Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
In the co-main event of UFC 142, Vitor Belfort overcame a number of hurdles before the bout and managed to submit huge opponent Anthony Johnson late in the first round. Johnson missed weight badly, coming in at 197 pounds after his weight cut went wrong due to some sort of medical issue. The win came in front of Belfort's home crowd in Rio, who went bonkers when the referee stopped the bout.
Johnson was the aggressor early, throwing wild strikes and getting a takedown. He landed one big shot on the ground, but Vitor locked him down and earned the standup from the ref. Belfort's eye was swollen, but he managed to get a few shots in on Rumble while being held against the cage. Another separation led to a quick Johnson takedown, but again he was able to do nothing and Mirgliotta quickly reset them. Johnson was visibly gassed and fell to his knees after throwing a kick, which led Belfort to eventually take his back, land some punches, and sink in a rear naked choke. Johnson tapped at 4:49 of the first round.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Probably the crowd reaction to the tap. Other than that, the shot that Rumble landed on Belfort landed on the ground was pretty brutal. That is what caused all the swelling around Vitor's eye.
Where do these guys go from here?
It's pretty easy to guess where Johnson's going - to the unemployment line. Dana White announced after the fight that Rumble would be released because this was the third time he had missed weight in the UFC. It was especially egregious because the fight was Johnson's first at middleweight. He moved up in weight so he wouldn't have these issues, and he couldn't even make 185 either. While I certainly expect to see him back in the UFC one day, for now he'll be looking for a place to fight. Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Johnson in Bellator, perhaps?
It's also pretty easy to state where Belfort is going from here. He is scheduled to be one of the coaches on the first Brazilian version of The Ultimate Fighter, and will face off with opposing coach Wanderlei Silva afterwards. Vitor and Silva have famously met once before, way back at UFC Brazil in 1998. Belfort stopped Silva by TKO in just 44 seconds.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. Like the rest of the main card, this fight was full of action and ended early. You can also decide whether Mirgliotta's standups were justified or too quick.