UFC 204’s co-main event saw two absolute legends of MMA face off inside the Manchester Arena when Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi went to war.
With an incredible 84 professional MMA fights between them, the two veterans were prepared to put it all on the line for one last run at the light heavyweight belt.
Fight fans were predicting a tough fight and a stoppage at some point; 32 of Mousasi’s 39 victories had come by way of a stoppage (20 KO’s and 12 submissions) while a fight involving Belfort hadn’t gone to the judges since 2007.
Since then, he had been involved in an incredible 13 fights in a row that had been finished by way of a stoppage, with the vast majority of them coming in the first round and Belfort’s 14 stoppage victories in the UFC were tied with Anderson Silva for most in the promotion’s history.
That’s probably why bookmakers Paddypower were paying $3.75 for the fight to go the distance. Belfort was also the rank outsider at $3.40 while Mousasi was the heavy favourite at $1.30.
Mousasi complimented his opponent beforehand but called into question their respective UFC light heavyweight rankings.
“He’s a legend, he’s ranked number five. It makes sense,” Mousasi said of his fight against Belfort.
“Vitor’s number five, I’m number nine. But with the oddsmakers, I’m favored to win. I don’t know how he can be number five if I’m the favorite. I hope to be number five and then we go after that.”
So the stage was set for a showdown between to legendary heavy hitters and all bets were on an early finish.
Neither man landed any significant damage in the first round, but things started to ramp up in the second.
Mousasi landed a head kick which rattled Belfort, before throwing a flurry of punches. Belfort showed a lot of heart to survive the initial onslaught, but eventually Mousasi proved too strong, getting the win by TKO.
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