Nights like Saturday are rare in the UFC.
For the first time in 15 months, a span of 41 events, the top two fights on a UFC card both ended with first-round finishes.
Middleweights Vitor Belfort and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza thrilled their home-country fans in Jaragua do Sol, Brazil, by showcasing what they do best in their bouts at UFC on FX 8.
Jacare choked out Chris Camozzi at 3:37 of the first round, marking the UFC newcomer's 14th career win by submission. Belfort was even quicker, stopping Strikeforce import Luke Rockhold with strikes 2:32 into the fight for his 11th first-round knockout in the octagon.
"I'm stronger than ever," the 36-year old Belfort declared while still in the octagon.
Rockhold's fate resembled that of Belfort's previous opponent, Michael Bisping. Belfort set up his knockout with a head kick for the second fight in a row.
Rockhold couldn't get away from Belfort's spinning attack -- "didn't see that one coming," the 28-year-old said -- and was put out cold with ensuing punches.
Camozzi was also unconscious at the end of his fight. Jacare smothered him after securing a takedown and capitalized on an opening for a side choke.
"We were grappling and I was waiting for him to give me the opportunity," Souza said immediately afterwards. "I saw his neck and I just went for it."
Jacare was vocal in asking for the winner of the main event as his next opponent. Belfort wouldn't bite when pressed on his future. He said he'd take whomever and reverted to one of his favorite metaphors:
"I'm a T-Rex surviving in this new jungle," Belfort said.
Find full results from the UFC on FX 8 preliminary card below.
Evan Dunham swore he was a better fighter than favored lightweight Rafael dos Anjos, and most agreed after a 15-minute bout -- just not the judges. Dos Anjos took a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over Dunham that was so controversial UFC President Dana White referred to it as a robbery.
Rafael Natal beat Joao Zeferino by unanimous decision (30/27, 29-28, 29-28) in a middleweight bout.
Nik Lentz stayed undefeated at featherweight, winning his third straight since dropping down to the division. Lentz took a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27) over Hacran Dias.
Francisco Trinaldo scored a takedown midway through the first round of his lightweight fight against Mike Rio to set up an early finish. Trinaldo submit Rio with an arm-triangle choke at 3:08 of the first round.
Lightweight John Cholish announced his intentions to retire after one last fight hours before facing Gleison Tibau, who did all the retiring once the bout got underway. Tibau submitted Cholish with a guillotine choke at 2:34 of the second round.
Paulo Thiago earned a unanimous-decision win, taking two of three rounds on all three judges' scorecards, over Michel Prazeres in a middleweight bout.
Yuri Alcantara used a combination to drop Iliarde Santos early in the first round, and finished shortly after with a TKO 2:31 into the bantamweight fight.
Fabio Maldonado recovered from a rough first round against Roger Hollett, whom took the Brazilian down, in a light heavyweight bout. Maldonado stayed on his feet the rest of the way and struck himself to a unanimous-decision win (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over Hollett.
John Lineker rolled past Azamat Gashimov in a flyweight fight, scoring a TKO victory at 1:07 of the second round.
Winning each of the first two rounds in a flyweight bout, Jussier Formiga was able to pull out a unanimous-decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-38) over Chris Cariaso.
Lucas Martins knocked out Jeremy Larsen 13 seconds into the third round in their lightweight bout.
Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or email@example.com. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.
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