More than seven years ago a pair of future Hall of Famers and former champions collided inside the Octagon with only a fraction of the viewership that will be tuned in this coming weekend at UFC 152. Tito Ortiz and Vitor Belfort, two of MMA’s legitimate legends, battled it out to a Split Decision at UFC 51 and formed a unique bond that apparently still exists.
Ortiz was recently asked for his take this Saturday night’s bout between Belfort and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones where his appreciation for the Brazilian’s legacy in the sport was evident.
“This is the biggest chance of Vitor’s entire career. This is everything to him as far as his legacy – this is the biggest opportunity anyone from our generation in the UFC ever had. If he wins this fight and beats the best young champion to come along in years – then Vitor is an all-time legend and this goes down as one of the most significant wins of all time. It’s that big,” explained Ortiz in an interview with the UFC. “I’m pumped for this fight; I want to see a guy from our generation shock the world once again.”
In terms of actually breaking down the match-up, Ortiz made it clear Belfort’s best chance to win involves a quick start instead of allowing Jones to maintain distance and compete at his own preferred pace.
“Vitor has already shown these kids how a champion is should react when there’s an opportunity – and I hope he is just as aggressive in the Octagon as he was in accepting this fight,” stated Ortiz. “Jon can take control quickly – so Vitor has to land every time Jon gets close. Hit him in the chest, the neck, the shoulder, the arms – whatever – and sooner or later he will hit him in the face or chin. When that happens, Vitor has to explode like he always does and get Jones out of there. But Vitor has to get this done in the first two rounds. He can’t give Jones time to settle – Jon is too smart and makes adjustments too quickly. Vitor has to land before Jones has his timing down.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC