By Jaime C. Feal
Vitor Belfort has done it again. The old lion just refuses to go away, recording his second straight knockout victory in spectacular fashion. Reminiscent of the spinning head kick that Uriah Hall landed on the most recent Ultimate Fighter, Belfort made short work of his opponent with the beautiful technique and follow up strikes on the ground. Belfort’s only losses in the past six years have been to champions Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. Belfort now has impressive knockout wins over Rich Franklin, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Michael Bisping, and Luke Rockhold in that stretch. In the co-main event, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza had a much more successful debut than his former Strikeforce middleweight champion counterpart Luke Rockhold, as Jacare delivered a submission victory to the delight of the Brazilian fans. After his win over Chris Camozzi, Jacare said he wanted the winner of the main event, and a potential clash between Vitor Belfort and Jacare would be a fantastic matchup indeed.
Lightweight Division (155 lbs.):
Rafael Dos Anjos (18-6, 7-4 UFC) vs. Evan Dunham (14-3, 7-3 UFC)
Both fighters measuring their range, stepping in and out. Dos Anjos lands one of his patented inside leg kicks. Dunham with a one-two. Nice straight left from Dos Anjos. Dunham catches a leg kick and counters with a left hand. Jab from Dunham finds the mark, then a leg kick. Good overhand left from Dos Anjos. Body shot connects for Dos Anjos. Dunham lands another jab. Dos Anjos landing the better strikes, hits Dunham with a heavy left hand. Dunham pressed forward but whiffs. The lightweights trade body shots, Dos Anjos slips and falls on his back. Dunham on top in guard. Dunham working to pass, Dos Anjos defending well. Dunham lands a couple punches, but not scoring too much. The ref stands up the fighters, good left hand from Dunham. 10-9 round for Dunham.
Outside leg kick for Dunham lands. Dunham in deep on a double leg, gets it. Dos Anjos quickly reverses back up to his feet. Dunham grinding now, working in the clinch. Dos Anjos breaks free. Dos Anjos lands a hard right to the body, tries for a takedown. Dunham fighting it off. Good right hand off the break by Dos Anjos. Good jab from Dunham, Dos Anjos lands a beautiful combo in response. Dunham lands a jab, has Dos Anjos bloodied over his eye. The fighters battle on the cage for position, Dunham lands an elbow on the break. Good left from Dunham. Good jab from Dunham, Dos Anjos misses with a big punch. Good forward pressure from Dunham now, left hand connects. Big flying knee from Dunham, Dos Anjos with a body shot. Dunham gets a trip takedown to seal the round. 10-9 round for Dunham.
Jabs from Dunham has Dos Anjos backing up again. Dos Anjos not connecting as much now. Dunham with good forward pressure again. Dunham shoots for a takedown, Dos Anjos defends nicely. Huge body kick from Dos Anjos. Left hand lands for each fighter. Jab from Dunham, Dos Anjos now coming forward, lands some hooks. Two uppercuts land from Dunham. Nice series of uppercuts in the clinch by Dunham. Dos Anjos now landing the jab. Dunham trying for a takedown, pushes Dos Anjos to the cage. The Brazilian again shrugs off the takedown attempt. Dunham pressing on Dos Anjos, landing light punches. Dos Anjos breaks free, lands a one-two. Knee from the front headlock position lands for Dunham. Fighters are really starting to trade now, Dunham landing several good punches to close the fight. 10-9 round for Dos Anjos.
All three judges score the fight 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Rafael Dos Anjos.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.): Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (17-3, 0-0 UFC) vs. Chris Camozzi (19-5, 6-2 UFC)
Jacare feinting, the lands a right hand. Souza ties up Camozzi and is looking for a trip. Camozzi reverses nicely. Big right hand from Jacare, then a takedown. Jacare avoids an upkick, lands a punch. Jacare passes to half guard. Camozzi already in trouble. Big right hands from Souza. Now left hands hit home for Jacare. Camozzi regains guard. Upkick lands for Camozzi. Jacare passes to side control. Camozzi looks to reverse and get on top, Jacare rolls to an omaplata. The omaplata is in deep enough for Camozzi to have to defend, Jacare uses that to reverse and get on top again. Jacare back to side mount, then passes to mount. Jacare locks up a head an arm choke, quickly puts Camozzi to sleep. Vintage performance from Jacare, once he locked up the arm-triangle choke Camozzi was napping within 2 seconds.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza wins by technical submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:37 of Round 1.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.): Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (22-10, 11-6 UFC) vs. Luke Rockhold (10-1, 0-0 UFC)
Rockhold swings with a high kick and slips on his back. Belfort doesn’t pounce, Rockhold pops back up. Belfort looking to counter, misses with a spinning kick. Rockhold shoots for a takedown, gets denied by a nice whizzer. Belfort tags Rockhold with a left hand. Rockhold takes it well. Leg kicks land for Rockhold. Belfort connects with an incredible spinning back kick to the face which drops Rockhold bad. Belfort swarms on his downed opponent, landing hard shots then turning out Rockhold’s light with a vintage right and left hand. The Brazilian crowd erupts in delight as Belfort delivers another sensational, highlight reel knockout.
Vitor Belfort wins by Knockout at 2:32 of Round 1.