UFC 126 Fight Card Primer: Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort

Silva_belfort_medium UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (27-4, 12-0 UFC) will face a stiff test in explosive Brazilian striker Vitor Belfort (19-8, 8-4 UFC) in the main event of UFC 126.

How do these guys stack up?

Silva: 35 years old, 6'2", 77.6" reach
Belfort: 33 years old, 6'0", 74" reach

What have they done lately?

Silva: W Chael Sonnen (SUB), W Demian Maia (DEC), W Forrest Griffin (KO)
Belfort: W Rich Franklin (TKO), W Matt Lindland (KO), W Terry Martin (KO)

How did these guys get here?

Since coming to the UFC in 2006 Anderson Silva has been unstoppable. He debuted with a stunning KO of the iron jawed Chris Leben and crushed Rich Franklin by KO in his next bout, winning the UFC middleweight championship in the process. Silva has set UFC records with 12 consecutive victories and 7 successful title defenses. In his last bout Silva was controlled for four rounds by the wrestling game of Chael Sonnen and was on the verge of a loss but managed to sink in a triangle choke/armbar combination to get the submission victory with under two minutes left in the bout. His dynamic striking and dangerous submission game make him one of the greatest fighters the sport of mixed martial arts has ever seen.

Vitor Belfort set the UFC on fire way back at UFC 12 in 1997. That night he displayed shocking hand speed and punching power, winning a four man tournament. He followed that up with a 52 second win over fan favorite Tank Abbott at UFC 13. Belfort would find mixed success for much of his career, going on winning streaks before losing a bout. Vitor is riding the first five fight win streak of his career heading into UFC 126 and seems to have his head in the right place and has started to let his hands go once again. He made his UFC return with a TKO of former middleweight champion Rich Franklin at UFC 103 to earn his title shot against Anderson Silva. He has not fought since September 2009 though, and this has many fans wondering if the combination of Silva's brilliant skills and "cage rust" will be too much for him to overcome.

Why should you care?

This is a UFC championship bout featuring one of the absolute best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. This fight also has a case for being one of the best technical striking battles in MMA history. If great fighters and great technique aren't enough for you, there is a very good chance that this fight is exciting from bell to bell and ends in a dramatic knockout.

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