Belfort Ready to Dominate Henderson for 5 Rounds
Vitor Belfort rarely goes the distance in his fights, preferring to finish early at a blistering pace. However, for his forthcoming showdown against fellow veteran Dan Henderson, the Brazilian says he’s getting ready to dominate his opponent for the full 25 minutes.
In comments to Brazilian media (H/T MMA Fighting), Belfort said that he’s preparing himself for a “five-round intense fight.”
"That’s the type of fight that the fans will enjoy," he added. "It’s going to be intense. I have 14 weeks until the fight, and preparation requires dedication and sacrifice. I’ll focus on winning the fight… That’s the way I predict the fight going."
Both Hendo and Belfort have flitted between 185 pounds and 205 pounds throughout their careers. However, their encounter at UFC Fight Night 32, scheduled for Nov. 9, will be at light heavyweight—making this a direct replay of the pair’s 2006 PRIDE encounter.
Back then, Hendo emerged victorious, taking Belfort the distance, which could be one of the reasons why the Brazilian expects this fight to also go to the judges.
In fact Hendo, who once carried the moniker "Decision Dan," has gone the distance 21 times in his 39-fight career. More recently, he went the distance in his last three light heavyweight fights, losing the last two to Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida.
The longest Belfort has gone in a fight, on the other hand, was when he got to 54 seconds into the fourth round in his championship match against Jon Jones in 2012. He lost that fight via submission and subsequently dropped back down a division, where he’s been itching for a title shot against Chris Weidman or a rematch against Anderson Silva.
But those thoughts are behind him, for now, as he explained:
“My next mountain is Dan Henderson and that’s the mountain I want to climb. Dana White decides that. There’s a ranking, but I’m not worried about that. I’m only worried about beating Dan Henderson. The more victories I get, the highest [sic] I get."
Belfort is currently ranked third in the UFC’s middleweight rankings, and a loss to Henderson at a division above might not be too detrimental for his 185-pound title aspirations. Silva, who lost his belt to Weidman earlier this year, will have his second shot at the Long Island native in December, after which Belfort could make another claim for a middleweight title shot.
The 43-year-old Henderson, meanwhile, currently on a two-fight losing streak, could be staring retirement in the face, should he drop another match to Belfort.
Their encounter will take place at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil.
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