UFC on FX 7: Fighters with Most at Stake in Brazil

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIMarch 24, 2017

September 22, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Michael Bisping fights  Brian Stann (not pictured) in the middleweight championship during UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

UFC on FX 7 is set up to be an exciting card with high stakes for some of the combatants.

The San Paulo, Brazil crowd will be filled with energy for a main event that features a matchup worthy of a pay-per-view headliner.

One of Brazil's MMA heroes, Vitor Belfort, will take on Michael Bisping in an epic middleweight clash, and that bout epitomizes the urgent nature of the card.


Bisping's Must-Win Situation

The Count has been on the cusp of a title shot in the past, but he's always lost the bout that would have catapulted him into a run at the title. Most recently, Chael Sonnen defeated him at UFC on Fox 2 with a shot at challenging Anderson Silva hanging in the balance.

Bisping is 33 years old, and though he's still performing at a high level, he may not have time to rise from another demotion in the middleweight rankings.

He's been competing in the UFC since December 2006, but a shot at championship glory has eluded him. This is possibly a now-or-never situation. 

He has fallen short against premier talent like Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans. Can he come through this time?


Belfort's Last Hurrah?

Not many fighters have accomplished more than Belfort in the sport. His UFC exploits date back to 1997 when he won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12, and he's the former light heavyweight champion of the world.

However, at 35 years old, Belfort is long in the tooth.

He fought spiritedly against Jon Jones at UFC 152, but one has to wonder how long he can continue to fight at a high level.

If Bisping defeats him—especially if it's an easy victory—Belfort would be wise to consider retiring. There is no need to stain an otherwise noteworthy career.


Khabib Nurmagomedov Looks to Go 19-0

Three undefeated fighters are scheduled to battle in San Paulo, but the Eagle has the most impressive unbeaten streak.

He brings an 18-0 MMA record into his bout with Thiago Tavares (17-4-1). This is only Nurmagomedov's third UFC bout, so he's still proving himself in the lightweight division.

Most recently, Nurmagomedov defeated Gleison Tibau by unanimous decision at UFC 148 in July.

He holds a three-inch height advantage over Tavares, and he brings a well-rounded game into the Octagon. No fighter ever wants to see his first loss, but Nurmagomedov definitely doesn't want to see his record blemished so early in his UFC career.

A win could put him in position to challenge for the title in his next three fights. A loss would put him near the middle of the pack in the division.


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