UFC 142 Preview – Vitor Belfort vs Anthony Johnson

Photo Credit - MMAJunkie

So the first UFC in 2012 has already produced one of the most talked about incidents of recent memory. For a fight contested at 185 lbs, it is incredibly unprofessional for someone to come in at 197 lbs! This isn’t the first time Anthony Johnson has done something like this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time. But if Belfort beats Johnson, it might be the last time he does this in the UFC because I can see him getting cut.

Johnson’s UFC tenure started back on the undercard of UFC 76, way back in the Fall of 2007. He got controlled and submitted by Rich “No Love” Clementi, who went on to have a heated and memorable battle with Melvin Guillard. Johnson bounced back and destroyed TUF alumni Tommy Speer in April 2008, before losing a fight due to eye poke from Kevin Burns in July 2008. Johnson got his revenge at the end of the year in December 2008 where he knocked out Burns. But even though he beat Burns, it wasn’t very impressive as he seemed hesitant even though he was clearly the superior fighter. He racked up two more wins in 2009 against Fioravanti and the judoka Yoshiyuki Yoshida before Josh Koscheck outclassed him easily at the end of 2009 in November.

He started his 2011 by beating Dan Hardy rather easily in March, and then defeating Charlie Brenneman by TKO in October. The Brenneman win has been his most impressive since it was a quick beatdown of a guy who was fresh off of beating Rick Story.

But how well is he going to be feeling when he gets inside the cage with Vitor Belfort? Will the fact that he has to be 205 lbs or under affect his performance? Will he have the energy to take Vitor down and beat him via ground and pound? Will he stupidly stand in front of him like he did with Kevin Burns, but instead of an eye poke will he eat a dozen rapid fire punches from Vitor?

Vitor Belfort has had a long career filled with greatness and disappointment. He’s looked awesome against some really good fighters and looked awful against others. The one thing we are all willing to agree on is that Belfort has great hand speed and great knock out power. Also, for a brief while in the early 2000’s, he also had great takedowns, but we haven’t seen that wrestling-oriented version of Vitor in ages. This a fight that has a lot of questions going in, let’s all just hope that it ends being something memorable for it’s in cage action as opposed to Johnson missing weight.

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