Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight finishers Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi collided last night (Oct. 8, 2016) at UFC 204 inside Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Belfort’s time at the top of the division appeared to be at an end. Physically, "The Phenom" looks deflated, and his recent performances have inspired little confidence. Still, the former champion’s power is undeniable, and he was looking to find a home for his left last night. Mousasi has been asking for this bout for years, claiming Belfort has zero interest in fighting "Dreamcatcher." Whether that’s true or not, Mousasi finally had the chance to make good on his promise to beat up Belfort, as well as take another step up the divisional ladder.
Mousasi pressured his opponent immediately, placing Belfort’s back on the fence. From that position, Mousasi kicked quite a bit, landing lots of blows to the legs and body of his opponent.
Belfort countered reasonably well and looked quick, but he threw far too little. Mousasi landed far more than his opponent, and his jab and combinations were beginning to find a home by the second half of the round.
It was a clear-cut round for "The Armenian Assassin."
Mousasi continued to find holes in his opponent’s defense, landing quick shots for the first 90 seconds or so. Then, Mousasi landed a flush head kick and follow up combination, badly rocking Belfort. "The Phenom" stayed on his feet, but Mousasi threw a nasty flurry of punches and was incredibly accurate with his stream of punches.
Despite that, Belfort continued to remain standing, leading Mousasi to move into the clinch and land a takedown. From top position, Mousasi kept battering his opponent, advancing into mount and delivering some devastating shots.
Before long, the bout was called to an end.
This was a stellar performance by Mousasi, who utterly picked apart Belfort en route to the knockout loss. His usual composure was on full display, as he ignored Belfort’s moments of aggression and simply kept stabbing at his opponent with strikes.
In the end, Mousasi’s high kick was simply smart striking. Belfort has taken major advantage of the high kick in fights with an opposite stance opponent, and Mousasi simply paid him back in kind. Additionally, his follow up to the finish was measured and smart, as Mousasi gave his opponent no room to breathe while consistently piling on more damage.
He gave his opponent no real opportunity to survive.
Following this win, Mousasi is very close to a title shot. Ultimately, the UFC will award either the winner of Rockhold-Jacare or Romero-Weidman a title shot, as both will be deserving.
Whichever winner does not receive a shot at gold should instead face off with "Dreamcatcher."
Belfort lost and had few moments of success, but he honestly looked better than I expected. Belfort showed that he still has quite a bit of speed and power left in him, and he didn’t quit at the first sign of adversity. While Belfort may not be a contender anymore, this performance shows that he still likely has some top 15 wins left in his career. There’s a rumor he’s likely to retire — and after 20 years of competition, he’s earned that — but Belfort’s tank is not on empty just yet.
Last night at UFC 204, Gegard Mousasi finished his opponent in the second round. Is Mousasi a future champion?
For complete UFC 204: "Bisping vs Henderson" results and play-by-play, click HERE!