Vitor Belfort's UFC career dates back to 1997, when he was a teenaged phenom, and it stretches into the modern day. Coming into UFC on FX 7, he had fought in the octagon 16 times, and he had never won a fight that went past the opening five minutes.
That changed on Saturday night.
Belfort connected against Michael Bisping on a crushing head kick early in the second round and then finished him with ground strikes at 1:27.
The loss might have ended Bisping's title dream for good. Prior to the fight, UFC president Dana White said that Bisping (23-5) would earn a fight against middleweight champ Anderson Silva with a victory, and Silva was in attendance watching.
"Congrats to Vitor," he said afterward. "I have no excuses. I had a great training camp. He's the better man than me tonight."
The first round was fairly slow paced with the opponents feeling each other out. Bisping scored with some jabs while Belfort had a late swarm, landing a head kick that wobbled Bisping, who was able to ride out trouble to the final horn.
As it turns out, he didn't have much longer to fight, as Belfort went low to the body early in the second, and after he'd readjusted Bisping's line of vision, he went upstairs with a kick that landed square. A series of strikes later and it was over.
Surprisingly, Belfort (22-10) used his post-fight interview to request a rematch with light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
"Tell that punk Chael Sonnen, get out," he said. "Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta], take him out. I want to fight Jon Jones. I need that rematch. Take that clown away. Go home."
Of course, Sonnen and Jones are already signed for an April title matchup, so that likely isn't happening, and neither is Bisping's dream fight against Silva. Indeed, not much was solved on Saturday night except Belfort's inability to win a fight that goes past five minutes.