This is the UFC 212 live blog for Vitor Belfort vs. Nate Marquardt, a middleweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Belfort, who is 1-3 with one no-contest over his past five fights, will square off against Marquardt, who has won two of his past five fights, on the main card.
Check out the UFC 212 live blog below.
Round 1: Middleweight clash between two stalwarts — Belfort who debuted 200 PPVs ago at UFC 12. Osiris Maia is the third man in the cage. They touch gloves. Belfort takes the outside, and there’s some recon here — a little feel out. Leg kick from Marquardt. Marquardt jumps in, initiates a trade, then trips Belfort to the mat. He’s in Belfort’s guard, and it’s all shoulders from that position to start. Crowd chanting. Smart stuff here from Marquardt; why trade with the fan favorite, who is perhaps fighting in his last UFC fight? Still, Orisis Maia didn’t like the activity, and he stands them up. They reset. Now Marquardt, cautiously, looking to land that right hand — but staying out of the way of the high kick. And on cue, as he pursues Marquardt around the cage, he lets one fly — looked like Marquardt blocked it. Nice kick from Marquardt lands, and Vitor just poised. Firas Zihabi influence, to pick his shots? It’s showing. Belfort now takes a right hand from Marquardt, a lunging one. He’s fine. Inside leg kick for Marquardt lands, and Belfort holds his return fire. Round ends. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Marquardt, 10-9
Round 2: High kick from Marquardt, and he’s got his range. Nice right hand, too. Mixing it up. Belfort being perhaps too patient, and Vitor lands. Now he comes to life! Swinging on the fences, and Marquardt returns fire! They both land, and now they recover and separate. Crowd was alive there. Marquardt took a couple of vicious shots. Best offense from Belfort so far. It’s Belfort moving forward, right hand cocked. Marquardt changes levels, throws a wild punch. Now he lands a right. Inside leg kick retaliation from Belfort. A little blood on Belfort’s brow. Belfort circles around, and a jump kick from Marquardt — lands. Right hand from Marquardt, and Belfort flurries with counters. High kick from Belfort, and that rocked Marquardt back a bit, but not flush. Marquardt perhaps point-fighting here, just nickel and diming, while avoiding sustained gunfire with Belfort. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Marquardt, 10-9.
Round 3: Marquardt with a quick up shot then leg kick. Marquardt landing solo shots, but he’s putting them in succession. They are counting, and they are adding up. Belfort might be too patient. He’s still backing up, and Marquardt is deking. Right jab from Marquardt lands, and now he lunges forward with a combo. Kick from Marquardt, who is looking to slip the right hand. Belfort steering clear. Left hook and short right hand from Marquardt. Belfort staying on him, but not letting his hands go — although, there’s a nice right hand, that got the crowd back into it. High kick from Belfort was partially blocked, but still rocked Marquardt back a bit. Now with a minute to go, Marquardt tries for a takedown, but is thwarted. Right hook misses from Belfort. They clinch, and nothing there for either. Half a minute, and Belfort pursuing. Not a lot of time left. Flying knee from Marquardt, doesn’t land. That’s it. Should be Marquardt’s fight...but, in Brazil, we’ll see. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Belfort, 10-9 (29-28 for Marquardt)
UFC 212 official results: Vitor Belfort def. Nate Marquardt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)