Fighter of the Month: May 2013 – Vitor Belfort
By Christopher Jester
Fighter of the Month: Vitor Belfort
Event: UFC On FX 8 (May 18, 2013)
Opponent: Luke Rockhold
Result: KO – Spinning Heel Kick & Punches (2:32 of Round 1)
In what culminated as somewhat of a slow month for mixed martial arts, there was still some memorable matches that made a quite interesting shortlist for Fighter of the Month here at PunchDrunkGamer. Mixed Martial Arts has always been a sport about never counting someone out, despite their skill, or their age. It is never too late to resurrect some energy into your career, and Vitor Belfort showcased that at UFC On FX 8.
On the cusp of being written off, Vitor Belfort has shown that he is still capable of fighting in his so called prime. Regardless of any controversy aside, Belfort is not a lame dog that needs to be put to sleep because he still has the capability and skill to put any other fighter to sleep. That is just how dangerous the 36-year-old Brazilian still is and that is what makes Belfort still so impressive for a man who started his career so young.
Coming into his fight against the last Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Luke Rockhold, Belfort had just beaten perennial middleweight contender Michael Bisping in his last fight. Some may have called the kick that finished the fight luck or perhaps he caught lightning in a bottle, but that same Belfort showed up again on May 18 at UFC On FX 8.
Without much of feeling out process, Belfort was the aggressor. Likely because Rockhold is a counter-offensive fighter, but Belfort was looking to land quickly with the known strength in his hands. Belfort constantly made it uncomfortable to Rockhold, and it was apparent as the battle waged on. But what came out of nowhere was the surprising end to a short fight. Belfort spun and landed a perfect spinning heel kick! The kick dropped Rockhold, and it took no time for Belfort to finish the fight with punches.
Now 4-0 at middleweight since his last defeat against UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort is knocking on the door of title contention once more. The Old Lion still has some bite and if his last two fights is an indicator, Belfort will not go away without a fight.
With another impressive victory to add to his long career list of achievements, Vitor Belfort is still proving that he has what it takes to stay at the top of the heap and for that impressive victory, PunchDrunkGamer would like to award Vitor Belfort our Fighter of the Month for May. Congrats on the victory and good luck in your endeavors!
1. Junior Dos Santos (UFC 160 – May 25, 2013) – This was JDS’s first fight back after his losing effort to Cain Velasquez who took his UFC Heavyweight title. A bout against heavy-handed Mark Hunt would prove to be the Fight of the Night. But JDS was also the original Knockout of the Night recipient and it was well-deserved. A near-perfect spinning wheel kick was all JDS needed in the third round to put down the tough Mark Hunt. Several punches later, and Junior Dos Santos had sealed the deal for his third fight against Cain Velasquez.
2. T.J. Grant (UFC 160 – May 25, 2013) – T.J. Grant has been a shocking lightweight since his drop from welterweight and it has proved that this is the much better weight class for him. T.J. Grant in a fight against Gray Maynard, proved that he could finish fights as well. With knees and punches to finalize the victory, T.J. Grant stopped Maynard and left no doubt that he was the bonafide #1 Contender for Benson Henderson to defend his strap. It also helps that Mike Tyson thought he deserved Knockout of the Night!
3. Jacare Souza (UFC On FX 8 – May 18, 2013) – His long awaited debut into the UFC went just as many expected. Chris Camozzi is a tough opponent, but he was not ready for this crafty veteran. Jacare has improved his standup game tremendously, but it is his submission prowess that is still his bread & butter. Needing only three minutes and thirty-seven seconds, Souza submitted Camozzi via arm triangle choke and won Submission of the Night Honors.
4. Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC 160 – May 25, 2013) – The phrase “putting on a clinic” is so often used that is now being used out of context. The same cannot be said for Nurmagomedov’s fight against Abel Trujillo. In a fight where Nurmagomedov landed 21 takendowns, a record breaking number, it was more than just a clinic, it was a slaughter. Trujillo could not stop the takedown if it would have saved his life. Trujillo often threw up his hands in frustration and disappointment, but Nurmagomedov did not stop with his relentless onslaught of Sambo wrestling. This was the kind of fight the moves him up the rankings.
5. George Roop (UFC 160 – May 25, 2013) – Roop showed true heart in this fight welcoming back former WEC Champion Brian Bowles. He weathered an early storm where Bowles appeared to be back in true form. Even after a near-finish at the end of the first round, Roop did not quit. He returned in the second with the will to win and dropped Bowles early with a right hand, and seconds later Herb Dean rescued the former champion and George Roop proved why he should never be counted out in any fight.
Cain Velasquez did what everyone thought he would do: he dispatched “Big Foot” Silva and he did it quicker than their previous match in just 1:21 of round one. A great fight and performance by Lucas Martins at UFC On FX 8 against Jeremy Larsen. Judges finally got it right when Mike Pyle performed crafty off his back to win a decision at UFC 160. With a powerful right hand, Koji Oishi claimed the ONE FC title via KO. Extending his winning streak to six, Bibiano Fernandes won the interim ONE FC Bantamweight championship in a decision victory over Koetsu Okazaki.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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