Veteran Vitor Belfort delighted his countrymen in Sao Paulo by destroying the title dreams of middleweight rival Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7.
Bisping had entered the cage knowing that a win would guarantee him a title shot at the all-conquering Anderson Silva. The general consensus was that if he could survive the kinetic frenzy of Belfort’s early attacks then he could grind out a priceless victory.
In fact, the opening stanza was distinctly circumspect. Both men waited patiently for their opportunities, looking to conserve energy for the later rounds.
As expected, Bisping circled away from the destructive force of Belfort’s left hand, looking to dominate with the jab and make the Brazilian southpaw miss with sharp head movement.
It was a strategy that seemed to be successful until the final few seconds when Belfort unleashed a left high kick that rocked his foe and followed up with a fusillade of power shots that was ended only by the sound of the klaxon.
Given Belfort’s extraordinary statistic of never having won a fight that went past the first round in his 16-fight UFC tenure, Bisping would have started the second stanza with a measure of confidence.
However, that confidence was shattered within moments of the re-start. Once again, it was the left high-kick that did the damage.
With speed that belied his passing years, Belfort’s lethal limb crumpled Bisping to the floor and “the Phenom” finished the contest with trademark ferocity as the Englishman (23-5) lay prone on the mat.
Belfort’s stellar career progressed to 22-10 and afterwards – to the delight of the crowd – he took the surprising step of demanding a rematch with light-heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones.
“Tell that punk Chael Sonnen, get out,” roared an emotional Belfort. “Dana and Lorenzo, take him out. I want to fight Jon Jones. I need that rematch. Take that clown away. Go home”
Whether the UFC powerbrokers will grant the Brazilian his wish is debatable. But he’s not clowning around.
Vitor Belfort in the Octagon is still phenomenal.
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Michael "The Count" Bisping Vs. Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort
Fight was scheduled for 5 rounds (5x5x5x5x5)