UFC on FX 8 outperformed expectations. We were treated to a variety of competitive action and finishes, and it was capped off with Vitor Belfort's stunning spinning back kick.
The UFC finds a way to deliver more often than not.
Belfort was not the only fighter to impress. "Jacare" Souza, Nik Lentz and Yuri Alcantara are just three others who came with their best at UFC on FX 8 and inched closer to their goals in their respective division.
It was a fun night of action.
Here are five key takeaways from UFC on FX 8.
Two of the best fights on paper entering UFC on FX 8 were the flyweight fights. They were both seen on the Facebook prelims.
Moreover, both fights delivered. They should have, at worst, been on the Fuel TV preliminary card.
The UFC is trying hard to build the flyweight division, but it is hard to build future stars if they aren't being seen. Fighters like Rafael Natal are fine, but they aren't title contenders. Jussier Formiga and John Lineker are. They deserve to be seen.
Title contender John Moraga is headlining UFC on Fox 8 with champion Demetrious Johnson, but no one knows who Moraga is because he was relegated to Facebook too. The UFC needs to start putting the flyweights higher up on cards. It's borderline shameful.
OK, the judging wasn't atrocious at UFC on FX 8, but we still know it's not up to proper standards.
Rafael dos Anjos and Evan Dunham were involved in a close fight. However, many believe that Dunham was the winner of the fight. Seeing how close the bout was, I won't fault the judges too much, but the result still hurts Dunham.
The referees were far worse at UFC on FX 8.
Competent ref Kevin Mulhall has already had a rough start to 2013, and it continued in Brazil. Leon Roberts wasn't much better. What does it say when oft-criticized Mario Yamasaki was the best on the card?
The sport still has a ways to go in getting better judges and referees.
If you listen to UFC broadcasts, you would think that the lightweight division is stacked with title contenders 20 deep. That's not the case.
The lightweight division does have a lot of talent, but it is mostly mid-level talent. It lacks true top-tier talent.
Want to see a stacked division? Look at the featherweight title picture. It's jam-packed with killers waiting for a shot at Jose Aldo. It is quite ridiculous what has happened at 145 pounds.
Is that the case at 155? Not even close.
I'm not trying to take anything away from Rafael dos Anjos and company, but they are not the type of talent when thinking about a stacked division—at least at the top end of one. The lightweight division is stacked with mid-level fighters. That's all.
UFC fans were finally introduced to Ronaldo Souza at UFC on FX 8.
"Jacare" made his fight look easy. He went in the cage and quickly took care of Chris Camozzi with an arm triangle. It only took him 3:37.
He entered as the No. 8 middleweight, but the next time the UFC rankings are, he won't be there. He will undoubtedly be closer to No. 1.
Jacare showed a good mix of his skills. He looked comfortable on his feet, and we all know how good his ground game is. He emerged as a true contender following his performance on Saturday. He is a dangerous fighter in the division.
His omaplata transition and arm triangle were amazing to watch. Other middleweights will not be chomping at the bit to fight Jacare. He represents a terrifying matchup.
Vitor Belfort knocked out Luke Rockhold in spectacular fashion in just 2:32.
Hate him or love him, Belfort has earned another UFC title shot.
Belfort entered as No. 2 in the division, and Rockhold was No. 5. This marks the second consecutive knockout over Top-Five competition for Belfort. If another fighter did the same, everyone would be lobbying for him to compete for the title.
The Brazilian has not tested positive for any substance. Everything he has done has been in line with the rules and regulations. There's no way around that, no matter your feelings.
A Top-Five middleweight finished two consecutive Top-Five fighters who were likely getting their title shots with wins. Why not Belfort?
He has earned it. Period.