Vitor Belfort's TKO of Michael Bisping Marks the Brazilian's Best UFC Moment

Dustin FilloyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2013

DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 19:  UFC fighter Vitor Belfort  (L) battles UFC fighter Rich Franklin (R) during their Catch weight bout at UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort at the American Airlines Center on September 19, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Vitor Belfort did it twice to Michael Bisping, and in both instances, he did it swiftly, violently and gracefully.

Bisping narrowly survived the first head kick "The Phenom" landed near the end of the first round at their main-event tilt at UFC on FX 7, which took place Saturday at the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Unfortunately for "The Count," he failed to escape the Brazilian's wrath for a second time early in the second round.

Belfort once again caught the elusive Bisping with his hands down, this time landing a flush head kick above the right eye of The Count early in the second round, sending him dazed to the canvas. 

The Phenom pounced on Bisping like a bloodthirsty lion, dropping hammerfists and elbows to the head and body until referee Dan Miragliotta had seen enough.

Belfort began his UFC career at the tender age of 19 in February 1997. But of his 11 finishes in the promotion, none epitomized the fighting spirit of The Phenom more accurately than his TKO of Bisping.

Before Saturday, Belfort's most notable win in the octagon came in a controversial victory over Randy Couture in a light heavyweight title fight in January 2004.

Just 49 seconds into the bout, Couture suffered a corneal abrasion, an unfortunate injury that temporarily cost him the fight and the belt. Belfort won via TKO and took home the light heavyweight strap, which he ultimately relinquished roughly seven months later to Couture.

On a night in which the typically outspoken Bisping could have punched his ticket to his first UFC title fight, he uncharacteristically swallowed his pride and gave the 35-year-old former light heavyweight champion his due in his post-fight interview with Jon Anik.

"It was a beautiful kick. He caught me, and he was a better man than me tonight. You win some, you lose some. I am not going away. Trust me, I’ll be back at the top of this pile before you f****** know it."

Belfort has gotten his hand raised after eight of his last 10 scraps, recording three KO's, three TKO's, a submission and a decision win along the way.

His only taste of defeat in that span came when he absorbed a stunning front-kick knockout from middleweight champ Anderson Silva and when he tapped to a keylock from light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones.

With his confidence soaring, and in his post-fight interview with Anik, Belfort requested a rematch with Jones while offering some demeaning sentiments regarding light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen.

"I worked so hard. I want to get the belt. Get that punk Chael Sonnen out. Let me fight Jon Jones. I need that rematch. Get that clown away. You did a reality show. Go home, and let me fight the champion. It will be champion against a champion, not that clown."