UFC 175 Results: Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort Early Head-to-Toe Breakdown
On Saturday night, Chris Weidman stepped in the cage looking to defend his middleweight title against the former light heavyweight champion, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida.
After an intense, back-and-forth battle, which won Fight of the Night, Weidman was declared the winner by unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46).
Belfort is on a three-fight win streak, having won all three fights by knockout with head kicks. Belfort is definitely deserving of a title shot, so let's take a look at an early head-to-toe breakdown of the possible title fight.
Vitor Belfort is known for his striking. Of his 24 wins, he has won 17 by (T)KO. Belfort is explosive, fast and accurate with his strikes, and his opponents need to be careful at all times.
Chris Weidman did prove that his striking is top level against Lyoto Machida, as he was able to out-strike Machida throughout the first three rounds. Even though Weidman proved that, Belfort's striking is very different from Machida's.
Should Belfort land shots against Weidman like Lyoto did toward the end of the fight, Belfort has a very good chance to finish. When he smells blood, he swarms and doesn't stop until you fall.
Vitor Belfort is a solid grappler. He has black belts in judo and BJJ, and he is able to hold his own with solid grapplers in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.
However, Chris Weidman was a DI wrestler, a two-time All American and placed third in the NCAA tournament in his senior year of college at Hofstra University.
In the Octagon, Weidman has taken down and controlled Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva, Demian Maia and more. Weidman's grappling is scary good and continues to get better.
Vitor Belfort is able to submit people. He only has three submission victories in his career, but his most recent one was in 2012 over Anthony Johnson. He has submission ability, he just never really needs to use it.
Chris Weidman is a brown belt in BJJ, and he has also earned three wins by submission, although Weidman did it in a total of 12 fights compared to Belfort's 34.
Weidman submitted Jesse Bongfeldt and Tom Lawlor in back-to-back fights. He beat Bongfeldt with a standing guillotine choke at UFC 131, which won Submission of the Night, then he put Tom Lawlor to sleep with a d'arce choke at UFC 139.
Weidman's next fight came on short notice against Demian Maia, where Weidman was not afraid to take the fight to the ground. He would win a unanimous decision with scores of 29-28 from all three judges.
A lot of this fight would really depend on Vitor Belfort. If Belfort swarms Weidman, how will he respond and will he be able to handle the flurries? If the fight goes late, will Weidman's cardio hold up, or will Belfort be able to score a late finish?
Weidman would look to fight his fight. He would score points with his striking, then seal rounds with his takedowns and ground-and-pound. Against Belfort he may even look to spend a lot of time on the ground and submit Belfort. He has only been submitted twice in his career, by Jon Jones in 2012 and Alistair Overeem back in 2005.
The big factor for Belfort will be how he looks without TRT. It's simply unclear how he will fight without the added testosterone.
Maybe it won't be an issue and he'll be able to steamroll Weidman. Maybe it will be a huge issue and Weidman will steamroll Belfort. There's really no way to be sure.
In addition, Belfort has already been out for eight months. He may have some ring rust to deal with when he comes back.
Should this be the next fight for Chris Weidman, expect him to defend his title for a third time.
Weidman has shown basically no weakness thus far in his career, and he would be able to be competitive with Belfort wherever the fight may go.
Should Belfort have a distinct advantage on the feet, Weidman has the ability to take him down and beat him up. But maybe he'd be able to hang with Belfort on the feet and could control the fight wherever it goes.
However it happens, Weidman would likely end up with the win.
Prediction: Chris Weidman defeats Vitor Belfort by unanimous decision