Belfort blasts Rockhold with spinning heel kick

Published on Monday, 5/20/13, at 6:03 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Vitor Belfort added another highlight-reel victory to an illustrious career full of them Saturday night. With a spinning heel kick that caught Luke Rockhold flush on the ear hole, followed by a series of punches to his downed opponent, Belfort improved his mixed martial arts record to 9-2 over the last six years.

Belfort’s first-round KO of Rockhold, the former Strikeforce middleweight kingpin who was making his Octagon debut, hooked up his backers with an even-money return.

Belfort’s only losses in his last 11 fights came to the world’s two best pound-for-pound fighters, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. And remember, Belfort is the only fighter to come even remotely close to beating Jones when he nearly executed a first-round armbar.

In his last seven UFC fights, Belfort has garnered Knockout of the Night honors four times, including Saturday’s finish of Rockhold in the main event at UFC on FX 8 in Brazil.

Now the future of the middleweight champ, Silva, gets even more interesting. Silva will defend his 185-pound strap against the unbeaten Chris Weidman at UFC 162 on July 6.

If Silva prevails over Weidman, there has been speculation galore about a superfight between him and Georges St. Pierre or Jones. Now we can add a rematch with Belfort to the possibilities. This matchup would be a monster money maker in Brazil and could perhaps be held at a soccer stadium.

In the co-main event, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza enjoyed a successful UFC debut by beating Chris Camozzi via arm triangle choke at the 3:37 mark of the opening round. Souza posted the victory as a huge favorite in the -400 range. He took home the Submission of the Night bonus.

**Octagon Extras**

–Mark Hunt finally got his visa issues settled and reportedly left New Zealand on a flight to America late Sunday night. Hunt, who has won four consecutive fights, will face Junior dos Santos in Saturday’s co-main event at UFC 160. JDS is a heavy favorite in the -400 range.

–Nate Diaz was suspended for 90 days and fined $20,000 for a homophobic tweet last week. Diaz was giving his opinion on Pat Healy losing his Submission of the Night bonus for testing positive for marijuana. When Healy had to forfeit his money, the bonus ($65,000) was given to Bryan Caraway. This prompted Diaz to call Caraway ‘the biggest F** in the world.’ Next, Diaz sent a follow-up tweet with the hashtag #sorryasslittlebitch. Diaz is coming off his first career loss by knockout against Josh Thomson.

–Healy’s win over Jim Miller has now been changed to a no-contest.

–Pat Barry opened as a -175 favorite for his UFC 161 heavyweight showdown versus Shawn Jordan last week. However, that number has been adjusted to -145. I like Barry at the less expensive number.

–Brandon Vera will return to the heavyweight loop to face ‘Big’ Ben Rothwell at UFC 164 on Aug. 31 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

–UFC 163 has been confirmed for Rio with Jose Aldo defending his featherweight belt against Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis. Aldo is a -170 ‘chalk’ at most spots with Pettis available for a +140 payout (risk $100 to win $140). Josh Koscheck vs. Demian Maia will also be on the pay-per-view card in a 170-pound matchup.

–For all the latest MMA news, check out Jason Floyd’s website, The MMA Report.

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