UFC on FX 7: Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Sean SmithAnalyst IJanuary 13, 2013

UFC on FX 7: Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    Michael Bisping has been working towards a UFC title shot since joining the organization in 2006. With a win over Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7, Bisping would finally find himself in a championship bout.

    Recently, UFC president Dana White said Bisping would be middleweight champion Anderson Silva's next challenger should he pick up a sixth win in what would be his past seven fights (via MMAFighting.com).

    As the UFC on FX 7 main event approaches, let's take a look at Bisping's chances of beating Belfort and fighting Silva later on in 2013.

Striking

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    In terms of technique, Michael Bisping is one of the better strikers in the middleweight division. However, he finishes opponents with an accumulation of damage, whereas Vitor Belfort has the ability to finish this fight with a single punch.

    Belfort has landed 163 significant strikes in all of his Octagon appearances, and nine of those strikes resulted in stoppages. Meanwhile, Bisping has only finished eight UFC opponents with his 840 significant strikes landed.

    Though Bisping may have solid striking defense and a long jab, Dan Henderson was able to catch him, and Belfort is much quicker than "Hendo" with comparable knockout power.

     

    Edge: Belfort

Wrestling

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    Though he's a jiu-jitsu black belt, Vitor Belfort hasn't attempted a takedown since returning to the UFC in September 2009, and he probably won't be looking to pull guard much after doing so against Jon Jones ultimately resulted in a submission loss.

    Michael Bisping isn't a great wrestler, but he will attempt takedowns much more frequently than his Brazilian opponent. The Englishman was able to take Chael Sonnen down once, so he should be able to do the same against Belfort should he opt to do so.

     

    Edge: Bisping

Submissions

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    We've heard often that Michael Bisping has an underrated ground game, and he does, but he has also never submitted an opponent since joining the UFC roster.

    Vitor Belfort has a few submission wins inside the Octagon and nearly shocked the world with an armbar against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

    More than likely, submissions won't come into play in this matchup. If they do, though, Belfort will probably be the fighter with the better chance of finishing the fight.

     

    Edge: Belfort

Intangibles

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    Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping both have plenty of experience in big fights.

    Belfort has competed in championship bouts, but that shouldn't give him a measurable advantage over Bisping in this non-title fight. If it does, that edge would be offset by Bisping's outstanding conditioning.

    Ultimately, this matchup comes down to two of the most talented middleweights in the world putting their skill sets up against one another. 

     

    Edge: Push

Prediction

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    Inside the Octagon, only Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell have beaten Vitor Belfort in fights that were primarily spent standing.

    Unless Michael Bisping has some tricks up his sleeves, this fight will be a standup bout, and the British middleweight is no Silva or Liddell. 

    Bisping may be able to keep Belfort at distance with his jab for some period of time, but the Brazilian is eventually going to blitz forward and connect. Belfort simply has more ability to finish this fight than Bisping, and that will give him the edge.

     

    Prediction

    Belfort defeats Bisping by knockout (punches) at 3:16 of the second round.