UFC on FX 8 featuring Vitor Belfort vs Luke Rockhold will be live on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from Brazil. The main card begins at 9pm ET on FX, with the Fuel TV prelims beginning at 6pm ET and the Facebook prelims beginning at 4:30 pm ET. Like many recent card, this fight card features some Strikeforce crossovers headlining including “Jacare” Souza and the aformentioned Rockhold in the co-main and main event respectively. We will predict both those fights in this article along with the lightweight battle between Rafael Dos Anjos and Evan Dunham. This fight card marks the debut of our new model!
In the main event, the last Strikeforce middleweight champ, Luke Rockhold, takes on the number 2 ranked middleweight in the UFC, Vitor Belfort. Both fighters have led impressive careers and have had a lot of success lately. Belfort is 8-2 in his last 10, with 6 knockouts and his only two losses coming to light heavyweight champ, Jon Jones and middleweight champ, Anderson Silva. Rockhold, on the other hand is 9-1 in his last 10 (he only has 11 career fights) and has 5 submissions and 2 knockouts over that time period, albeit against a lower level of competition than that of Belfort. From a statistical perspective, Rockhold has a 3 inch advantage in both height and reach respectively, standing 6’3″ tall. The striking stats say Rockhold throws a lot more punches, with slightly less accuracy, but also absorbs far fewer punches. Surprisingly, Belfort, who has finished 15 of his 22 victories via knockout, attempts more takedowns at 1.29 per fight than Rockhold, at 0.21 per fight. On the other hand, Rockhold is able to stop 70% of the takedowns attempted against him while Belfort stops just 50%. An element in all the stats however, is that many of Belfort’s fights end early, while his fight vs Jones went 4 rounds so that fight would have a negative affect on his fight statistics. Our model has Rockhold winning by a large margin. Therefore, we placed a 1.5 unit bet on Rockhold at 1.87 to 1.
Prior to the main event, in the co-main event, we will see Chris Camozzi fight Ronaldo “Jacara” Souza, with both fighters having just 5 weeks to prepare following the injury that forced Costa Philippou out of the match-up with Souza. Over his 10 year career, “Jacara” has been one of the top middleweights outside the UFC and many MMA fans have dreamed of seeing him have the opportunity to test himself against the best fighters in the world. Besides losses to main eventer, Luke Rockhold and other top Strikeforce middleweight, Gegard Mousasi, Ronaldo Souza has been undefeated over the last 5 years fighting the best competition outside the UFC. Affectionately known as the alligator, once Souza gets ahold of a limb, he doesn’t let go. This is evidenced by his 13 career submission victories. Camozzi, on the other hand, has won 4 straight in the UFC. He has finished 11 of 17 and is relatively well rounded with 6 wins via submission and 5 via knockout. In terms of fight stats, Camozzi has a small height and reach advantage. Camozzi throws a lot more strikes than Souza, 4.03 vs 2.16, and both land with a similar 40% accuracy. The critical distinction however, is Souza’s 3.91 takedowns per 15 minute fight vs Camozzi, who has never landed a takedown in his UFC career. It is a good possibility that Jacare lands a takedown and is able to hold Camozzi down. Our model however, only has “Jacare” as a slight favourite. We like the odds on Camozzi, so we placed a 0.5 unit bet on Camozzi at 5.65 to 1.
Wrapping up the odds that have been released so far is a fight between Rafael Dos Anjos and Evan Dunham. Our model has historically been least accurate at predicting lightweight fights. Therefore, even though we have Dos Anjos as a slight favourite, at 1.55 to 1, we have decided not to place a bet.
Rockhold over Belfort. 1.5 units at 1.87 to 1
Camozzi over Souza. 0.5 unit bet at 5.65 to 1
Dos Anjos over Dunham.