Will the Brazilian fans be cheering for the trash-talking Brit in the UFC on FX 7 main event on Saturday night in Sao Paulo? Stranger things have happened...
So much for the home field advantage.
Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Michael Bisping had the surprise of his life when he showed up for the UFC on FX 7 open workouts earlier this week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to "The Count," the Brazilian fans asked him to "kill" Vitor Belfort on fight night.
From the Brit's official blog (via Yahoo! Sports):
"At the open workouts earlier today, I had fans coming up to me saying 'I hope you kill that mother-[expletive]' and 'We can't stand that guy!' I've got it on video; it really took me by surprise. He's obviously got his fans - and I expect I will be booed like it is UFC 100 again on Saturday night - but a lot of people here in Brazil have no time for Vitor Belfort. I don't know for sure whether it was because he fought Anderson Silva and Anderson is like a god down here, or whether the Brazilians are just like English people in that they can't stand holier than thou attitudes. I'll conduct a little research and let you know, but it is one of the two, I'm sure. As you can probably tell, I'm in full ‘fight mode' now. I like to fight angry, to have a lot of emotion and ill-will towards my opponent. I fight better like that for some reason, and I am advanced enough in my career to be able to generate that mood for myself regardless of my opponent. I guess it's a little strange, and maybe not psychologically healthy, but I take any little slight or comment by my opponent and magnify that 1000 times until I feel like my opponent is the worst example of humanity on Earth and the fight is very, very personal."
Sounds like it may be a bit personal for some of the fans, as well.
In addition to a pair of fights in his native land, Belfort also spent some time in front of the Brazilian cameras as a member of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) opposite longtime rival Wanderlei Silva. The two were expected to hook 'em up at UFC 147 last year in Belo Horizonte; however, "The Phenom" broke his hand and was forced to withdraw.
Silva went on to drop a unanimous decision to late-replacement, Rich Franklin.
Whether or not Bisping has the crowd behind him (think Rocky IV) remains to be seen, but we're just over 48 hours away from finding out. UFC on FX 7 emanates from Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida this Saturday night (Jan. 19, 2013) in Sao Paulo.
Who will you be rooting for?