UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping Saturday, January 19 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Ibirapuera Arena – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Vitor Belfort (21-10) vs. Michael Bisping (24-4) Middleweight bout
Line: Belfort -115, Bisping -115
The legendary Vitor Belfort will take on Michael Bisping as the leading bout on UFC on FX 7’s main card as UFC returns to action for the first time in 2013 on Saturday night in Brazil.
Once an MMA prodigy, Belfort is now a veteran who has held the light heavyweight belt and challenged for the middleweight one. He most recently lost in a light heavyweight championship bout against Jon Jones, but make no mistake—the Brazilian almost won it via submission in the first round and had two impressive wins before that. Michael Bisping is coming off a win against Brian Stann, before which he lost to Chael Sonnen. Ultimately these are two of the elite middleweights in the world and Bisping always makes a fight more interesting with the way he runs his mouth. But Belfort, even at 35 years old, still has consistently shown he has the ability to end a fight quickly and he should be a favorite to do so here. With identical odds for both fighters, take BELFORT to win this one.
Prior to losing to Jones, Belfort beat Anthony Johnson with a submission and before that KO’ed Yoshihiro Akiyama, both in the first round. A title loss to the king Anderson Silva preceded those two victories—only the best of the best have been able to beat Belfort, and even Jones almost lost to him. The bread and butter of Belfort’s game is his dynamic striking ability, based around his deft skills as a boxer. But he also is great with Jiu-Jitsu if he can take this to the ground, with the potential to earn a submission. However, knockouts are his victory of choice, as he has won 14 times that way in his career. Look for him to do that again in this bout.
Bisping, unlike Belfort, is much more likely to take a fight to the judges. Of his past seven bouts, in which he is 5-2, five have gone to the judges, and two were wins by knockouts in that span. Overall, he owns 14 career KO, but has resorted to craftier fighting styles against tougher competition. At 6-foot-2, Bisping owns a two-inch height advantage over Belfort and has a one-inch reach advantage as well. That could be useful with his stand-up fighting style. But if he wins, it will be because of his grit and ability to avoid a knockout and take it to the judges.