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UnderGround Forums >> Vitor Belfort: A brawler, not a boxer


1/15/13 9:15 AM
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Jack Slack
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Hey guys,

Not a lot of exciting stuff going on this week in the MMA world, but UFC on FX 7 should be pretty good. Been seeing a lot of folks talk about Vitor as the second most technical striker in his division and so on, so I wanted to look at what seperates Anderson from him - strategy and technical nuance. 

Hope you don't mind clicking the link and as always all feedback is welcomed,

Cheers,

Jack

Vitor Belfort is constantly credited as having elite level striking and boxing but in truth his level of technical ability and scientific boxing is a step below the majority of good strikers in our sport. What Belfort does have is copious amounts of power and speed, everyone knows this, but his game lacks intelligent set ups and relies entirely on getting his punch in first through athleticism alone. Today we are going to take a look at what a good boxer / striker should be looking to do and what Vitor Belfort does instead.

Belfort faces Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7 this Saturday Night in Brazil.

Let me be clear and say up front that Vitor Belfort has the kind of athletic abilities which mean he could be mopping the floor with technical strikers who lack his speed - unfortunately speed alone is pretty easy to defuse with movement, distancing and timing. Jon Jones and Anderson Silva had very little trouble avoiding Belfort's attacks because where Jon Jones and Anderson Silva adapt to their opponents, the exact same Vitor Belfort (at least from a strategic standpoint) shows up for every single fight.

I do not want readers to think that I am simply being a boxing elitist and picking up on minor error's in Belfort's form but it is hard to argue that Belfort is even an above average technical boxer when one considers the strategies and techniques which a boxer - or any type of technical striker - should be looking to do.

A good boxer or technical striker should be:

  • Setting up power punches with lesser ones and footwork.

  • Baiting his opponent into counters or baiting his opponent to throw his own, poorly chosen counters to expose further openings.

  • Using a variety of punches to confuse the opponent.

  • Moving his head as a pre-emptive defense while on the offensive or attempting to nullify the opponents' offensive options before attacking.

  • Most importantly a good boxer should always be looking to move off of a straight line of attack.

Think through that list of points and try to imagine which ones you could apply toAnderson Silva, Junior dos Santos, Fedor Emelianenko, Nick Diaz or even lower tier fighters like K. J. Noons or Ross Pearson. Now each of those fighters has their own flaws - this is mixed martial arts after all, not simply boxing or kickboxing - but every single one is consistently doing a good number of the things listed above.

Anderson Silva is constantly walking his opponents into traps and moving off of a direct line of engagement


 

1 - 2. Anderson pressures Forrest backward with footwork and feints.

3. Anderson slips a jab as Forrest escapes to Silva's right side.

4. Anderson steps out with his right foot into a southpaw stance and nails Griffin with a right hook as he circles.

Junior dos Santos is always using his minor punches such as jabs to the body to set up a variety of numbing power strikes


 

and Ross Pearson has some of the best anticipation and pre-emptive head movement in the game.


1. Pearson slips a Sotiropoulos right hand.

2. And comes up with a hard left hook.

Yet Vitor Belfort rarely commits to any of these principles, instead focusing on using his natural speed to beat opponents to the punch and he is still routinely called a great boxer in an MMA context. Every 'Vitor Blitz' is simply a lesson in how not to box scientifically. Try to picture in your mind Vitor Belfort's go to attack - running at an opponent with his left, right, left, right flurry and his head in one place. Now what is the difference between what Vitor does in almost every fight and this unfortunate young man in gi trousers running at a young Igor Vovchanchyn?


Of course, that guy's hands were all over the place, but Vitor's flurries aren't that far removed from the running flurries that got Forrest Griffin dropped by Anderson Silva, orNate Marquardt's face first charge at Tarec Saffiedine the other night. Sure Vitor's hands come back to his chin a little better but the main difference is speed - Vitor runs in pumping his hands ridiculously fast and hard and his opponents are paralyzed to counter. Anderson Silva attempted a nice sway back against Belfort and was almost caught by his hard punching countryman as a result, failing to land a meaningful counter. Now it is true that Vitor's rush at Anderson was a far more controlled one than most of his old charges against Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell (I examined that here), but though he has better control of his feet and posture, Vitor's go to attack is still along a straight line.

Vitor is not opposed to going back to his old way of running straight forward - while Vitor has displayed some nice counter punches against mediocre strikers, in a tight spot he returns to charging forward behind his chin. Notice below how he charges straight at Jon Jones who simply extends a hand and backpedals.


1 - 2. Vitor charges Jones.

3. Jones is too far away so Vitor stops.

4. Two seconds later Vitor charges forward exactly the same way and Jones easily side steps him.

This rush straight in or the 'Vitor Blitz', as it is known by fans, is extremely poor strategy from a boxing standpoint for two significant reasons.

Continues at: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/1/15/3875138/vitor-belfort-brawler-not-boxer-judo-chop-jack-slack-mma-technique-analysis

1/15/13 9:21 AM
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sitchpack
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Lol Phone Post
1/15/13 9:27 AM
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Chimp Strength
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As always, in.

1/15/13 9:27 AM
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BeatonHauff
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sitchpack - Lol Phone Post
. Phone Post
1/15/13 9:28 AM
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Lazer MMA
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Yes correct as I've stated many times.
1/15/13 9:33 AM
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yusul
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not bad.
1/15/13 9:42 AM
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SonnendbySilva
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Subd Phone Post
1/15/13 9:44 AM
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buddie
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ttt
1/15/13 9:48 AM
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Willin
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A Jack Slack thread!

Hrrrrrrngggggggg Phone Post
1/15/13 9:49 AM
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Don_Dada
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Nice read as usual. Phone Post
1/15/13 9:51 AM
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Zaph
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You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post
1/15/13 10:11 AM
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Jack Slack
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Zaph -  You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post

Yeah... Vitor's hardcore fans are some of the most angry and sometimes bizarre. Last time I wrote about Vitor in the run up to the mismatch with Jones I got an angry email telling me off for giving Jones the answers.

1/15/13 10:22 AM
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Willin
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Jack Slack -
Zaph -  You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post

Yeah... Vitor's hardcore fans are some of the most angry and sometimes bizarre. Last time I wrote about Vitor in the run up to the mismatch with Jones I got an angry email telling me off for giving Jones the answers.

Speaking of which- can you reveal what fighter you provided breakdowns and analysis for after they fight? Real curious to know what caliber of fighters are seeking your aid. Can you at least reveal if they are UFC level fighters? Phone Post
1/15/13 10:28 AM
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KZTT_FawkingxD
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Jack Slack -
Zaph -  You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post

Yeah... Vitor's hardcore fans are some of the most angry and sometimes bizarre. Last time I wrote about Vitor in the run up to the mismatch with Jones I got an angry email telling me off for giving Jones the answers.

Yeah... I remember there was a lot of vitor fans ragging on me because I said rampage is a better boxer, and that vitor is more of a flurry fighter. Phone Post
1/15/13 10:29 AM
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Jack Slack
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Willin - 
Jack Slack -
Zaph -  You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post

Yeah... Vitor's hardcore fans are some of the most angry and sometimes bizarre. Last time I wrote about Vitor in the run up to the mismatch with Jones I got an angry email telling me off for giving Jones the answers.

Speaking of which- can you reveal what fighter you provided breakdowns and analysis for after they fight? Real curious to know what caliber of fighters are seeking your aid. Can you at least reveal if they are UFC level fighters? Phone Post

Nah I promised I'd keep it on the DL. I've had quite a few requests in the past but I'm only doing a couple because of the rank of the guys who asked.It eats a fair bit of time.

1/15/13 10:40 AM
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KingOfFighters
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Jack slack is correct, although vitor is my favorite fighter, he doesn't seem to read his opponents movements at all, predict anything to deiver a counter, or move his head.
1/15/13 11:39 AM
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Jack Slack
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TTT

1/15/13 12:03 PM
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Lazer MMA
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Jack Slack - 
Zaph -  You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post

Yeah... Vitor's hardcore fans are some of the most angry and sometimes bizarre. Last time I wrote about Vitor in the run up to the mismatch with Jones I got an angry email telling me off for giving Jones the answers.



Yep, although lots of fans don't like the data in general too!
I've said many times Chuck never beat a any guy with good technical boxing as he kept his left to low.

They always come back with Belfort........Wrong!
1/15/13 12:12 PM
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Bry Bry
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i have always said this as well..vitor has fast hands but has never demonstrated good boxing skills...he relies completely on his speed to overwhelm his oppts..problem is, if he cant bum-rush you then he is fucked, he has no 2nd strategy to go to..
1/15/13 12:14 PM
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Willin
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Jack Slack -
Willin - 
Jack Slack -
Zaph -  You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post

Yeah... Vitor's hardcore fans are some of the most angry and sometimes bizarre. Last time I wrote about Vitor in the run up to the mismatch with Jones I got an angry email telling me off for giving Jones the answers.

Speaking of which- can you reveal what fighter you provided breakdowns and analysis for after they fight? Real curious to know what caliber of fighters are seeking your aid. Can you at least reveal if they are UFC level fighters? Phone Post

Nah I promised I'd keep it on the DL. I've had quite a few requests in the past but I'm only doing a couple because of the rank of the guys who asked.It eats a fair bit of time.

So it's safe to say they are UFC level? Phone Post
1/15/13 12:17 PM
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Card
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Bisping will be shooting for takedowns the first 2 rounds... then leg kicks galore for the remaining 3.

1/15/13 12:22 PM
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I got raped in jail and I loved it
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Card -

Bisping will be shooting for takedowns the first 2 rounds... then leg kicks galore for the remaining 3.

Bisping will outwork him standing from the first round, he's so much more technically sound. Puts the pressure on in round 3 or so and gets the stoppage imo Phone Post
1/15/13 12:37 PM
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KingGo
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Willin -
Jack Slack -
Willin - 
Jack Slack -
Zaph -  You might get some heat for this one, but you're right. Phone Post

Yeah... Vitor's hardcore fans are some of the most angry and sometimes bizarre. Last time I wrote about Vitor in the run up to the mismatch with Jones I got an angry email telling me off for giving Jones the answers.

Speaking of which- can you reveal what fighter you provided breakdowns and analysis for after they fight? Real curious to know what caliber of fighters are seeking your aid. Can you at least reveal if they are UFC level fighters? Phone Post

Nah I promised I'd keep it on the DL. I've had quite a few requests in the past but I'm only doing a couple because of the rank of the guys who asked.It eats a fair bit of time.

So it's safe to say they are UFC level? Phone Post
I got what he was sayin



Or at least what I want to think hes sayin Phone Post
1/15/13 12:37 PM
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UGSlapshot
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He has aspects of both a brawler and a boxer.

Vitor has good hand speed commonly associated with boxers.

He Also has the kind of power commonly associated with sluggers.

What's sets Vitor apart from a boxer is his footwork, even though its getting remarkably better every time I see him. His lateral movement isn't great and the only time he's particularly dangerous is when he moves forward with strikes.

What sets him apart from a brawler is again his handspeed and to a smaller degree his timing.

Brawlers intend to trade punches Vitor doesn't want to trade even though it might looks like it because he moves forward and will stay in the pocket. He wants to beat fighters to the punch and has the accuracy handspeed and power to make them pay when he does.

I wouldn't call him a brawler because he's not.

I wouldn't call him a boxer because he's not.

Bellfort is I guess a power striker? With good ground skills. Phone Post
1/15/13 12:38 PM
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Bisping brought in Alexander Shlemenko, Jay Silva and Lorenz Larkin to mimic Belfort (via MMAHour)

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