Vitor Belfort stole Tito Ortiz’s new mantra of “I’m back!” tonight after he dispatched of the ever-durable Yoshihiro Akiyama within one round in the co-main event of UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz 2.
True to form for Belfort, things were over shortly after they began. The Phenom came out of the gates hot, trying to land head kicks and powerful punches. It wasn’t long before he proved why many consider him to be one of the best technical strikers in the middleweight division, as he clipped Akiyama on the top of the head with a hard left hand that sent the Japanese judoka reeling.
Known for his ability to withstand punishment and having repeatedly walked through the wrong end of powerful combinations by noted heavy-hitters Chris Leben and Alan Belcher, what happened next was something of a shock. Displaying his grit and fighting spirit, Akiyama slowly rose to his feet under a barrage of shots by Belfort (that wasn’t the surprising part), only to be sent back to the mat by a series of uppercut delivered by the fearsome Brazilian.
The follow up ground and pound, which was savage, sealed the deal and left Akiyama out cold, face-first on the mat.
With the win, Belfort bounces back from his own knockout loss at the foot of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and improves his record to 20-9 and reminds everyone why he should still be considered one of the most dangerous fighters at 185lbs.
Akiyama falls to 13-4 with the loss and has now been defeated three times consecutively, making his future in the UFC uncertain.
UFC 133 went down at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphi, Pennsylvania.