Posts Tagged ‘Vitor Belfort’

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting/Jesse Holland MMAMania

I think we know who Vitor Belfort is rooting for at UFC 162…

If you’re Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Vitor Belfort, this probably isn’t the news you were hoping to hear.

“The Phenom” recently told UFC President Dana White that he “deserves” the next shot at the 185-pound strap, following two spectacular head-kick knockouts over fellow top division contenders Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold.

There’s just one problem.

Belfort was blown out of the water by reigning middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva when they first met for the title back at UFC 126, and trying to convince the 38 year-old “Spider” to extend another invitation — particularly with a pair of “super fights” looming — is a pretty tall order.

White explains (via MMA Weekly):

“So when you go back to Anderson Silva, who is in the twilight of his career, and you say to a guy like Anderson, what about Vitor? ‘I annihilated Vitor. I got other fights that I wanna fight.’ You talk about his legacy and his this and his that. Those are tough fights to make. I’m not saying that Vitor couldn’t get the next shot, or couldn’t get a shot soon, but if you’re Anderson Silva… ‘I wanna fight (Georges St. Pierre) or Jon Jones or somebody different.’ You could make a better argument that Dan Henderson should get the next shot. He hasn’t looked impressive and he hasn’t won, but (Silva) didn’t beat him as bad as he did Vitor.”

Ouch.

Henderson hasn’t seen the 185-pound weight class since coming up lame in his Strikeforce debut, a five-round decision loss to Jake Shields in Nashville back in 2010. Since then, “Hendo” has been doing work at 205 pounds, with mixed results, but did offer to drop back down for a crack at the crown.

That can happen when you lose two straight.

And since he holds a 2006 win over Belfort under the PRIDE banner, he apparently makes “the better argument,” though I’m not too sure Silva would be keen on entertaining a second dance with Henderson, either, having dispatched the rugged ex-Olympian in March 2008.

What a tangled web we weave.

Then again, none of this really matters if Silva coughs up his belt to Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 162: “Silva vs. Weidman,” which takes place tomorrow night (July 6, 2013) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Belfort vs. Weidman? Yeah, I could see that.

You?

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Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Vitor Belfort says fighters have to earn, not talk about, world mixed martial arts (MMA) title shots inside the Octagon.

In case you didn’t know, Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen have something in common.

Their previous two losses have come to arguably the top two pound-for-pound mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the world in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

But, that’s where their similarities stop.

When it comes to earning and receiving world title shots, Sonnen has parlayed his quick wit and gift of gab into dreams of gold, getting the chance to face “Bones” at UFC 159 fresh of his loss to “The Spider” eight months prior at UFC 148.

Belfort, meanwhile, chooses to play the silent warrior role, letting his actions inside the Octagon speak for him. And if his last two knockout performances against Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold are any indication, the actions of “The Phenom” aren’t politely requesting another title shot, but flat out demanding one.

It’s that “shocking” success, and hard work, that that will eventually lead the Brazilian brawler back to a world title shot (via USA Today):

“I don’t think it’s time to ask; I think it’s time to earn. That’s my ethic in life. Life is about earning. Sometimes in life, you look at very rich guys who have been given everything, and they wind up crashing. They lose their family’s fortune. They didn’t know how to keep it because they didn’t earn it. That’s how I go through life. I go to the gym every day. I work hard. I know I will bring that title back. But, it’s not about waiting for the time. It’s about making my time now.”

After besting Rockhold and Bisping in 185-pound action, Belfort remained silent, refusing to call out Silva for a rematch, leaving many in the MMA community puzzled.

It was apparently a conscious decision:

“Everyone is about fighting for the title, and they want to get themselves there by selling fights, picking fights, talking trash on Twitter. I’m not saying they’re wrong. It’s a style. I’m not criticizing or judging them, because I don’t have that right. But, I have the right to work hard and to ask people to recognize that work. That’s the way I want to get to the top, and I believe I made it. I believe I’ve done everything necessary.”

But. don’t think for a second Belfort isn’t one to seize an opportunity when he sees one.

Prior to UFC 152, when 205-pound contenders were too busy acting like “divas,” Belfort stepped up, made his voice heard and offered up his services to go up a to a weight class to take on Jones in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

While he came up short to “Bones” in the world title fight, Belfort is still the leading candidate to receive the next title shot against the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva at UFC 162 because he has won four straight at Middleweight.

He’s just quietly awaiting work from UFC executives:

“Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, they are promoters, and I respect them very much. Right now, I haven’t heard from them, and I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve served the organization very well. I’m fighting in main events, winning fights, shocking everybody. I’m right there, and they know that. Now it’s just waiting to see if I’ve done enough. You cannot go against results, so look at my results. That’s what I mean. Some people earn, and some people don’t. They try to get there without earning it. I believe in every area of my life, I earn … and I earn through the glory of God.”

And contrary to popular opinion, the fact that Belfort is going through a career resurrection of sorts has nothing to do with the fact that he’s on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Consider the silent source.

USA TODAY Sports/Adam Guillen Jr. MMAMania

Luke Rockhold recently challenged Michael Bisping after the Brit claimed he got the best of him during training. “The Count,” however, advises the former Strikeforce middleweight champion to win a fight inside the Octagon first before he starts calling him out.

Before former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold ever graced the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, Michael Bisping claimed he got the best of him in sparring sessions during an appearance on MMA Uncensored Live.

“Luke Rockhold? By all accounts he and Lorenz Larkin should fight and the winner of that fight — if not both of them — go over to the UFC. Are they gonna come over and be number one contenders? I don’t think so. You’re in Strikeforce, come over to the UFC and earn your place. Let me put it like this: I’ve sparred with Luke Rockhold recently and let’s just say I’m the unofficial Strikeforce champion. Sorry Luke, but these are the facts.”

Those claims were made almost six months ago with not one rebuttal or denial from Rockhold.

Until now.

The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout took to his Twitter account today (May 28, 2013) and did what seems to be the popular thing to do these days, and that’s challenge Bisping to a fight, saying he wants to settle their beef, once and for all:

Luke Rockhold
@LukeRockhold

@bisping u dont have opponent, I dont have opponent, u talk shit about “practice” i say we set the record straight once & for all @danawhite

Reply · Retweet · Favorite
4 hours ago via Echofon · powered by @socialditto

And while Rockhold wants the brash Brit to walk the walk after talking the talk, “The Count” isn’t too thrilled about the potential match-up, saying the Strikeforce import needs to earn a win inside the Octagon before he starts calling people out:

michael
@bisping

@LukeRockhold @danawhite I say you go and win a fight in the UFC then we can talk.

Reply · Retweet · Favorite
3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

While UFC matchmakers don’t typically match up a fighter coming off a loss against a fighter coming off a win, they do, however, seem to have a habit of pairing up fighters that suffered their last defeat to the same person.

Both Rockhold and Bisping fell victim to Vitor Belfort’s improved kicking game as “The Phenom” crushed “The Count’s” title hopes with a head kick at UFC on FX 7 earlier this year while Luke suffered the same fate at UFC on FX 8 four months later.

And it’s safe to say Belfort’s knockout of the former Strikeforce champion was a bit more impressive.

While his recent win over Alan Belcher at UFC 159 won’t exactly push Bisping back into title contention, a win over a former champ in Rockhold could further help his cause. On the flip side, a win for Luke over a seasoned veteran like Bisping could help him erase the horrible memory that was his UFC debut.

And though the British brawler isn’t too keen on the pairing, at the end of the day, UFC matchmaker extraordinaire Joe Silva has the final say.

Make em’ bang, bro!

Ryan Pierse/Adam Guillen Jr. MMAMania

It’s no laughing matter, but Jon Fitch says testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a “joke” and was simply devised to allow former steroid users to re-boost their testosterone after wrecking their bodys with performance enhancing drugs during their younger years.

Michael Bisping says it’s “cheating,” Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen are on it and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White says he will “test the shit” out of fighters who need it.

Of course, I’m talking about the highly-debated and always controversial testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) that seems to be constantly grabbing mixed martial arts (MMA) media headlines.

Now, former No. 1 UFC welterweight contender, Jon Fitch, is giving his take on the issue, labeling the treatment a “joke.” Furthermore, Fitch has come to the conclusion that TRT is simply a way to allow former steroid abusers to re-boost their testosterone.

The former Purdue Boilermaker also calls “bullshit” on any MMA fighter using the age-old excuse that they need the treatment in order to complete with the younger fighters.

Using himself as a prime example, the 35-year old says his testosterone levels are just as good as any of the young stars of today thanks to the simple fact that he didn’t “wreck” his body with any performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Speaking to Fight Hub TV, Fitch touched on TRT as well as looked ahead to his debut with World Series of Fighting (WSOF) and talked about his sudden and unexpected release from the UFC ranks.

“HA! TRT? It is a joke. This is devised to let guys who have used steroids in their past re-boost their testosterone since they abused their bodies when they were younger. The guys using it, the ones who use the excuse of, ‘I am too old to compete with young guys,’ – that’s bulls***! I am 35 years old, and I promise, I would and will bet money that my testosterone levels are just as good as a younger fighter. You know why? Because I have not wrecked my body with steroids, never used ANY type of PED and train healthy and properly to compete.”

After being cut last February following his unanimous decision loss to Demian Maia at UFC 156, the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) trained fighter says he was blown away by the fan support he received following the public announcement of his unexpected release.

He explains:

“It was and still is pretty awesome! And I want to thank the fans so much and I want to give them a little something extra for this next fight because that termination was pretty unexpected and unprecedented. I found out about everything like on a Monday and then the announcement came out like on a Wednesday or Thursday and I had kind of forgotten about it but then it was everywhere and my mom was calling me, other family, media and everyone was like, WTF? Probably not a day goes by where a fan tweets something about how BS it was to get cut like that and everything; it’s pretty nice to feel that love and appreciation from the fans.”

It didn’t take long for Fitch to find a new home, signing with Ray Sefo’s upstart promotion, WSOF.

As he prepares to make his much-anticipated debut with the Las Vegas-based promotion on June 14 of this year against Josh Burkman at WSOF 3, Fitch is well aware that “The People’s Warrior” — who is riding a four-fight win streak — is an entirely different fighter than the one he faced seven years ago.

“It’s brand new, that is how I am looking at it. I am not looking at our first fight as any type of indicator to this one. We both have changed and grown as fighters and I am really looking forward to going out there and putting on a great performance.”

While Fitch says he doesn’t look too far ahead when asked if he would ever consider re-signing with ZUFFA, an impressive win over Burkman wouldn’t hurt his cause to get back on their radar.

But, as Jon proclaims, he is currently enjoying the “freedom” he has with WSOF. And that’s something that is hard for anyone to give up.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /Zane Simon Bloody ELbow

A bout agreement between Yushin Okami and Jacare Souza is in the works with the winner getting a possible fight with Vitor Belfort.

Dana White announced at today’s media scrum that the UFC is working on a fight between Yushin Okami and Ronaldo Souza. The event is currently unknown, and bout agreements have not been signed, but that is the fight that the two men are being offered. White also revealed that the UFC has no immediate plans for Vitor Belfort, but the winner of the Okami vs. Souza fight may be in line to face him.

Yushin “Thunder” Okami is one of the UFC’s longest tenured Middleweights. For years he was considered a dark horse challenger to Anderson Silva, his only UFC losses coming against Rich Franklin and Chael Sonnen. When his title shot finally did come it was short and violent. One loss followed another with a burtal KO by Tim Boetsch, but since then Okami has seen a return to form. He’s currently on a three fight win streak with decisive victories over Buddy Roberts and Alan Belcher, and a close split decision victory over Hector Lombard.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is an old face in a new place, coming off an incredibly dominant UFC debut over Chris Camozzi. He’s one of the worlds most decorated Jiu Jitsu black belts and a decently polished striker. Prior to his UFC entrance he gained notable victories over Alexander Shlemenko, Tim Kennedy, and Robbie Lawlor. He was the Strikeforce Middleweight champion before losing the belt to Luke Rockhold and despite being a recent addition to the UFC is a solid top ten fighter in the division.

This is an excellent fight to separate out who’s who at middleweight, but it has real potential to turn into a poor kickboxing contest. Okami is largely a 1-2 fighter on the feet, using basic boxing combinations to set up clinch opportunities and dominating top control. However, the ground is the last place he’ll want to engage Souza, who holds a world of experience and talent over even most of the best MMA grapplers. If Okami does decide to take on Souza in the clinch this could be an exciting fight, if he decides to keep the fight standing at all costs, fans could be in for a long, painful experience.

The UFC on FX 8 post-fight press conference is the last piece of business to take care of after the action is over in the Octagon, and we have the live video below at MMAFighting.com.

The winners of the Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses, and winning fighters will meet the media after their fights.

The UFC on FX 8 post-fight press conference takes place shortly after the main event ends, and the highlights are above.

Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting

UFC on FX 8: “Belfort vs. Rockhold” took place Saturday night (May 18, 2013) in Brazil, with Vitor Belfort defeating Luke Rockhold by knockout in the main event. Also on the main card; Ronaldo Souza, Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Natal picked up victories over their respective opponents.

Any time a fighter as accomplished as Vitor Belfort steps in the Octagon, there is always something factual of note to bring up.

In the case of “The Phenom,” his name in the sport for more than a decade has been built around being one of the most dangerous first-round fighters in not just the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but in all of mixed martial arts (MMA).

The Brazilian proved once again exactly why he has that stigma attached to him on Saturday night (May 18, 2013) with an absolutely devastating first-round head kick knockout of former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in the UFC on FX 8 main event.

The incredible win improved Belfort to 5-1 since dropping to 185-pounds in 2008 and further extended his record for most first-round finishes in UFC history, which only adds to the Hall-of-Fame worthy resume The Brazilian has put together.

Belfort’s ability to finish opponents in the first round time after time is unlike anyone else in the sport — that’s a fact.

But there were also plenty of other facts to come out of UFC on FX 8: “Belfort vs. Rockhold,” which took place at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil on May 18, 2013.

Check out all 25 of them below:

 

  1. Belfort is the first fighter in history to win two-straight UFC fights by head kick knockout. He is also just the fifth fighter (Anthony Pettis, Anthony Johnson, Paul Taylor, Yves Edwards) in UFC history to earn two knockouts by landing a single kick.
  2. Rockhold had his nine-fight win-streak snapped and was defeated for the first time since Nov. 2007 — a span of 2,020 days and 10 fights. Both of Rockhold’s career defeats are by first-round (technical) knockout.
  3. The 28-27 scorecard turned in by judge Doug Crosby in the Nik Lentz vs. Hacran Dias fight was the first in a UFC fight since Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa at UFC 143 in Feb. 2012.
  4. Belfort vs. Rockhold was the shortest UFC main event since Cung Le defeated Rich Franklin by first-round knockout at UFC on FUEL TV 6 in Nov. 2012.
  5. Ronaldo Souza has won eight of his past nine fights with the lone defeat coming to Rockhold by decision under the Strikeforce banner. “Jacare” has earned 14 of his 18 professional victories by submission.
  6. Fighters making their UFC debut went 1-4 on the card with Souza being the lone victor.
  7. Belfort, Souza, Lucas Martins and Jeremy Larsen earned $50,000 post-fight bonuses.
  8. John Cholish retired from MMA competition following his second-round submission loss to Gleison Tibau. The 29-year-old was defeated by submission for the first time since Sept. 2007 — a span of over 5.5 years and 10 fights.
  9. Belfort improved to 4-0 in the UFC when fighting in Brazil.
  10. Yuri Alcantara has earned 24 of his 28 professional victories by (technical) knockout or submission.
  11. Rafael dos Anjos tied T.J. Grant for the second longest active UFC win-streak in the lightweight division at four. Champion Benson Henderson leads the division with seven-straight wins.
  12. Tibau scored four takedowns against Cholish, pushing the number of total completed takedown in his UFC career to 68, which is second to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (84 completed takedowns).
  13. UFC on FX 8 reportedly drew an attendance of 7,642. A live gate for the event was not announced.
  14. In the seven events the UFC has held in Brazil, Brazilian fighters are 36-10 when facing opponents from other countries. Brazilian fighters went 9-1 against opponents from other countries at UFC on FX 8.
  15. After starting his UFC career with an 0-1-1 record, Rafael Natal is 4-1 in his past five fights.
  16. Evan Dunham out scored dos Anjos 90 to 86 in total strikes landed in his unanimous decision loss to the Brazilian.
  17. Lentz improved to 3-0 since dropping to the UFC featherweight division.
  18. Belfort extended his UFC record for most first-round finishes in history to 11.
  19. Francisco Trinaldo has finished his opponent by (technical) knockout or submission in all three of his UFC victories. Trinaldo has earned 10 of his 13 professional victories by (technical) knockout or submission.
  20. Fabio Maldonado snapped a career-worst three-fight losing streak against Roger Hollett his first victory since Oct. 2010 — a span of over 2.5 years. Maldonado also won a fight by decision for the first time since Sept. 2009 — a span of over 3.5 years and 10 fights.
  21. Total cage time for the 13-bout UFC on FX 8 fight card was two hours, five minutes and 32 seconds.
  22. Dos Anjos is on his first four-fight win-streak since Oct. 2006-April 2007 — a span of over six years and 17 fights.
  23. Betting favorites went 11-2 on the card.
  24. Paulo Thiago improved to 12-0 in his career when fighting in Brazil.
  25. Belfort tied Roy Nelson for the second-most “Knockout of the Night” bonuses in UFC history with four. Anderson Silva has the most all-time with six.

That’s a wrap for this set of UFC facts.

Did you learn anything new/interesting? Do any of the facts change your perspective on Saturday’s fights?

Let us know below!

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE/Mike Bohn

Following his knockout of Luke Rockhold, UFC on FX 8 main event winner Vitor Belfort compares his longevity at the top level of the sport at 36 years of age to a “T-Rex surviving in a new jungle.”

“I was a part of two jungles. I’m a T-Rex surviving in a new jungle and I rebuild myself. God give me the strength. I used to be strong then and I’m strong now so I think it’s just a burning inside of me that said, ‘You didn’t accomplish what you want.’ I did so many things in my career, I made so many mistake and Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta] gave me the chance and I promised them, ‘I’m going to give you my best and I’m going to finish as strong as I can finish.'”

— Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Vitor Belfort explains why he is still able to compete at the top level of the sport at 36 years of age to Heidi Androl on the UFC on FX 8: “Belfort vs. Rockhold” post-fight show. In typical Belfort fashion, “The Phenom” used a combination of God and an animal reference to explain his ability to consistently keep a place at the top of the mixed martial arts (MMA) mountain after all these years; also stating that he made a promise to UFC owners Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta that he would close out his career by giving everything he has. Belfort’s newfound dedication has paid off, as the Brazilian picked up a phenomenal (no pun intended) head kick knockout of Luke Rockhold (watch it here) in the UFC on FX 8 main event to push his record to 5-1 in the middleweight division since dropping from light heavyweight in 2008. Belfort’s passion for the sport appears to be stronger than ever, which is a scary prospect for every 185-pound fighter on the UFC roster.