|Vitor Belfort (top) of Brazil fights Michael Bisping of Britain during the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, in Sao Paulo January 20, 2013. Photo by Paulo Whitaker, Reuters.
MANILA, Philippines – Brazilian fighter Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort re-arranged the UFC middleweight title picture by knocking out contender Michael Bisping in the second round of the main event of UFC on FX 7 in Brazil Saturday (Sunday morning ni Manila).
Belfort knocked out Bisping in the 1:27 mark of the second round after connecting with a left kick to the head of the British fighter.
Bisping collapsed to the mat and Belfort quickly ended matters with ground and pound, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the fight.
Bisping believed that a victory over the Brazilian Belfort would have given him a chance to challenge middleweight champion Anderson Silva for the UFC title, but his hopes of a title shot were dashed.
"Congratulations to Vitor, I've got no excuses," Bisping said after the fight, as quoted by UFC.com. "I had an amazing training camp, I felt fantastic, I felt very confident that I was going to win this fight."
"It was a beautiful kick, he caught me, he was better than me tonight," Bisping added. "You win some, you lose some. I am not going away."
Bisping was able to defend against Belfort's punches early in the first round, but he was caught with a headkick late in the opener and was saved by the bell.
Despite sustaining a bloody nose, Bisping was able to land some punches in the second round. Belfort’s kick landed flush, however, sending Bisping down to the canvas.
The kick earned Belfort Knockout of the Night honors worth $50,000.
In the co-main event, CB Dolloway earned a controversial split decision victory over Brazilian Daniel Sarafian in a middleweight match.
The judges scored the bout 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 for Dollaway, who commended Sarafian after their three-round battle.
"I had to dig deep. He was a tough competitor," Dolloway said. "Hats off to the Brazilian crowd, they really got into my head a little bit."
Dolloway and Sarafian each earned $50,000 for putting on the Fight of the Night.