If he hadn’t already, UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva cemented his status as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet tonight when he dispatched of a game Vitor Belfort by spectacular first round knockout.
The crowd grew restless early on as both fighters circled the cage, feinting and looking for openings. After a few tentative exchanges, threw a head kick which Belfort ducked. “The Phenom” used the missed strike to get Silva to the ground, but “The Spider” quickly regained his footing. They traded a few strikes and then reset. With the quickness and creativeness that has come to define Silva’s reign as champion, “The Spider” threw a front kick which appeared to be targeted at Belfort’s gut, but landed square on his jaw as he anticipated the body shot. A reeling Belfort sunk to his back, where Silva only needed to fire off a few shots to secure victory.
“That’s one of the strikes I was working on, but I was focusing on various kicks and attacks,” Silva stated after the fight.
Despite their pre-fight heat, Silva immediately went to check on Belfort and then helped him to his feet. The sensational Brazilian champ then thanked all of his coaches, friends, fans and family members in his post-fight speech with Joe Rogan, taking special exception to implore the crowd to retain respect for Belfort.
With the victory, Silva earned himself a Knockout of the Night bonus and improved his overall record to 28-4. Silva also extended his current record-setting UFC winning streak to thirteen, and his record for the most consecutive UFC title defenses to eight. Now, the only thing standing in between a Silva-Georges St. Pierre super fight is Jake Shields.
Vitor Belfort’s record falls 19-9; this fight marked the first time in Belfort’s career where he was defeated by knockout (Randy Couture defeated him via TKO-Doctor’s Stoppage back in 2004).