As Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 32 approaches, the hype surrounding the main event between mixed martial arts stars Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson has reached a fever pitch.
While there is no doubt that both men are past the prime of their careers (Belfort is 36 and Henderson is 43), each fighter believes there is more to prove and will be fighting for the chance to once again begin the climb into title contention.
For the eventual loser, this could be the end of the road.
There are so many storylines following these two combatants, and with an already stacked undercard, the Belfort vs. Henderson main event will be the icing on the UFC cake Saturday.
Where: Goiania Arena, Goiania, Brazil
When: Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: FOX Sports 1
Live Stream: FOX Sports GO
Vitor Belfort’s Keys to Victory
Veteran fighter Vitor Belfort has been at the center of plenty of controversy over his career, but there is no denying his success and his willingness to fight the biggest names in the sport.
Belfort and Henderson have squared off against each other before—Hendo beat the Brazilian at Pride 32 in 2006 via unanimous decision—and there is a familiarity between the men. While much has changed since the first bout, Belfort knows a convincing win over Henderson could lead to big things in his hunt for another championship.
Henderson is one of the toughest men in the world, and Belfort shouldn’t be looking to knock the legend out. Using his jiu-jitsu and submission skills, the Brazilian should grind his challenger down over the course of the fight and steal a decision win.
While it wouldn’t be a flashy win, Belfort needs this victory over Henderson in any way possible.
Dan Henderson’s Keys to Victory
As much as Henderson will claim that he still has something left to prove, the 43-year-old has accomplished everything in the business and is now just looking to end his career with a few more hard-fought victories.
After missing all of 2012 with injuries, Henderson has lost each of his fights in 2013 (suffered defeat at the hands of Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans) and must beat Belfort Saturday to keep his hopes of continuing his career alive.
Henderson’s biggest advantage has always been his wrestling, and that will once again be the case against Belfort. As good as the legend is on the ground, he must be wary because his opponent is one of the best submission artists in the business.
For Hendo to earn this victory, he must control the fight on the ground and dominate Belfort from the mount positions.
Predicted Winner: Vitor Belfort via Unanimous Decision
Belfort has an underrated ability to strike, but he doesn’t want to stand toe-to-toe with the heavy-handed Henderson. The Brazilian knows that his challenger will be looking to take the fight to the ground and must prepare to take advantage of his predictability.
When Hendo shoots for the takedowns, Belfort must focus in on his jiu-jitsu and try to find an opening for a submission. With Belfort’s desire to redeem his previous loss to Henderson and get his career back on the title track, expect this fight to go the distance.
Belfort will pick up the decisive win.
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