UFC Fight Night 32 Review
By Mike Fagan, November 10th, 2013
“@bisping Which cheater would you prefer a rematch against? #henderson #belfort” – @mcglade123
“make viToR belforT fight in vegas #cheater RT @victorhtneves: @danawhite There is no escape. The next title … http://tmi.me/1bZ91i” - @DBKlein69
“I’d feel bad for Natal if @TimKennedyMMA had 2 healthy legs at Fort Campbell. 8 legs would still be more fair than TRT. #Belfort #Cheater!” – @mwjr25
That’s a small sampling of Twitter results for “belfort cheater.” Belfort is a cheater, apparently, because of his TRT use. Which leads me to my favorite tweet:
“I think Chris Weidman vs Vitor Belfort would be a great fight but I don’t want to see Vitor get a title shot. He’s a legal cheater.” – @JimmyClarke
Vitor Belfort is not cheating. I mean, maybe he is cheating, but his use of TRT isn’t the pudding’s proof. He’s been granted an exemption, whether you like it or not, and it’s time to give up calling him out on it.
Now, maybe you find it unethical. For instance, American citizens who hide their money overseas or in trusts or under shell corporations are technically acting within the law. But are they acting against the spirit of the thing? Are they not paying their fair share thanks to loopholes in the tax code?
That’s the interesting debate with TRT, and that’s why I harped on the need to go after Dan Henderson just as much as Vitor Belfort (for those who care about such things, anyway). If it’s a loophole for Belfort, it’s a loophole for Henderson and a loophole for Chael Sonnen and a loophole for Frank Mir and Forrest Griffin and whoever else adorned with the scarlet “TRT” on their breast.
-Dana White announced Belfort has the next middleweight shot all but wrapped up now. It’s a weird situation given the Belfort/Henderson bout taking place at 205 pounds, but whatever. Belfort is 3-0 at middleweight (4-0 if we include his fight with Anthony Johnson, who missed weight [badly]) since Anderson Silva knocked him out at UFC 126. Jacare Souza is right behind Belfort in the official UFC rankings, though his five-fight winning streak over Bristol Marunde, Derek Brunson, Ed Herman, Chris Camozzi, and Yushin Okami doesn’t stack up. Michael Bisping’s eyes are floating in their sockets. That leaves Lyoto Machida, who has a case, if a weak one.
Of course, there is the alternative of having Belfort and Machida fight one another for the shot. That may end up most prudent if Anderson Silva defeats Chris Weidman and forces an immediate trilogy fight.
-Belfort’s win marked the first time anyone knocked out Dan Henderson in the latter’s 16-year, 40-fight career.
-That leaves Henderson in an interesting spot. Prior to the bout, he seemed keen on fighting, going so far as to note that he needed to pick up a win to gain some sort of leverage to negotiate with the UFC (his contract expired with the Belfort fight). But now he’s on a three-fight skid at 43 years of age. Those three losses come at the hands of Machida, Rashad Evans, and Belfort, but the UFC holds all the cards here. They lose very little if he walks. Henderson made $250,000 to show in his last reported payout (UFC 157 against Machida), and I doubt the UFC offers him much more than a fifth of that to stay.
His best option outside the UFC is World Series of Fighting, though the payday won’t be any better over there. A year ago, Bellator would be right out, but given the last six months, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them make a play. Tito went Tito. King Mo lost his rematch to Emmanuel Newton. Quinton Jackson needs to get by Joey Beltran (and that’s still a weird thing to type), and he’ll need someone to stand opposite him if Bellator is deadset on building a PPV around him. Jackson and Henderson put on an all-time classic in 2007 on Spike TV, and you wonder if Spike/Viacom wouldn’t want to see if they can promote a rematch.
Of course, there’s always retirement.
-Jeremy Stephens made his case for most brutal KO of the year, alluding to Henderson’s diving finish of Michael Bisping and Josh Koscheck’s whiplashing of Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
-Igor Pokrajac once again demonstrated that covering up and staying stationary is not an effective defense against the Thai clinch.
Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at FightFansRadio.com, also available as a podcast via iTunes.
- Anderson Silva
- Chael Sonnen
- Chris Weidman
- Dan Henderson
- Dana White
- Frank Mir
- Goiania Arena
- Jacare Souza
- Jeremy Stephens
- Lyoto Machida
- Michael Bisping
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Rashad Evans
- UFC Fight Night
- Untethered MMA
- Vitor Belfort
- Yushin Okami