UFC 142: What Needs to Go Right for a Vitor Belfort

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2012

UFC 142 is a big night for Vitor Belfort.

The Brazil native has the chance to fight in his homeland, reestablish himself as a top contender in the middleweight division, and spoil Anthony Johnson's 185 lbs debut.

At the weigh-ins for UFC 142, Johnson gave Belfort some extra incentive to win this fight, disrespecting the Brazilian by coming in much heavier than the agreed upon weight.

Despite the lack of professionalism shown, Johnson is still a dangerous opponent and Belfort will need to take him very seriously to walk away the victor.

Johnson is a talented and powerful wrestler, which is a style that tends to give Belfort trouble. The former light heavyweight champ has dropped fights to the likes of Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, and Dan Henderson in the past.

In order to walk away from UFC 142 with another victory under his belt, Belfort needs to weather the early storm with Johnson, avoid having his back against the cage, and wait for Johnson to slow down.

Because of the trouble Johnson had with the weight cut, it is very likely that his cardio will be diminished for this fight and that he will begin to gas faster than is usual.

Once Johnson slows down a bit, Belfort should be able to out-strike him with relative ease, as Belfort is the more technical boxer and is known for his speed.

Johnson has never been knocked out before, but Belfort has the kind of power in his hands that can put any man to sleep.

If Belfort keeps this match standing and lets Johnson tire himself out a bit, it should be a great night for The Phenom.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.