Vitor Belfort vs Michael Bisping Head to Head: Who will prevail on Saturday night?

This weekend’s Middleweight showdown is interesting in that both fighters have managed to stay at the top of their division despite age, injuries and newer/younger prospects. There’s no doubt Vitor can end this with one swing, but if this goes passed the 1st round, it could very well end up becoming the Michael Bisping show.

Who will show up the most mentally conditioned? With a title shot looming so closely, is Bisping finally taking things as serious as he needs to? Who will fight the smarter more strategic fight? Which man’s physical conditioning will show its limits first? And does it even matter?

All of these questions will remain indeterminable until tomorrow night. But until then, let’s look at what we do know, and compare their skills discipline for discipline.

Wrestling: 60-40 Bisping

Both men aren’t exactly known for their elite wrestling skills. However both have shown moments of brilliance and have had some success in this area. Over the span of his entire career, Vitor Belfort has seldom been on his back or taken down, showcasing some truly effective defensive wrestling skills.

However wrestling skills have seemed to be evolving quicker and are being used more and more among British fighters. We’ve been seeing steady improvements in both the offensive and defensive wrestling abilities of most British fighters, while the majority of Brazilian fighters, whether through pride or ignorance, have seemed to rely on mostly their Jiu-Jitsu skills for grappling.

With that said, Bisping has a better balance between the offensive and defensive wrestling game, so I give him the upper hand here.

Striking: 60-40 Bisping

This category is very similar to the wrestling category, in that one opponent does a specific thing very well, but hasn’t seemed to obtain a good balance of the entire discipline. There’s no doubt that Vitor Belfort has some of the fastest most explosive hands in the history of MMA.

However what Belfort has in power and speed, he lacks in dynamics, much like his fellow Brazilian, former Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos, he doesn’t seem to throw any strikes involving his legs. This is a huge and glaring issue in modern MMA, seeing as how all of the UFC’s very best and longest reigning champions as well as it’s younger prospects are all putting the entire package together better than ever.

With that said, Michael Bisping is one of the most dynamic strikers in the Middleweight division. There aren’t many fighters that mix it up better than Bisping does, and in good conscience, I simply can’t judge this area based on punching power and speed alone, when knees, kicks and elbows are also involved.

I give the striking advantage to Bisping. 

Jiu-Jitsu: 60-40 Belfort

Both fighters have very underrated submission skills. Vitor Belfort is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Carlson Gracie, while – to my knowledge – Bisping holds no formal belt in the discipline at all. The interesting part? I don’t think it really matters.

Belts don’t hold as much meaning as they used to in the earlier years of MMA, simply because the sport has evolved to a point where you simply must know and possess basic Jiu-Jitsu skills if you plan on being a successful fighter. Royce Gracie proved how vitally important the discipline is to the octagon and it has been a staple and a building block for fighters ever since.

With that said, both fighters have shown some great skills in this field, and while I find the majority of people not giving Bisping the Jiu-Jitsu cred that he deserves, I do feel that Belfort has the superior submission skills of the two.

Due to his love of “staying on the feet” we may not see it very often, but I give Belfort the slight advantage here if it goes to the ground.


19 Comments

  1. Profile photo of jajko83

    jajko83

    January 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    striking 60-40 for bisping ????!!?? you'r weird, dude

    • Profile photo of Bryan Fontez

      Bryan Fontez

      January 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      With all due respect… When is the last time you saw Vitor Belfort throw a single kick, knee or elbow? Because I could probably count it on one hand.

      That's not the sign of a good striker. That's Boxer, not a Mixed Martial Artist. Which is the same reason guys like Koscheck will never beat GSP, Vitor will never beat Anderson and guys like JDS will never remain the champion.

      It's not even arguable. The evidence speaks for itself. Not a single UFC Champion is one dimensional.

      Since you feel soo strongly about Belfort's striking, please explain to me what you've based your conclusion on?

      • Profile photo of kickassfast

        kickassfast

        January 19, 2013 at 12:30 am

        from the wise words of justin beiber "never say nevaaaaa." cmon this is mma. even jb knows that

      • Profile photo of darejz00

        darejz00

        January 19, 2013 at 2:44 am

        I was going to shoot you down for the 60-40 striking too but you made your perspective pretty clear with the reply Bryan.

        Bisping might not have the KO power nor the speed that Belfort does but his overall MMA striking game is far better. His footwork, 'octagon vision' and combinations are a whole other league than Belforts punching flurries.

        Big fan of Belfort but I reckon Bisping will take this one by later TKO or clear decision.

      • Profile photo of jajko83

        jajko83

        January 19, 2013 at 3:30 am

        hendo also wasn't throwing much knees or kicks… bellfort will rip bisping head off…

      • Profile photo of grandslam

        grandslam

        January 19, 2013 at 5:09 am

        Good points Bryan. However, I'd say 50-50 could have been fair. Vitor hasn't done much recently but in his prime this guys was very aggressive striker.

        We shall see how it all turns up in a few hours…

      • Profile photo of BjjFan

        BjjFan

        January 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

        @Bryan, range of strikes and effective striking are two separate issues.
        Bisping 3 ko's 11 tko's 27 fights
        Belfort 8 ko's 6 tko's 31 fights

        the sign of a good striker is ko'ing people, the same as subbing is the mark of an effective grappler.

        vitor is clearly a better striker on paper.

        ps there are many reasons those guys can't beat Anderson and GSP, so don't cite one dimensional striking as the reason. if anything Anderson neglects wrestling, but he is god so he gets by.

  2. Profile photo of Brasil

    Brasil

    January 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Come on now!!! You a comedian? Striking 60/40 …?

  3. Profile photo of UnderdogGreatness

    UnderdogGreatness

    January 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Striking: 65-35 – Belfort
    Wrestling: 60-40 – Bisping
    Jiu-Jitsu: 60-40 – Belfort
    Endurance: 70-30 – Bisping

  4. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    January 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    A couple of critical areas should have been covered in this analysis.

    Spitting – 100% Bisping
    Knees to a downed opponents head – 100% Bisping

    However, to be fair, MB has gone out of his way to delete those tactics from his repertoire.

    In all honesty, this should be a well-matched and competitive bout. May the best Brazilian or Mohawk, win.

  5. Profile photo of Evan Holober

    Evan Holober

    January 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Hair- 60-40 Belfort (100-0 Bisping with Belforts mohawk)
    Muscles- 80-20 Roided Belfort (55-45 Belfort otherwise)
    Face- 50-50
    Accent- 75-25 Bisping
    Facial Hair- 60-40 Belfort
    Shit talking- 80-20 Bisping
    Cauliflower ear- 65-35 Belfort
    Jesus- 80-20 Belfort

  6. Profile photo of enjoylife321

    enjoylife321

    January 18, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Bisping has lost to wanderlie, Chael, rashad, dan hendo. He is definetly top 5 in the division but I can't see him ever beating Silva if he can't get past these guys.

  7. Profile photo of kickassfast

    kickassfast

    January 19, 2013 at 12:26 am

    belfort is certainly a more dangerous striker. he actually knocks people out. bisping has tkod which fighters? a weak retired jason miller and jorge whats his face?

  8. Profile photo of grandslam

    grandslam

    January 19, 2013 at 5:10 am

    i'd give 100-0 to MB for hyping this fight.

    I'd say war Bisping.

  9. Profile photo of TwA

    TwA

    January 19, 2013 at 7:52 am

    he lost to rashad at 205 and both were undefeated and it was razor close, he lost to wanderlie purely on the fact that he flurried the last 10 secs of each rd and everyone even chael thinks bisping beat sonnen his only real loss is to hendo but know one is surviving an H-bomb. if bisping can avoid getting knocked out by vitor he may be able to avoid it against anderson

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