UFC on FX 7: Main Event Preview

January 19, 2013 on FX

The Build

The tension leading into the Michael Bisping versus Vitor Belfort fight is high.  Bisping is often called the most hated man in the UFC, and it is with good reason.  You could say that Bisping speaks his mind.  You could also make the argument that Bisping likes to play mind games with his opponents, or you could simply call it talking trash.  Regardless, Bisping has obviously gotten under Belfort’s skin.

The surprising thing is that Bisping has been relatively tame compared to the amount of trash talking he normally does.  In fact, the only criticism he has lodged at Belfort prior to Thursday’s pre-fight press conference could be considered warranted by some.

Bisping sat down with MMA Junkie and a recent interview that Belfort did with ESPN came up.  During the interview it appeared as though Belfort was dodging question on whether or not he was using testosterone replacement therapy.  Here is what Bisping had to say:

I’ll be honest: I’m very disappointed. I could be a little controversial here, but for someone who talks about honor and respect and [expletive] Jesus and the Bible and all that, he’s been busted for steroids in the past, he’s dodging questions about TRT, and obviously he sounds like he’s on it. Otherwise he’d just be answering the question.  That’s disappointing. That said, I’m focused on what I’m going to do. It’s going to be a tough fight, but he could be on [expletive] rocket fuel for all I care. Saturday night he’s in for an [expletive]-kicking.

This was apparently enough to get under Belfort’s skin, or perhaps it is Belfort who is playing mind games considering what transpired at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.

After exchanging a few jabs at each other while taking question from the media the two fighters did the traditional photo-op stare down.  During the stare down  Beltor placed his fist right on Bisping’s chin.  The brass Brit, Bisping shoved his fist away.  Beltor, not to be denied, placed his fist on Bisping’s chin again and a verbal altercation erupted.

Bisping took to Twitter to comment on the situation:

Clearly, tensions are high as we go into this fight.

Why This Fight Matters

For Bisping, this fight means everything.  If Bisping wins it puts him at next in line to take on Anderson Silva in what will be his first UFC title shot in years.

Vitor Belfort at 35 years old is now fighting for his UFC career.  He has already lost against Lightweight Champion Jon Jones and Middleweight Champion Silva, so a title shot is still a few fights away, though a win here would get him on the road back to title contention.  More so, though, Belfort has to prove he is not too old to compete.

The Odds

The odds for this fight are split.  Both fighters sit at a -110 money line according to BetOnline.Com

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