After a wild matchup at UFC on FX 7, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort (22-10) beat English star Michael Bisping (23-5) via second-round knockout to become the new No. 1 contender for Anderson Silva’s middleweight title.
Bisping made it through the first round unscathed, but a single kick to the head earned Belfort the emphatic victory.
Belfort was coming off a loss to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and vindicated his decision to drop weight classes by ending Bisping’s hopes of squaring off with Silva for the middleweight title.
As solid as Bisping was during this fight—it was clear that the English fighter had done extensive work against left-handed fighters in training—Belfort’s striking ability and superior ground attacks proved to be the difference.
What It Means
With yet another win, Belfort moves himself into the perfect position to stun the world and upset the veteran Silva in their title match. Belfort’s experience in several weight classes has taught him how to fight smart, and the veteran will be looking to avenge the previous loss to his Brazilian counterpart.
As for Bisping, this devastating loss sends the fan favorite to the back of the No. 1 contender line once again. With the English star being 34 years old by the time he decides to fight again, the talk of retiring may be closer than anyone expected.
Both men fought valiantly Saturday night, but there are always winners and losers in MMA; it was clear on this night that Belfort was just the better fighter.
Now that Bisping has been vanquished, the next fight for Belfort will be for the UFC Middleweight Championship and will be the Brazilian brawler’s latest chance at glory.
MMA fans remember what happened last time Belfort fought Silva for the middleweight title—a fight that ended with a viscous front kick from the champ and earned Silva "Knockout of the Night" honors—but Belfort wants to erase those memories.
With plenty of time to train and watch film on Silva’s style and skill set, Belfort will step into the Octagon for his title shot without being 100 percent prepared.