Santa Cruz’s Luke Rockhold will make his UFC debut against Vitor Belfort in a headlining bout for UFC on FX 8 on Saturday, May 18, the promotion announced on Wednesday.
Of course, this bout was first reported by the website Tatame last month. But the UFC sent out a press release Wednesday and posted it on its website, so now it’s REALLY set in stone.
Here’s the release:
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to Brazil for the second time in 2013 on May 18, as the Jaragua Arena in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, will host UFC on FX 8: Rockhold vs. Belfort. In the main event, MMA legend Vitor Belfort returns to the Octagon after his victory in January at UFC Sao Paulo, where he knocked out Michael Bisping. Belfort faces Luke Rockhold, the outgoing middleweight champion of Strikeforce, who rides a series of nine wins.
In the co-main event, former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” faces Cypriot Constantinos “Costa” Philippou.
Seven other fights have been confirmed for the event, all of them featuring Brazilian stars squaring off against competitors from around the world:
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira vs. CB Dollaway – middleweight
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham – lightweight
Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo vs Mike Rio – lightweight
Paulo Thiago vs. Lance Benoist – welterweight
John Lineker vs Azamat Gashimov – flyweight
Fabio Maldonado vs. Roger Hollet – light heavyweight
Gleison Tibau vs. John Cholish – lightweight
“This is the fourth Brazilian state that we have the joy of visiting and another great achievement for the UFC,” said Grace Tourinho, spokesperson for UFC in Brazil. “Brazilian fans still have many good things to expect from us in 2013, including live events, the next season of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil and the opening of a UFC headquarters in the country.”
“Fighting in Brazil is always very good, and I’m honored to fight in the third different state in my country,” said Belfort, who will be looking to earn his fourth win in his home country.