Not only is this Saturday’s UFC on FX 8 headliner between Luke Rockhold and Vitor Belfort an important bout for both men, it’s a match-up that could feature some entertaining striking exchanges. Rockhold’s path to the Strikeforce middleweight belt was heavily assisted by his impressive stand-up skills, and Belfort’s resume is replete with highlight reel stoppages (including several of the “he’s still down” variety).

Rockhold has been asked to evaluate the striking abilities of Belfort, and in a recent interview with MMA¬†he credited the Brazilian for having a heavy high kick, but added his kicking attacks are more diverse. And far as Belfort’s ground game? ¬†Rockhold offered this note about how he thinks he would do against the BJJ black belt on the mat.

“If it goes to the ground, I think it’s my world. I know he’s a longtime black belt, but black belts don’t mean s–t to me.”

The 28 year-old fighter also added that:

“I definitely want to keep it exciting and high-paced and keep a lot of pressure on Vitor. I feel like I can beat him anywhere, and I have to employ my range and my kickboxing. I’m not going to just straight box with Vitor. That would be stupid.”

Obviously Rockhold is feeling pretty good about his chances Saturday, and if he scores an impressive win over a big name like Belfort, he could get tapped for a title shot in the coming months.

Photo Credit: Scott Olmos-USA Today