We could argue that point for days, and I’m sure in some circles that debate will take place. What you can’t argue is that the type of kick Vitor Belfort delivered on Saturday night does end fights, and it ends them quickly and effectively.
Belfort is known for his devastating first-round knockouts, most of which have come via his quick and heavy hands. On Saturday night he ended his second consecutive fight with a kick, using a spinning heel kick to put Luke Rockhold down and out at the 2:32 mark of the first round. Sure, some ground strikes followed that kick, but it’s doubtful those strikes were necessary. Rockhold was not getting off the mat after the kick landed.
In his previous bout, Belfort dispatched Michael Bisping with a head kick. Both knockout kicks were enough to justify the UFC writing “Knockout of the Night” bonus checks in Belfort’s name.
Following the fight, Belfort said during in his in-cage interview, “I’m stronger than ever. I appreciate all the love from the fans.” Belfort then went on to thank the team he trains with, The Blackzilians.
As for Rockhold, the dejected former Strikeforce middleweight champion said after the fight, “I take my hat off, he landed a spinning heel kick to my head. I didn’t see that coming. What can I say, he caught me with a spinning heel kick to the head, kudos to him.”
The win will, at the very least, put Belfort in the discussion for the next shot at the UFC middleweight title.