Thrown into the fire: Luke Rockhold faces Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8 from Brazil


It appears that the UFC is wasting no time in seeing just how good former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold really is. The announcement comes today that Rockhold will travel into hostile territory when he meets up with surging Middleweight Vitor Belfort in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil.

According to Tatame, the fight will take place at the Arena Jaragua on May 18th. This was later confirmed by UFC President Dana White.

For Rockhold, the bout will serve as a huge step up in competition. He was recently linked to bouts with striker Lorenz Larkin as Strikeforce quietly closed its doors, but injuries prevented the fight from taking place. Last seen defeating Tim Kennedy in Strikeforce, Rockhold of course took that belt from Jacare Souza. Known for an impressive array of strikes, Rockhold has recently stated that he needs a tune-up fight before facing UFC champion Anderson Silva.

Now he has quite the tune-up in Belfort, who himself looks to get another crack at Silva. Most recently seen destroying Michael Bisping, Belfort oddly called out Jon Jones for a rematch with the Light Heavyweight champ. But this bout will have tons of high title implications riding on it. It would be hard to see how it could not.

Chris Weidman may get the next shot at Silva’s belt, or it could be the winner of this hard-hitting bout. Can Luke Rockhold truly make a name for himself and stake his claim firmly among the top five Middleweights in the world? Or will it be just another highlight reel finish for “The Phenom?”

  • He strikes with Belfort, he is going to sleep.

  • Chris weidman vs Luke Rockhold or Weidman vs Belfort would have also been a great matchup..

    A Middleweight title fight is long overdue so i say give it to Weidman then focus on a Superfight with GSP or Jones thereafter.

  • Vitor, KO again! Not a good guy to be facing for your first match on the big stage.

  • I'm a huge fan of Vitor Belfort……. Yet Luke Rockhold is a bad match up for him… His style will be all over Vitor from beginning to end… I mean Luke trains with Cain people. I have it 50/50… Good thing it's in Brazil….Vitor will be on Lion Mode… Awesome fight…

    • Well Vitor trains with the blackzillians..wait, nevermind.

  • vitor via KO and we finally get the rematch with silva

    • i agree vitor vs anderson silva 2 would be a great fight. the first one was so short but it had an amazing ending.

      i think the second fight will live up to the hype.

      • If Vitor gets inside Silvas range, it could be a bad fight for Silva….Que the Silva fans going off…

        • Possibly but that is a BIG if and Silva has a chin of granite.

  • I think Luke has a good shot at beating Vitor.

  • I like this fight for Vitor for a lot of reason, but mostly because of the timing. This is a very quick turn-around time for VB and it sets him up nicely to do one of two things, should he win. It sets him up to either get the winner of Silva / Weidman or it sets him up to be the natural replacement, should one of the two fighters scratch. Either way, a win over Rockhold puts him in the driver's seat as the #1 contender to a S / W fight.

    And to carry it one step further, should Anderson lose to Chris and should Vitor lose to Luke, it would set up a nice Silva / Belfort re-match.

    It's take a long time, but things are finally heating up in the 185.

    • And if he gets injured again, even longer. But I do agree.

  • if vitor use kicks I thnk he got this if nt Luke striking isnt that bad as u may have thot!!

  • TRT users should be banned from MMA.

    • i still want to see alistair, pls not.

  • i honestly think this will be a great fight…people are silly to think that vitor will walk through luke..luke will push the pace, i hope vitor can keep up!

  • Normally I would give Vitor a very slight edge but the way hype trains have been derailing in the MW division lately I have to go with Rockhold via flying scissor takedown to heal hook with a flashing green background.