Belfort vs. Rockhold: Questions We Have About Vitor Belfort

Matt Juul@@MattchidaMMAContributor IIIMay 17, 2013

Belfort vs. Rockhold: Questions We Have About Vitor Belfort

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    Former UFC champ Vitor Belfort will look to continue his career resurgence when he takes on Luke Rockhold in his native Brazil as the two headline this weekend's FX televised card.

    "The Phenom" has looked impressive of late and comes into this bout right off the heels of his Knockout of the Night performance over Michael Bisping this past January.

    However, at 36 years of age, one has to wonder how much gas he has in the tank. And let's not even get started on the whole testosterone replacement therapy issue.

    Going into Saturday night's fight, here are a few questions we still have about the MMA legend.

Can He Perform in the Later Rounds?

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    Considering his 15 career first-round finishes12 by way of TKO or KOBelfort is clearly a fast starter.

    He almost pulled off the upset of the century when he armbarred light heavyweight champ Jon Jones in the opening frame of their UFC 152 showdown.

    With that being said, "The Phenom" owns a mediocre 7-7 record in bouts that go into the second round or beyond, which makes me question Belfort's ability to keep up the momentum should Rockhold weather the first-round storm.

    While the former Strikeforce champ won't have a size advantage like Jones did in last year's title fight, I do expect him to use a similar strategy and grind away at Belfort by trying to take the bout into the later rounds.

Will His Age Start to Show?

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    With a UFC title and a plethora of high-profile bouts on his resume, "The Phenom" has come a long way since his professional MMA debut at the tender age of 19 at SuperBrawl 2 in 1996.

    While Belfort has successfully been able to avoid Father Time during his recent career resurgence, at 36 years of age, one has to wonder when the wear and tear of fighting inside the Octagon will finally catch up with him.

    I don't think Belfort's age will be that big of an issue in this fight. However, a lackluster loss to Rockhold would certainly call into question how much time "The Phenom" has left in this sport.

Will the TRT Issue Linger?

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    I don't want to get into the politics of testosterone replacement therapy, but it's hard to believe that the 36-year-old Brazilian isn't getting some sort of benefit from it inside the Octagon.

    Should Belfort emerge victorious on Saturday night, you can be sure that the TRT issue will be at the forefront of discussion.

    The real question is how long will this controversial subject haunt the aging MMA legend?

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