On Saturday night, Chris Weidman put on one of his most impressive performances to date by becoming the first man in four years to finish Vitor Belfort via strikes. Prior to this fight, Weidman had faced almost a year of inactivity due to injuries and was eager to makes his return to the cage an impressive one.
Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort
Official Result: Chris Weidman defeats Vitor Belfort via TKO (punches from mount) at 2:53 of Round 1.
What was the high point of the fight?
Weidman’s resilience after getting clipped early on in this fight was impressive, but the true high point was his grappling. Weidman took Vitor down with ease and completely controlled Belfort, a respected black belt on the canvas, before mounting him and finishing him with a barrage of strikes.
Where do these two go from here?
Chris Weidman has once again shown how great he is and right now, it is difficult to imagine a fighter on the roster that could give him trouble. The only one that springs to mind at present is Luke Rockhold, who has almost certainly earned a title shot after his dominant performance against Lyoto Machida.
At 38, does Vitor Belfort have what it takes to go back to the drawing board and make another title run? Probably not. Vitor has been a great ambassador for the sport and is a pioneer of modern MMA who deserves a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame, but as far as his fighting career goes, he needs to either hang up his gloves or seek only fun fights, as I fear he could risk partially ruining his legacy if he tries to hang with the division’s elite.
Watch now, later, or never?
Watch now. This fight answered some questions about Weidman’s ability to cope with adversity and also displayed his great grappling, which we haven’t seen in a few fights.
About the author