As Michael Bisping readies for one of the toughest challenges in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career at UFC on FX 7 against knockout artist Vitor Belfort, "The Count" will undoubtedly look to avoid the heavy hands of "The Phenom," all while maintaining a steady pace for a potential five round battle.
Bisping has never been one to gas inside the Octagon, proving to be one of the best conditioned middleweights on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster. His opponent, on the other hand, is another story according to the British banger.
MMA Fighting has the comments from "The Count:"
"Far be it from me to look past Vitor. I'm trying to make this fight more significant. I'm concerned that I've got my hands full. It's not going to be easy. We're fighting in Brazil. He hits hard. But I think I'll weather the storm and he'll become a punching bag. It's well documented, rightly or wrongly, that Vitor gasses quickly. He does slow down after the first round. Obviously, early for me is going to be the most dangerous. The longer the fight goes, he'll start turning into a walking punching bag. At least that's the plan. It's easier said than done. He's going to come out hard and fast, and he will be dangerous. He's a big middleweight. He's been a heavyweight (tournament) champion, and was a light heavyweight champion back in the day. But these are the kind of fights I'm going to take if I want to back up my talking."
With his last four victories coming inside the first round and three of those coming via knockout, it's no secret Belfort is a fast starter, looking to knock his foes' heads off their shoulders as quickly as possible.
At the age of 34, however, some question his cardio, even though the Brazilian has proven he can still hang with the best. He proved it by taking UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to the championship rounds in their title fight at UFC 152 before falling victim to an Americana from "Bones" in the fourth round.
Not overlooking the power-punching former champion, Bisping is banking Vitor's gas tank to empty sooner rather than later come fight night.
What's your say? Does Belfort need to work overtime on his cardio for his upcoming headliner against Bisping in case the fight goes the distance? Or will his early blitz be enough to put the brash Brit out for "The Count?"