COMMENTARY | "Ultimate Fighter" season three light-heavyweight winner, Michael Bisping is one fight away from a shot at the UFC's middleweight title, but his opponent, Vitor Belfort, is determined to squash the Brit's title aspirations.
The two will meet at "UFC on FX 7" set for Jan. 19, at the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Vitor got pretty intense with Bisping during the final "UFC on FX 7" pre-fight press conference, putting his fist in Bisping's face during their staredown. Bisping didn't take the gesture lightly, and he brushed the Brazilian's hand away, prompting a light scuffle and some harsh words.
Bisping felt disrespected by Belfort's actions, and didn't hold back his thoughts.
"I turned up dressed like a professional sportsman and he's dressed like a hooligan and he acted like a hooligan," Bisping said, per Bloodyelbow.com. "He's pumped for the fight. I can't wait. That was perfect. That was a great press conference. Well no, he bored the [expletive] out of me the entire time but at the end he actually showed a bit of personality for once. He dropped the Jesus act and got real for a second. Fireworks guaranteed. Let alone the fight, the weigh-ins are going to be good. … Do I need to bring my mouth piece? Can he control himself? Is roid rage going to kick in? Will TRT be an issue? Are his levels elevated? Have his testicles shrunk? Does he have a penis? He IS a penis, just because he is a penis does that mean he has a penis?"
Belfort's refusal to answer questions about testosterone replacement therapy leading up to UFC on FX 7 has led many in the MMA community to assume the Brazilian has something to hide.
One thing's for sure, Belfort looks like he's in the best shape of his life, and Bisping will be in for a long night when the two square up on Saturday.
To an extent, the matchup seems to favor Bisping, but Belfort has all the tools needed to defeat the Brit. "The Count" is clearly a technically proficient striker, but he does get careless with his defense at times. Dan Henderson made him pay for keeping his head high and moving backwards in a straight line during their UFC 100 encounter and the same thing can easily happen against a heavy-handed opponent like Belfort.
Brian Stann was also able to exploit some of the weaknesses in Bisping's defense during their UFC 152 fight, winning his share of exchanges. Things could have ended up differently if Michael wasn't able to consistently put "The All-American" on his back.
Taking Belfort to the ground won't be as easy, meaning there a decent chance they'll spend a large portion of their fight exchanging blows. That type of fight seems to favor Belfort, since he hits harder, looks ripped heading into the event, and he'll have an entire arena behind him once the bout starts.
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