Our Friends at Intravid.com give us their fight breakdown from last Saturday’s main event. What do you guys think is next for Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold?
It was another great night of fights this past Saturday as the UFC made its way to the beautiful country of Brazil. It was an exciting event filled with submission and knockout victories that surely left no fight fan disappointed. The most notable of all being Knockout of the Night award winner Vitor Belfort with his spinning heel kick to the jaw of former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold. So with Belfort nabbing his eleventh first round KO in the UFC and Rockhold coming up short in his octagon debut, what is next for these 185lb fighters?
Despite the impressive victory over Rockhold, Belfort finds himself in a difficult situation. Though many could argue that he has earned himself another title shot with Anderson Silva, I do not believe too many fans are clamoring to see that rematch take place. With Silva set to take on Chris Weidman on July 6th at UFC 162, a Weidman victory would almost certainly yield an immediate rematch, which leaves Belfort in a position where he will likely need to set his eye on a different opponent. Also, with all of the controversy going on relating to Belfort’s TRT usage, it is unlikely he will get an exemption for TRT and be able to fight in the US.
The UFC has used Belfort’s drawing power in Brazil for his last two fights, as he has main evented cards on FX and was the main reason behind selling out the arenas. However, the UFC now needs to look at Belfort as more than just a guy who will get them ratings or sell tickets when doing shows in his native land. At 36 years of age, he is still a force to be reckoned with. The elephant in the room is that he is still on TRT, which leaves people wondering just how much of his success is actually attributable to his work ethic. Who knows? The point is that he is still dropping contenders from left to right, and actually became the first man in history to win two consecutive octagon bouts via headkick. If I had to choose, I would pair him up with another former title challenger in Yushin Okami. Okami is in a relatively similar position in that he has no chance of rematching Silva for the title, yet he has also been on an impressive run as well, winning three straight and taking out contenders like Alan Belcher and Hector Lombard. The two were scheduled to fight back at UFC 122 anyway before Belfort was bumped up to challenge for the belt. Neither of Silva’s past victims have shown any signs of slowing down, so it might be easier for the UFC to just have to deal with one of them.
Clearly a very disappointing octagon debut for AKA’s Rockhold, as the incredibly dangerous Belfort was able to make quick work of the Caifornian in front of thousands of rabid Brazilian fans. Rockhold was humble in defeat last night and although a decisive victory over the Phenom would have put him in possible title contention, he is still only 28 years old and has a very promising future in the UFC. After the loss to Belfort, we are likely to see the UFC match him up with somebody that can help build back his name. For the many UFC fans who never watched Strikeforce, Rockhold will only be remembered as the guy who became part of Belfort’s highlight reel, and he will stay that way until he steps back into the cage. Up next for Rockhold I believe will be a UFC fighter who is currently coming off of a loss. Most of the other top-10 middleweights are either scheduled to fight or in a different situation as Rockhold, so he will probably find himself facing a guy he is favored against. Alan Belcher seems like a good option for him, though Belcher is in situation where Rockhold might be too tough of an opponent for Belcher as Belcher needs a fight where he can regain some momentum. Michael Bisping could be a great next fight as well, since the two have exchanged some words in the past. For me personally, I would like to see Rockhold take on Chris Camozzi, who suffered a submission loss to Jacare Souza on the same night. Camozzi, though he would likely be the heavy underdog, is always a game opponent with good all-around skills and could be a great next step for Rockhold as he jumps back onto the road toward the UFC belt he is gunning for.
It will be exciting to see what is next for both of these great middleweight fighters. In the meantime, thanks for reading and please contact us at Intravid.com or follow us on twitter @intravid to let us know your thoughts on the fights!