The UFC returns this weekend with the UFC on FX 8 card from Brazil after several weeks without a mainstream show. The main event features ‘The Phenom’ Vitor Belfort, a +110 underdog at 5Dimes Sportsbook, taking on Luke Rockhold, a -130 favorite, in what is the first pick ’em main event for the UFC since Belfort’s last bout against Michael Bisping. The rest of the card features a lot of Brazilian talent, as would be expected on a card in that country. Let’s take a look. The co-main event of the evening features former Strikeforce Champion at 185 lbs Ronaldo Souza as he takes on Chris Camozzi, who is on a four fight winning streak in the UFC. Right now, Souza is a prohibitive favorite at (-525) with Camozzi returning (+415). Souza is a fierce competitor who lost his SF title in a 5 rounder against Luke Rockhold, but otherwise he has not lost another fight in roughly three years. Souza’s quality of competition has been much higher than Camozzi’s as well. As an example, he earned a decisive arm bar win over current Bellator Champion Alexander Schlemenko in just his 3rd MMA fight, and his years in competing in the rugged world of high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has seen him face off against top quality athletes for years. Camozzi has strung together a solid winning streak, but he was unimpressive in a ‘you punch me, I punch you’ snoozer against Nick Ring. Camozzi is unlikely to have an answer for Souza’s aggression on the feet, and he will struggle to keep the fight standing. On the ground, Souza is one of the most dangerous BJJ artists in the world, and he will finish the fight with Camozzi. Another interesting bout features underdog Evan Dunham (+165) facing off against Rafael dos Anjos (-190). This may be a spot for some underdog action, as Dunham is coming off a win over Gleison Tibau, a man dos Anjos lost to. Both of those matches ended in Split Decisions, which hints that the fighters are near in level and that we have a competitive match. Dunham needs a win to put a second win between himself and the loss to Lightweight contender TJ Grant. Another fight to watch on the undercard features Brazilian tough guy Fabio Maldonado taking on Roger Hollett in what has the makings of another fan pleasing bout. Maldonado is well known for his ability to take punishment, and Hollett can dish it out, but he has failed to break through and beat anyone who is rated, plus he is already 0-1 in the UFC. Look for Maldonado to eek out a win here, and for his sake, if not for the fans, let’s hope he gets to enjoy a victory and not spend another night in the hospital. For people looking past this UFC card to the Heavyweight battle up next between Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva, remember that the Rockhold vs Belfort main event is truly an even fight, where as Velasquez is a 5 to 1 favorite. So tune in this weekend, a lot of the future of the Middleweight division will be decided on free TV.
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