFC brass to hang around for a while longer, but a loss here would be five in his last six. His chances in this one would previously have been no-brainer good, but he looked absolutely awful in his last bout, a drubbing from Dong Hyun Kim.

    Seriously, can you believe Thiago is a judo and BJJ black belt after that egg-laying against Kim? Is there any other UFC fighter with those credentials who would have given up so easily?

    Thiago surely knows he's got to beat somebody. Turns out Michel Prazeres is somebody. 

    Prediction: Thiago, TKO, Round 2

Gleison Tibau vs. John Cholish

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    Division: Lightweight
    See it on: Fuel TV (starting 6 p.m. Eastern) 

    Gleison Tibau is known for one thing and one thing only: being huge. He just out-bigs people until he eventually works his way up to someone who's really good, and for whom out-bigging in itself is not an effective strategy for success. So he loses. Then he goes back down and the process starts again. It's kind of mesmerizing, sort of like a lava lamp.

    Now he's at the bottom of the lamp again and facing John Cholish, a commodities broker who is 1-1 in the UFC. Tibau should be able to impose his bigness.

    Prediction: Tibau by unanimous decision

Francisco Trinaldo vs. Mike Rio

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    Division: Lightweight
    See it on: Fuel TV (starting 6 p.m. Eastern) 

    Mike Rio has a nice wrestling style that can work in a big promotion. However, Trinaldo is probably a better striker, regardless of phase. This is probably Rio's last fight in the UFC.

    Prediction: Trinaldo by TKO, Round 2

Hacran Dias vs. Nik Lentz

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    Division: Featherweight
    See it on: Fuel TV (starting 6 p.m. Eastern) 

    This could be Fight of the Night when it's all said and done.

    Hacran Dias hasn't lost in four years and is an electrifying and well-rounded finisher. Nik Lentz is an absolute bull who looked better than he ever has in his last fight, a decisioning of Diego Nunes.

    Given that Lentz is relatively late addition to this one (replacing an injured Manvel Gamburyan), I believe this is yet another fight for the favorite to lose.

    Prediction: Dias by TKO, Round 1

Rafael Natal vs. Joey Zeferino

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    Division: Middleweight
    See it on: FX (starting 9 p.m. Eastern) 

    His body is perfect. His girlfriend is perfect. Rafael Natal is perfect. That's according to Rafael Natal, who was apparently upset about not getting an interview after his last win and as such found a camera and commenced to aggrandizing himself through the chain link.

    His fight this Saturday got a lot less interesting when his original opponent, Chris Camozzi, got called up to face Ronaldo Souza after Costa Philippou got injured.

    Enter Joey Zeferino, who like Prazeres and Santos before him has yet to fight outside his native Brazil. Whatever you do, do not sound the upset alarms for any of those bouts.

    Prediction: Natal by unanimous decision 

Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham

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    Division: Lightweight
    See it on: FX (starting 9 p.m. Eastern) 

    Rafael dos Anjos is on a serious roll. He looked terrific in controlling Mark Bocek in his last bout. Seriously. He looked like a contender. 

    As for Evan Dunham, well, we've seen this movie before. He's talented and has some very good fights on his resume (his losing effort to T.J. Grant comes to mind as a recent high point despite his loss).

    Can Dunham finally get over the hump? Dos Anjos will tell the tale. Personally, I say no. A trend can only be overcome by an actual reversal.

    Prediction: Dos Anjos, unanimous decision

Ronaldo Souza vs. Chris Camozzi

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    Division: Middleweight
    See it on: FX (starting 9 p.m. Eastern) 

    Souza-Philippou was appointment television. Souza-Camozzi is like raincheck television. I like Chris Camozzi very much, but I don't think that brawling, devil-may-care style of his is going to offer a lot of resistance for Jacare's world-class jiu-jitsu. 

    And yet, I wonder. Camozzi has pulled off upsets before. And he won't be intimidated. Despite their age difference of seven years, Camozzi is by far the more experienced UFC fighter, with eight fights to his name. (This is Souza's Octagon debut.)

    So yeah, there's intrigue. Camozzi is more than viable as a UFC fighter, and he proved that against Nick Ring, but Souza will just have too much.

    Prediction: Souza by Submission, Round 2

Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold

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    Division: Middleweight
    See it on: FX (starting 9 p.m. Eastern) 

    I'm always wary when the press surrounding a fighter is as negative going into a fight as it is right now for Vitor Belfort. There's the TRT thing. There's the over-the-hill thing. There's the he-should've-finished-Jon-Jones thing. There's the why-the-hell-does-he-think-he's-justified-in-calling-out-Jon-Jones thing. There's the can't-win-the-big-one thing.

    Luke Rockhold, on the other hand, is in the opposite situation. He's the handsome, six-packed Strikeforce champion playing footsie with Anderson Silva. Fans and even some pundits seem to want to will him to UFC success. 

    Bad news, though: It's not happening Saturday night.

    Belfort will not go quietly into the night. He still has fast and very powerful hands. He is still well-rounded. He strikes me as a guy who reads his press clippings; you don't think he'll have a chip on his shoulder here? 

    Sorry, but the old lion is going to at least temporarily spoil the Luke Rockhold Lifetime Movie of the Week. Everyone has a superior game plan until they get punched in the face. A very wise man said that, and I believe him.

    Prediction: Belfort, TKO, Round 2


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