The “Phenom” is back?
But Vitor Belfort certainly scored an impressive victory tonight in the main event at UFC Fight Night 77 in his home country.
The Brazilian won his rubber match against Dan Henderson in spectacular fashion tonight in Sao Paolo — attacking with a rapid combination of head kicks and punches. Henderson fell to the canvas, and referee Mario Yamazaki called off the bout at 2:07 of the first round.
Belfort, now 38, has said he feels like he can still contend for a title. A winner of a one night UFC tournament back at UFC 12 in 1997, “The Phenom” won the UFC light heavyweight title back in 2004, and contended for the middleweight belt in recent years as well. But an ugly loss to Chris Weidman in his last UFC appearance — which happens to be his first bout without the use of testosterone replacement therapy. Questions about performance enhancing agents have dogged him in recent years.
Henderson, 45, is a legend of the sport by anyone’s estimation, winning titles for Strikeforce and PRIDE and contending for two UFC titles over an eighteen year MMA career. But he has won only two of his last six bouts dating back to 2013, and many have called for his retirement.
Middleweights: Vitor Belfort defeated Dan Henderson by knockout (kick & punches) at 2:07 of round one
Light Heavyweights: Glover Teixeira defeated Patrick Cummins by TKO (punches) at 1:12 of round two
Bantamweights: Thomas Almeida defeated Anthony Birchak by KO (punches) at 4:22 of round one
Lightweights: Alex Oliveira defeated Piotr Hallmann by KO (punch) at 4:06 of round three
Lightweights: Rashid Magomedov defeated Gilbert Burns by decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Light Heavyweights: Corey Anderson defeated Fabio Maldonado by decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)