The UFC on FX 7 main event will feature a middleweight bout between ranked middleweights Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort. Bisping has been told that he will receive a title shot in his next bout against Anderson Silva if he can get past Belfort in Brazil. Let’s see how this one breaks down.
Michael Bisping (23-4) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Brian Stann in his last outing at UFC 152. Bisping has won five of his last six bouts with the lone loss coming via unanimous decision against Chael Sonnen. He’s a very underrated fighter and can fight wherever the fight goes. The lone knock on him is that he doesn’t have huge power in his strikes.
Vitor Belfort (21-10) is coming into this fight off a submission loss to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 152. Belfort was giving the shot at Jones in the midst of the UFC 151 cancellation debacle. Belfort had won back-to-back fights prior to that fight with the only loss as a middleweight in the UFC coming against Anderson Silva at UFC 126. Belfort has big power in his punches and is fairly aggressive. He’s well versed in submissions and has decent wrestling as well. The lone knock on Belfort is that is cardio may not be up to par at times and he seems to fade pretty quickly if things are not going his way.
I can’t wait for this fight, but it’s kind of similar to Bisping’s last bout against Brian Stann. Bisping is once again fighting a guy with knockout power. The difference between Stann and Belfort is that Belfort is a southpaw that’s more explosive than Stann. He is also more decorated on the ground as well with a more offensive submission game, especially if he’s able to gain top position.
This is a five round fight, so I expect Bisping to start out pretty cautious in this fight because the longer the fight goes the more it benefits him. Belfort does not have the best stamina, plus he hasn’t had to cut down to the middleweight limit of 185 pounds in almost a year which could be a factor. I expect Bisping to use lots of footwork and movement to avoid the straight forward attack of Belfort and create angles to counter. He also may look to put Belfort against the cage and work for takedowns from close quarters. Belfort has decent takedown the defense, but Bisping should be able to take him down as the fight goes on. If Belfort begins to tire I expect Bisping to keep pushing the pace and working takedowns to grind out a decision or look for a late TKO stoppage.
Belfort simply needs to exercise patience with Bisping and expect him to use a lot of movement. He shouldn’t waste energy trying to chase Bisping around the cage, and pick his shots to explode and do major damage. Bisping has a decent chin, but if Belfort is able to stun him and swarm it pretty much over as Belfort is one of the best finishers in the game. If Belfort is able to exercise patience he will be in good shape the longer the fight goes. However, if this fight goes to a decision more than likely Bisping will get the nod due to his volume striking and wrestling ability.
I like Bisping to win this fight via decision or late TKO stoppage over a tired Belfort. If Belfort wins it will be via TKO inside two rounds.
Stay tuned to ProMMAnow (www.prommanow.com) for the UFC on FX 7 play-by-play on Saturday night as the preliminary fights air on FUEL TV, and the main card airs on FX.