Michael Bisping was going for a shot at the title on Saturday night when he ran into the fists, legs and brute force that is Vitor Belfort. Needless to say, when Belfort got a say in whether or not Bisping would have his title shot, the answer was a swift and brutal no.
Bisping and Belfort circled each other for about 45 seconds before Belfort threw a nasty front kick to start things off. Bisping was able to counter with an inside leg kick, but Belfort then went high with his next kick. Luckily for Bisping, the kick didn’t land cleanly and it appeared as though after Belfort faked a leaping kick, Bisping might have been able to get into the fight.
Near the end of the first round, Belfort landed a pair of good left kicks to the body, but Bisping fired back with brilliant counters. Again it looked like Bisping might be able to get an advantage, but Belfort put that notion to rest quickly as he landed a kick up high that seemed to have Bisping seeing stars. It was at this point in the first that Belfort landed some violent blows and the round mercifully ended for Bisping.
After that, it took Belfort merely 1:27 to devastate Bisping and end his title dreams. Belfort landed the same left high kick he threw back in the first round, and then just went bananas on his opponent, pouncing on him as he went down and drilling him with a barrage of punches. After he went down, Bisping tried to appeal that he could continue but the ref had already seen enough and ended the fight right there.
While his title hopes were bashed in by Belfort in the octagon, Bisping remained optimistic that he can one day return and prove his worth.
“Congratulations to Vitor,” Bisping said. “I had an amazing training camp. I felt fantastic. It was a beautiful kick. He caught me, and he was a better man than me tonight. You win some, you lose some. I am not going away.”
As for Belfort, he used his opportunity after the match to lobby UFC president Dana White into replacing Chael Sonnen with himself in this upcoming April’s title fight between Sonnen and Jon “Bones” Jones.
If Saturday night was any indication as to whether Belfort can hold his own in a fight that has title dreams on the line, he made a most convincing argument. However history would suggest otherwise, as Belfort was defeated by Jones in UFC 152 back in September.