Before Vitor Belfort's championship showdown with Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 187 on May 23, the Brazilian veteran had to surpass Dan Henderson to earn his divisional stake as the number one contender. Check out the video above.
Vitor Belfort stormed onto the MMA scene as a young phenom in 1996, conquering the UFC's heavyweight tournament and shocking the Brazilian mixed martial arts landscape with his blitzing KO of Pride icon, Wanderlei Silva in 1998. The Rio de Janeiro bred Belfort went on to claim the UFC light-heavyweight title from Randy Couture at UFC 46 and has earned his place among the sport's legends.
Despite already being recognized as a sporting legend, the 38-year-old is still adding feathers to his cap and will look to become a two-time world champion when the dust has settled at UFC 187.
Before trouncing Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32, Belfort crumpled Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold with a newly honed and crafted tool: the head kick. The Phenom is known for blitzing opponents with his lightening-fast punching flurries but has recently shown that old dogs can be taught new tricks - implementing high kick attacks into his mixed martial arts craft.
Belfort and Henderson initiated their Fight Night encounter with a feeling out process, both men cautiously circling the Octagon with mutual respect for one another's knockout power. It took one minute for Vitor Belfort to stun Henderson with a counter hook, sending the former Pride champion tumbling to the canvas in a daze. Belfort pursued with an onslaught of ground-and-pound, but Hendo survived the attack and looked to find his footing against the cage before being struck with a fight-ending head kick, prompting referee Dan Miragliotta to intervene.
The victory over Henderson marked Belfort's third head kick knockout in a row, and the Brazilian became the first man to ever stop the former Olympian via strikes. The ever evolving Belfort will look to find a home for his new signature head kick against Chris Weidman at UFC 187 on May 23.