The UFC returns to the FX Network for a seventh time as middleweights Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping headline an 11 fight card at the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil later this evening. Start time in tonight’s pugilistic proceedings is set for 9:00pm ET. The latest UFC on FX Fight Predictions and Odds have the five round showdown between Belfort and Bisping listed as a moneyline pick’em; each fighter is presently drawing -115 odds ($115 wins $100).
Michael Bisping has long craved a shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight belt, but the brash Brit has one more hurdle to clear before he gets it. Vitor Belfort, the former UFC light heavyweight champion (1997), is all that stands in the way of Bisping and a much coveted showdown with the indomitable Silva.
There is no question Bisping possesses a potent set of MMA skills, as evidenced by his 24-4 record, but a meeting with Silva has eluded him mostly due to untimely losses. The Manchester native is known for finding himself in the same situation he occupies tonight. A series of wins against quality fighters inevitably leads to a scrap with an upper echelon opponent for Bisping, but he never seems to come through on the biggest of stages.
A 2007 loss to Rashad Evans, a 2009 loss to Dan Henderson, a 2010 loss to Wanderlei Silva, and a 2012 loss to Chael Sonnen all derailed Bisping’s previous title hopes. Will he suffer the same fate against Belfort? It remains a distinct possibility. The Rio De Janeiro native is 35 years of age and probably past his prime, but he still possesses lighting quick hands and a solid ground game.
Nonetheless, Belfort has also found himself on the short end of the stick in recent meetings with fighters like Silva and Jon Jones. Silva KO’ed Belfort in a 2011 title fight (front kick) while Jones earned a fourth round submission against the former Pride star last September.
Outside of those two setbacks, Belfort dominated all other recent opponents, though. ‘The Phenom’ rode a five fight win streak into his meeting with Silva (four of those victories came by way of knockout) and he finished fights with Yoshihiro Akiyama (first round KO) and Anthony Johnson (first round submission) prior to the Jones fight.
Free Pick: Take Belfort -115. This is a difficult fight to call as both fighters are seasoned warriors and well rounded in all aspects of MMA. Belfort has the quicker hands, though, and he will also enjoy the ‘home court’ advantage if you will, fighting in his native Brazil.
UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping Fight Odds -
Vitor Belfort -115 vs Michael Bisping -115
Gabriel Gonzaga -120 vs Ben Rothwell -110
Daniel Sarafian -180 vs CB Dollaway +150
Khabib Nurmagomedov -170 vs Thiago Tavares +140
Ronny Markes -270 vs Andrew Craig +210
Diego Nunes -185 vs Nik Lentz +155
Wagner Prado -225 vs IIdemar Alcantara +175
Edson Barboza -400 vs Lucas Martins +300
Yuri Alcantara -550 vs Pedro Nobre +350
Milton Vieira -200 vs Godofredo Castro +160
Francisco Trinaldo -525 vs CJ Keith +325
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