Vitor Belfort finished Luke Rockhold by knockout at UFC on FX 8, making that his 11th first-round finish in his UFC career. After connecting with a vicious spinning heel kick, Belfort then immediately followed that up with five unanswered punches before referee Leon Roberts halted the action at two minutes, 32 seconds of the opening round.
What we’ll remember about this fight
Belfort shocked everyone—not by winning in the first round—but by the fashion in which he did so. It was the second spinning heel kick he threw in the round, something you would’ve expected from Rockhold not Belfort.
What we learned about Vitor Belfort
When he fights in Brazil, he wins. This was Belfort’s fourth career fight in his native country, dating back to 1998 when he finished Wanderlei Silva at UFC Brazil. Belfort continues to defy his age and is still diversifying his striking.
“I have a great team, the Blackzilians,” Belfort told Jon Anik in the post-fight interview, after being asked about the win.
What we learned about Luke Rockhold
It isn’t that Rockhold wasn’t ready for the bright lights of the UFC or that he had the infamous Octagon jitters. He simply just ran into a wall Saturday night in the form of Vitor Belfort's left foot. We will see what the former Strikeforce middleweight champion is made of in his next fight.
What’s next for Vitor Belfort
“I don’t pick fights, I accept fights,” Belfort told Jon Anik, upon being asked about facing the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman.
After finishing the No. 4- and No. 5-ranked middleweights back-to-back, there is no way for Dana White to justify not giving him a title shot.
What’s next for Luke Rockhold
The surfer from Santa Cruz may have to hit some waves and clear his head after this fight. He still has to prove he deserves his ranking. Michael Bisping is coming off a win, but the rest of the division is tied up with fights at the moment. It makes sense and would be an interesting matchup.
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
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