35-year old middleweight Vitor Belfort has achieved legendary status in his career, debuting at an early age and notching a ton of success along the way including UFC gold to boot. He’s finished 17 of the 21 opponents he’s beaten and holds wins over the likes of fellow greats such as Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva.
While Michael Bisping doesn’t dispute Belfort’s status as a surefire Hall of Famer, “The Count” isn’t overly concerned about the bulk of what he’ll see when he faces Belfort in a few months at UFC on FX 7.
“In my opinion, the hardest fight (at middleweight), other than Anderson Silva, is Vitor Belfort,” admitted Bisping last week as a guest on The MMA Hour. “He’s a southpaw. I think that’s one of the main things that complicates things because it changes up the striking.”
“He’s very good at jiu-jitsu, but that doesn’t concern me. I don’t think he’s going to be looking to take me down and submit me,” continued Bisping, again referring to Belfort’s powerful stand-up before throwing in a shot at the Brazilian’s reputation for questionable aim. “I think the main thing I’ve got to watch out for is punches to the back of the head. Got to watch out for those rabbit punches, because he does like to punch people in the back of the head.”
Belfort has notched a handful of victories in the cage where it might be argued the outcome was influenced by a strike or two to a prohibited area of an opponent’s dome, though “The Phenom” has never necessarily been accused of being a dirty fighter either with many of the blows coming in the heat of battle.
In closing, cheap shots aside, Bisping also revealed he is certain a win in the bout will result in a title-shot, acknowledging he wouldn’t deserve to face Silva for the belt anyways if unable to get by another top contender like Belfort.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC