This weekend, Chris Weidman puts his middleweight title on the line for the third time at UFC 187, against none other than Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. This is a very interesting matchup as on the surface, it looks like a striker vs. grappler matchup, but pulling back the layers you see the striker is a BJJ black belt and the grappler has knockout power.

For Weidman to walk out of the Octagon on Saturday still the UFC middleweight champion, he must look to do these three things:

Counter Punch / Test Vitor’s Chin

Belfort is known as a fighter that will push the pace and attack whomever he is across from in the Octagon, with this is mind, Weidman has to be an active counter puncher landing on the battle tested chin of Belfort early and often. Belfort has taken a lot of big shots over his career and as fighters age, we have seen granite chins turn to porcelain. I don’t think Belfort is at that point just yet, but he cannot take shots like he could five years ago and Weidman’s counter punching should expose this.

Strong Top Game

Be it by knockdown or takedown, Weidman needs to be heavy on top. When Weidman is on top of Belfort, he needs to be weary of arm bars, triangles and being swept. By keeping a heavy position on Blefort and making this a much more grinding fight, he should win rounds and wear out Belfort. Weidman should have no problem making opportunities for counter punching and takedowns easier in later rounds.

Vicious Ground and Pound

In addition to having a strong top game Weidman must also have relentless aggression when it comes to ground and pound be it in Vitor’s guard, mount or side control. With that being said Chris will need to pace himself and avoid any attacks Vitor may present from the bottom. The by landing big shots in the ground and pound it will sap Vitor’s energy, allow the ref to keep the fight on the ground and score points on the judge’s scorecards.

 

This is a very interesting matchup at UFC 187 this weekend for the UFC Middleweight Championship, with a TRT free Vitor we are not sure what to expect. What I am expecting is an in shape, hungry and dangerous Vitor Belfort and if Weidman is underestimating him in any facet of the fight, he could look as stunned as Anderson Silva was at UFC 162 when he lost the UFC Middleweight Championship.

About The Author

Scott Bond
Staff Writer

Scott is a Sports Administration graduate from Laurentian University. He has been a fan of MMA for over 15 years following closely the impact it has had on Canada. The business side of MMA is Scott’s true passion, be it the economics of the sport or the worldwide acceptance it has received and increased revenues that have followed.