It was such a surprise to see the champ Jon Jones, be so close to losing his title in a matter of seconds to Vitor Belfort. Yet the champion somehow managed to pull out of the submission attempt and end up winning in the later rounds with one of his own. It was a fight that ended up a lot closer than expected and after watching his solid performance it begs the question, how would Vitor Belfort fair if he did indeed stay at 205?
Belfort, a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, at 205 lbs. would present lots of problems, believe it or not, despite being at the tail end of his career and at the age of 35. At light heavyweight he doesn’t have a lot of weight to cut and maintains his strength, muscle, and quickness; something that he is most known for. His striking in the division would be up there with any other fighter and could go toe for toe while maintaining the same knockout power he once had. Belfort has always had an underrated ground game that’s overshadowed by his speed and striking, but it is apparent in his previous fights with Jon Jones and Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson; Vitor can submit people.
The downfalls of Vitor Belfort staying in the light heavyweight division are his age, cardio, and wrestling but the same could be said about him a middleweight.
Being 35 and counting Belfort doesn’t have many years left in the fight business, and as the age goes up, the skills tend to slow down and the gas tank gets a little smaller. In the 4th round of the Jon Jones fight, Vitor was slowing down, his shots weren’t as accurate, and was taken down easily resulting in the submission victory that he couldn’t power his way out of. His wrestling is still a work in progress and he’d have trouble with certain wrestler that have great ground and pound and a good top game.
If Vitor does choose to go back to middleweight, it wouldn’t be a bad fit, but the match ups at light heavyweight for him are much more intriguing just to think about. Possible match ups for Belfort at light heavyweight include Ryan Bader, Dan Henderson, Alexander Gustafsson, maybe even Shogun. All intriguing match ups for “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort at 205 pounds that many MMA fans would be willing to watch.