The UFC returns to Brazil Saturday night with UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping. The main event features Vitor Belfort taking on Michael Bisping.
For Bisping, the contest represents another chance to earn a UFC middleweight title shot. “The Count” has been told by the promotion he will receive a championship match by taking care of Belfort.
FightLine main writer Dana Becker and staff writer Joseph Lisnow offer up their prediction for the Belfort-Bisping contest this evening below. As always, we will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of the entire card Saturday evening.
Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping
Dana Becker: Once again, Michael Bisping is on the cusp of competing to become England’s first-ever UFC champion. Bisping has twice before had title-eliminators presented before him, and both times was defeated. First, Dan Henderson KO’ed him back to England, while Chael Sonnen grinded out a victory over Bisping a year ago. This version of “The Count” appears slightly different in the build-up to the card, as he has talked more about the future than the present. For Bisping, I feel like that is a positive, as it exemplifies his ability to see the ultimate goal, instead of just focusing on the present. Vitor Belfort is no fighter to look past, as he gave Jon Jones quite a the scare last year. However, this isn’t a good match up for Belfort, as Bisping will wait and be patient, not wearing himself out early. Michael Bisping via third round TKO
Joseph Lisnow: This fight comes down to endurance. It’s a five rounder and neither has ever gone that long. Michael Bisping has made it to three rounds and Vitor Belfort made it to the fourth once and looked awful. Belfort’s going to charge this one early, especially after their recent stare down, and look to end it in the first round. The longer this fight goes the better for Bisping. I think Bisping can endure an early beating and will bring this meeting until at least the fourth round. This is a test to see if Bisping can hang 25 minutes. He needs to not only win, but make it dominant if he wants a title shot. Everyone in the middleweight division wants to fight Anderson Silva as there’s nothing to loss. Bisping must stop the fight to make an impression, something he’s had trouble doing the last few years. Michael Bisping via fourth round