To the surprise of few, Bisping talked a ton of smack about Belfort leading up to their bout. After all, with some of his past actions and use of TRT, Belfort is a target prime for picking on…outside of the Octagon, that is. Bisping failed to push Belfort as planned and had his chin tested long before his foe’s cardio was submitted to any exams. The finishing sequence came in the second stanza, stemming from a headkick and ensuing strikes. Once again, Bisping’s hopes of contendership were dashed while the 36-year old Belfort reminded fans he is still one of the best 185ers in the sport. Belfort has been haunted by his highlight-reel knockout loss to Anderson Silva for a couple of years but exorcised some of the demons in May when he produced an equally memorable finish against Rockhold. The bout was aimed at determining a title-contender based on Rockhold’s status as Strikeforce champ and Belfort’s string of successes at 185 pounds. However, the tilt turned out to be far from competitive with “The Phenom” ultimately sending Rockhold to his doom with a beautiful Spinning Back Kick. Silva and Cavalcante were friendly at one point in their careers but saw the relationship deteriorate as each went their separate ways. When they finally faced off over the summer, the tension between the two was palpable and helped produce one of the year’s most memorable match-ups. Silva and Cavalcante came out swinging, giving many fans reason to believe a knockout finish was all but guaranteed. Their inclination would prove to be an accurate one, as Silva blasted Cavalcante in the final minute of the first frame and settled his score with “Feijao” as definitively as possible. Flyweights bring it in almost every bout and McCall-Santos was certainly no exception on that front. The fight featured a number of evenly-contested exchanges and each competitor found himself in trouble at certain points in the pairing. McCall walked away with a decision win in the end, but both men had a reason to smile once the smoke cleared after earning an extra $50,000 for the evening’s top effort. Undercard action often exceeds expectations based on each athlete’s desire to boost his/her stock and such was true in September thanks to a brilliant bout in Belo Horizonte between Natal/Troeng. There were some slick scrambles on the mat, a handful of hard shots landed, and gut checks galore including Troeng’s need to dig deep early on after it looked like his evening was on the cusp of ending. The bout won’t go down as an all-time classic by any means but it was definitely a show-stealer. Teixeira entered the UFC with a ton of hype and has delivered thus far. However, the streaking contender came close to seeing his train derailed when Bader rocked him in last month’s headliner at UFC Fight Night 28. Fortunately for his fans, Teixeira quickly recovered and delivered a few punches of his own that sent Bader crashing down to the canvas. The performance landed him $50,000 for Knockout of the Night but, more importantly, also netted Teixeira a crack at the light heavyweight championship.
UFC invaded Brazil this year with full force after some past forays into the fight-friendly country, scheduling a slew of shows including next week’s lineup for . With a November stop in the South American hub also set for November, it doesn’t appear the organization will be slowing things down anytime soon either. However, instead of focusing on either future event, let’s look back at some of the other excellent offerings delivered inside the Octagon with a Brazilian backdrop since the calendar turned to 2013. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC Fight Night 29