[ads1]UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort knocked out former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold on Saturday night in the UFC on FX 8 main event. Belfort also knocked out Michael Bisping in the main event of the UFC on FX 7 card via second round KO in January.
Both Rockhold and Bisping are thought to be top flight middleweight fighters, yet Belfort blew through both of them with relative ease.
Belfort has been caught taking steroids in the past (2006). He is currently taking Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), and many fans and pundits are using his TRT use as the major reason why he’s defeating these upper tier fighters. It’s not fair, he has an advantage, yada yada yada.
I’m no supporter of TRT usage. I think it’s a loophole that’s being exploited by the majority of the fighters using it. However, I think giving all the credit to Belfort’s TRT usage for his wins is a bit much.
Belfort is the same fighter he has always been for the most part. He has KO power and is extremely dangerous in the first couple of rounds, but if you can weather the storm you can usually get a win against Belfort. The guy has 16 wins via TKO/KO in his career with ALL of those knockouts coming in the first two rounds.
It’s not like he’s going out and doing something he hasn’t been doing for his entire career. He isn’t going out and wrestling guys and grinding out decision wins against fighters. He’s learned to show more patience and pick his spots to explode on openings against his opponents. His usage of TRT may have helped him in training camp to recover from minor injuries and/or fatigue.
However, the TRT usage didn’t cause Michael Bisping or Luke Rockhold to drop their hands as Belfort was throwing a kick at their heads so it could land flush. When Belfort wins a fight in the fourth round via TKO or submission, or takes home a five round decision win, then I think we can point to his TRT usage as a true advantage that his opponents have to deal with.
Until then, it’s Belfort being Belfort in the first couple of rounds trying to take his opponents heads off.