MANILA, Philippines – Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort showed that he still has what it takes to be a contender as he stopped fellow middleweight Luke Rockhold in the opening round of their main event clash at UFC on FX 8 in Brazil.
Rockhold’s attempt at a takedown was easily denied by the Brazilian Belfort, who was in turn able to land a few punches.
After Rockhold landed a kick to Belfort’s body, “The Phenom” stunned him by executing a spinning back kick that landed flush on Rockhold’s chin.
Belfort swarmed the collapsed Rockhold with a flurry of punches, prompting the referee to stop the fight at the 2:32 mark of the very first round.
In an interview with the UFC website, Belfort said he welcomes all challenges.
“I’m here to fight. I don’t pick fights. I accept fights,” he said.
Belfort now has a record of 23-10, while Rockhold dropped to 10-2.
In the undercard, middleweight fighter Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza made a successful UFC debut by submitting Chris Camozzi in the very first round.
Souza, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, locked in an arm triangle to Camozzi, and the referee stopped the fight at the 3:37 mark.
UFC.com reported that Belfort took home “Knockout of the Night” honors, while Souza earned “Submission of the Night” honors. Both fighters received $50,000 each.