Ok, new format for reaction this week, full results at the bottom as usual, but reaction will be split into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- The Good
The Facebook prelims – three stunning fights, packed with highlights, especially John Lineker’s performance to knock out the much larger Azamat Gashimov.
Point Deduction! – Mario Yamasaki actually took a point off Gashimov for holding the fence to foil a takedown, and in the first round no less! More referees need to do this more often, as its the only way such cheating will get stamped out.
Jacare – a confident UFC debut by the Strikeforce veteran, tapping Chris Camozzi in the first round. Top ten opposition surely awaits next time, and a match against Costa Phillipou is even more interesting now.
Belfort – I can’t personally root for Vitor any more, but when you knock Luke Rockhold out in the first round, with a picture perfect application of a move you’ve never shown before, I have to take my hat off and applaud you.
Vitor’s spinning back kick KO is right up there in KO of the year territory, and he’s now 9-2 since PRIDE FC with the losses coming to Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, which is no disrespect to anyone’s record.
Hell, look at Vitor’s record – sure there are ten losses there, but every single one is to a bona fide legend of this sport. Is there another Middleweight on the roster that has anything close to his form?
I might not like his proselytising, I might not like the TRT but I very much respect his achievements and the pure, awesome technique that led to this win.
- The Bad
Not much, aside from the partisan Brazilian crowd occasionally booing the ground game and a few ridiculously early referee stand ups. Let them work!
- The Ugly
Roger Hollet’s spinning back kick to Fabio Maldonado’s man parts. Brutal. Should have earned a point deduction, but at least Fabio came back to win the match.
Fight of the Night: Lucas Martins & Jeremy Larsen
KO of the Night: Vitor Belfort
Sub of the Night: Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza
MAIN (FX, ESPN)
• Vitor Belfort def. Luke Rockhold via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 2:32
• Ronaldo Souza def. Chris Camozzi via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:37
• Rafael dos Anjos def. Evan Dunham via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Rafael Natal def. Joao Zeferino via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
PRELIMINARY (FUEL TV, UFC.TV)
• Nik Lentz def. Hacran Dias via unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-28)
• Francisco Trinaldo def. Mike Rio via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:08
• Gleison Tibau def. John Cholish via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:34
• Paulo Thiago def. Michel Prazeres via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Yuri Alcantara def. Iliarde Santos via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:31
• Fabio Maldonado def. Roger Hollett via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
• John Lineker def. Azamat Gashimov via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:07
• Jussier Da Silva def. Chris Cariaso via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Lucas Martins def. Jeremy Larsen via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 0:13