The UFC will kickoff 2013 featuring a fight between one man seeking a return to his previous glory and another man looking to fulfill his promise and earn his first shot at a UFC title.
Michael Bisping will come into this main event seemingly on the cusp of greatness, ever since winning the Ultimate Fighter contest back in 2006, but has yet to get a title fight. Despite the fact that Bisping has been the main event on several cards, he has never been able to secure a marquee victory to solidify himself as a number one contender for a title.
Vitor Belfort on the other hand, will be looking to recapture the glory that lead to him becoming the youngest UFC champion in history when he won the Light Heavyweight title at the age of 20 in UFC 12. Since that time Belfort has had several ups and downs in the sport, having won the UFC Light Heavyweight title again in 2004 but losing more recent title fights in dominant fashion against Anderson Silva in 2011 and to Jon Jones back in September.
This fight help determine who is the number one contender for UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva’s title by answering whether or not Vitor Belfort has one last great run in him or if Michael Bisping will finally reach his full potential?
Keys to the Fight
|Fighter Tidbits:Vitor Belfort (21-10-0)
Michael Bisping (24-4-0)
- Power vs. Technique: While both men prefer to stand and strike each does so in very different ways. Belfort relies on his speed and power to finish opponents quickly with 11 victories coming by KO/TKO. Bisping, on the other hand, relies more on making sure he uses proper technique and keeps the fight in the center of the Octagon to control fights, which can be seen in five of Bisping’s 10 wins at Middlweight having come by decision. Bisping hasonly fought two men who possess power similar to Belfort; he is 1-1 in those contest, suffering one of the worst knockouts in history against Dan Henderson, but more recently successfully keeping Brian Stann on the outside to score a decisive decision victory. Bisping will need the fight to resemble the Stann fight more than the Henderson bout in order to secure this victory.
- Ground Games: While both men prefer to each has a ground game that is as different as there striking. Bisping has improved his wrestling immensely since he first stepped into the Octagon and is not able to deftly mix in takedowns with his striking to score points. Bisping generally will implore ground and pound when he has top position. On the other hand, Belfort is a black belt in jiu-jitsui and almost submitted Jon Jones with an armbar. Belfort rarely seeks takedowns, but is quite dangerous with his submission game from his back which makes his opponents reluctant to take him down.
- Pace of Fight: Since returning to the UFC in 2009 Belfort has not had a fight go to decision and four of the five fights have actually been finished in the first round. Bisping likes to push the pace and constantly pressure his opponents, so Belfort will have to establish his power early in order to keep Bisping from constantly pushing forward. If Belfort is not able to slow Bisping down, Belfort will have a difficult time maintaining his energy level for five full rounds.
Bisping will come out quick using his jab and foot work to establish him self early. Bisping will also mix in the occasional takedown to score points, but will let Belfort stand back up to avoid the Belfort submission game. Throughout the fight Belfort will not panic as Bisping’s strikes will not possess the power to hurt Belfort. Eventually Bisping will get overconfident with his striking and make a mistake that Belfort will capitalize on.
Belfort by TKO in Second Round