COMMENTARY | Vitor Belfort staked his claim for another title shot when he knocked out Luke Rockhold at UFC on FX 8 on Saturday, May 18. Belfort's victory capped off an interesting main card that also featured Ronaldo Souza's UFC debut and a controversial decision win for Rafael Dos Anjos over Evan Dunham.
Here are three thoughts on the main card:
Vitor Belfort deserves another shot at Anderson Silva
It's been a little over two years since Anderson Silva knocked out Vitor Belfort with a front kick to the head. Since then, Belfort has recorded impressive victories over Yoshiro Akiyama, Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold. He even looked great in his fourth-round submission loss to Jon Jones at UFC 152.
Belfort takes a lot of criticism for undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), but as long as it's legal and allowed by the UFC, I have no problem with him getting another shot at Silva. He didn't just knock out Rockhold on Saturday night; he controlled the fight from start to finish. Rockhold is one of the best middleweights in the world, and Belfort made short work of him.
It's clear that there's no one else in the middleweight division who can handle Belfort right now, and I'd love to see how he'd adjust to another fight with Silva. Belfort has improved enough over the past two years to give the champion a run for his money. Hopefully, we'll see Belfort fighting for the title before the end of the year.
Ronaldo Souza moves up the middleweight ladder
Ronaldo Souza is another fighter who continues to improve with age. He's won four straight fights since losing to Rockhold in September 2011, and he's gotten stronger with each victory. Souza's win over Camozzi is probably the most impressive of the four victories, but I'd like to see him face a top five fighter before he's mentioned as a contender for the middleweight title. Camozzi is a good mixed martial artist, but he's no Michael Bisping or Belfort.
Don't get me wrong: Souza made it look easy when he put Camozzi to sleep. He is one of the top jiu-jitsu practitioners in all of MMA. However, he should be getting in the cage with stronger competition before anointing him as the future of the middleweight division.
Rafael Dos Anjos earns controversial decision over Evan Dunham
It seems that there's always a controversial decision at an MMA event nowadays, and UFC on FX 8 was no difference. Rafael Dos Anjos earned a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28. 29-28) over Evan Dunham in what many fans and experts online felt was a poor call from the judges.
However, while I also disagree with the judges' decision, I don't believe that the decision is the highway robbery that many fans on social media were claiming it to be. Every round in this fight was close and could have gone either way. It's absolutely ludicrous that Dunham didn't win the fight on at least one judge's scorecard, but it's not the worst decision in history. Actually, I'd argue that Dunham's split-decision loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 119 was an even worse decision.
If anything, the recent string of controversial decisions is proof that the current 10-point must judging system needs to be changed. Both the fans and the MMA media should spend more time clamoring for improvements to the system instead of complaining when a fighter is "robbed."
Derek Ciapala has been following MMA for 20 years. He has been published on Yahoo! Sports, UltimateApocalypse.com and multiple other websites. You can check him out on Facebook or on Twitter @dciapala.
- Sports & Recreation
- Martial Arts
- Vitor Belfort
- Ronaldo Souza
- Luke Rockhold
- Anderson Silva
- Rafael Dos Anjos
- Evan Dunham
- Michael Bisping