Vitor Belfort. The man who at a very young age was given the moniker “The Pheonom.” It was fitting actually. The BJJ Black Belt who had incredible Muay Thai and Olympic level boxing skills was feared by all and at 19 years of age, was one of the best in the UFC. At a ripe age of 20 years of age he fought MMA legend Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight title. He lost, but he was only a kid.
Vitor is now 32 and the last 10 years have been an up and down roller coaster for his fighting career. He has had flashes of brilliance. Like the time he knocked out Wanderlei Silva at UFC Brazil in 44 seconds. Or a decision win over Heath Herring, at a time when Herring was one of the top heavyweights in the world.
People look at his 18-8 record and wonder what happened to the man who was once thought to be unstoppable. Well, look closer at his record and you’ll notice something. He has 8 losses, but every single one of his losses came from a future Hall of Fame Fighter.
Belfort’s Losses: Dan Henderson (Decision), Chuck Liddell (Decision), Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz (Decision), Sakuraba and Allstair Overeem. (Overeem won’t be a hall of famer, but he’s a top 10 heavyweight)
Not one single one of his losses do you think “what the F..?”
Vitor’s biggest problem is that he was way too good way too young. Can you imagine being the best fighter in the world at 19 years of age and have everyone telling you that? You lose motivation and you lose it fast. You reach the peak of the mountain. You stand there all alone and you’ve got no where to go.
But Vitor has the fire back now. Shawn Tompkins at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas has him focused and fighting like the Vitor of old. Tompkins told us that since he has been working with him he “hasn’t seen the old Vitor, but has seen a brand new and better version of Vitor.” The proof is in the pudding. Since teaming up with Tompkins Belfort has put together two incredible knock outs over Terry Martin and a first minute pounding over former number 1 contender Matt Lindland.
He looked so good in his win over Lindland that UFC President went on record saying that they would welcome Vitor back to the UFC to take on current Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. High praise from the Boss man.
So now Vitor has been given a chance to face Fedor and no one is giving him a shot at winning. He is being counted out again. But you need to remember that Vitor’s losses are to the cream of the crop and at one time was considered the best fighter in the world.
Don’t let his 18-8 record fool you. He’s taken on the best. Sometimes won. Sometimes lost. But he is not pushover and will prove that next Saturday night. Vitor Belfort is far better than you’re giving him credit for.