Vitor Belfort gave fans in his home country of Brazil plenty to be happy about at UFC on FX 8 on Saturday, delivering a first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold that is sure to make UFC highlight reels for years to come.
Belfort held off Rockhold's takedown attempts early, and then set up to deliver a perfect knockout kick halfway through the round. Near the fence, Belfort landed a spinning kick to Rockhold's face. It landed flush, and Rockhold fell to the ground. Belfort finished with ground and pound. The fight was stopped at 2:32 in the first round.
It's Belfort's second straight win by knockout. He knocked out Michael Bisping in January, and before that, moved up to light heavyweight and lost a title fight to Jon Jones. His record is now 23-10. He already has a loss against UFC champion Anderson Silva, but is this fight enough to ask for another title shot? He wouldn't say.
"I'm here to fight. I don't pick fights. I accept fights," Belfort said after the win.
There was plenty of bad blood between the two before the fight began. Belfort is one of the UFC fighters who has an exemption to use testosterone replacement therapy. Rockhold viewed this as sanctioned cheating, and wasn't afraid to say so. The two had to be separated during Friday's weigh-ins as Rockhold got in Belfort's face.
This was Rockhold's first fight in the UFC. He is now 11-2, with most of his wins coming in Strikeforce, where he was the middleweight champion.
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