Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping: What Went Right for Belfort

Craig AmosFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2013

DELRAY BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Vitor Belfort conducts a workout at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center on September 17, 2012 in Delray Beach, Florida. Belfort will fight Jon Jones on September 22, 2012 at UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

I was wrong about how Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping would go down. Very wrong.

I picked Belfort to win the fight, but not the way he did. In fact, the way the fight played out was the exact formula I believed would lead to a Belfort loss. 

You see, I thought in order for Belfort to win, he would have to blitz Bisping with straight punches, a technique that has found him tremendous success in the past. I also believed that if Belfort tried to exchange jabs and two-punch combinations with Bisping, he'd be easily outpointed by his foe.

In my estimation, the fight played right into Bisping's hands and directly against Belfort. But of course, Belfort won. He not only won, but he won by scoring a decisive knockout in the second round.

So with everything seemingly unfolding to his disadvantage, how was Belfort able to take home a win at UFC on FX 7?

Well, it's simple really—he surprised everyone—including Bisping.

Because he's known for wielding ridiculously fast and powerful hands, the head kicks Belfort used to first wound Bisping, then finish him, were almost certainly not something the Brit had worried out while preparing for the match. They really came out of nowhere, and the element of surprise is hardly negligible in combat.

It also helped that Bisping didn't put too much pressure on Belfort, which is what he should have begun doing when the chances to counter the Brazilian's explosions were evidently coming. But instead of attacking decisively, Bisping remained on the outside, in range of Belfort's head kick even after one struck him in the opening frame.

And that's what decided the outcome—Belfort's implementation of unexpected tactics and Bisping's inability to make the adjustments to counter them.