Michael Bisping has a lot at stake when he meets Victor “The Phenom” Belfort on January 19th in Brazil.
Bisping has been stating his case for a title shot with Anderson Silva for some time. According to UFC President Dana White, the only thing standing in Count Bisping’s way is Belfort. But Belfort is no speed-bump. Combining a strong jiu-jitsu game with knock-out power, “The Phenom” has the tools to bring Bisping’s title aspirations to a screeching halt. However, Belfort’s record of 2-6 in fights extending beyond the second round, combined with Bisping’s stamina and notorious ground-and pound will most likely persuade Bisping’s camp to lead Belfort into the third round, unchartered waters for “The Phenom”.
The temperature is rising after Bisping referred to Belfort as having “the body of a lion, but the legs of a chicken, and heart of a chicken.”
Belfort boasts a 20lb weight advantage, while giving up 1” reach to Bisping. In September of 2012, the Phenom impressed many by accepting a fight with Jones on short notice, fighting at 205 lbs., something he hadn’t done in five years. He came dangerously close to submitting Jones with an arm bar before succumbing to the champion in the fourth round.
Has Belfort’s knockout power worked against him, denying him the experience of going into the later rounds?
Bisping’s camp seems to think so.