Tonight at UFC 152, Vitor Belfort has the chance to completely reshape the landscape of the light heavyweight division. In taking on Jon Jones, Belfort has a mammoth task ahead, but there is always a chance for victory in MMA.
Unfortunately for Belfort, that chance is somewhere around a million to one. While these odds may be favorable to Lloyd Christmas, Belfort should feel significantly less ecstatic about his likelihood of emerging victorious against "Bones."
Normally, a "keys to victory" article is a slideshow, but there is really only one key for Belfort tonight against Jones.
He has to hit him.
In the face.
Belfort has a puncher's chance and nothing more tonight, so his key to victory is to get inside Jones' reach and tag him with a knockout blow. He will not wear Jones out for a decision, he will not submit a fully-conscious Jones and he will not take him down and control the fight from the top.
Belfort's power is his saving grace in this fight. He has the type of hand speed and power to finish anybody, and although Jones has shown a pretty sturdy beard throughout his UFC career, you simply do not play with the fire that burns inside Belfort's knuckles.
For Belfort, victory lies on the inside, where he can neutralize Jones' reach and land his fists of fury. Even this, though, is a potentially losing battle. If Belfort is in striking range, that means he is in range for Jones to clinch him, and this battle likely ends with Vitor on his back.
With that in mind, it is not enough to get inside Jones' reach; Belfort must get inside and avoid the clinch game.
And develop super powers...