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vitor belfort

Relive the five of the more impressive knockout finishes in the career of Vitor Belfort in the video below.

Belfort takes out Matt Lindland with one punch, scores a victory in his early UFC career, finishes Michael Bisping with a head-kick, does the same vs. Luke Rockhold and knocks out Wanderlei Silva with an incredible flurry in 1998.

This Saturday night, Belfort challenges Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 187.

vitor belfort

Two title fights, a red-hot lightweight, a pair of heavyweights trying to knock each other out and flyweights hoping to get back in the championship picture.

That’s what UFC 187’s main card this Saturday night presents, and despite losing Jon Jones, it’s still a pretty sound event.

The main event will feature Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier meeting to determine the new UFC light heavyweight champion after Jones was stripped of the title. The co-main also boasts a title fight, as Chris Weidman – finally – defends his belt vs. Vitor Belfort.

And while Donald Cerrone-Khabib Nurmagomedov would have been a “Fight of the Year” contender, we still get “Cowboy,” as he meets John Makdessi.

Former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski tangles with Travis Browne and the card kicks off with flyweights Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga.

Here’s a look inside those fights. And as always, FightLine will have complete coverage, including live play-by-play and results.

Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga

With a combined 37 wins and three previous shots at the belt, you would be hard-pressed to find a main card opener more talented than Benavidez vs. Moraga.

Benavidez (21-4) has suffered two of his four career defeats at the hands of UFC champion Demetrious Johnson, while Moraga (16-3) was topped by “Mighty Mouse” before, as well.

The Team Alpha Male fighter owns an incredible 3.2 significant strikes landed per minute and has a 55-percent takedown defense. Moraga lands at 2.4 and has stuffed 42-percent of takedown attempts.

And for a division that constantly gets called out for its lack of finishes, Benavidez has topped 29- and 43-percent of his fights via either knockout of submission, while Moraga is at 13- and 50-percent.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Browne

Top-10 ranked heavyweights Arlovski (23-10) and Browne (17-2-1) put those stoppage percentages of Benavidez and Moraga to shame, as they have finished nearly all of their opponents.

“Hapa” sits right outside the upper-echelon of heavyweights at No. 3. He’s turned himself from a basketball player into a complete mixed martial artists, and will actually have a reach advantage over Arlovski.

“Pit Bull” once held the world title and would like nothing more than to become a challenger once again after all these years.

Donald Cerrone vs. John Makdessi

The idea of Cerrone-Nurmagomedov being just a highlight on this card was almost too much to believe, and maybe that’s why we don’t have that fight.

Nevertheless, credit Makdessi (12-3) for agreeing to fight just under a month after besting Shane Campbell. And while he doesn’t have the resume of a Cerrone (27-6), he does hold a strong offensive game, as “The Bull” lands 4.8 significant strikes per minute.

Of course, this one should be all “Cowboy,” who has worked his way back to No. 3 in the lightweight division on the heels of impressive victories. He’ll have a five-inch each and has finished over 50-percent of his wins.

Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort for the UFC middleweight title

It’s been talked about since last year, and we’ll finally get to see Weidman (12-0) and Belfort (24-10) go toe-to-toe.

While the majority of the “numbers” favor Weidman, the only one that is really important will not show up on the fight-sheet.

Belfort was forced to stop taking TRT after the UFC and Nevada Athletic Commission moved to ban the substance. He is a former champion, has fought for the title before, but “The Phenom” we watched on TRT destroy Michael Bisping, Dan Henderson and Luke Rockhold is not likely to be the same one to take on Weidman.

Along with finishes vs. Anderson Silva, “The All-American” has topped Lyoto Machida and Mark Munoz during his impressive Octagon career.

Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight title

Many felt that “Rumble” was the toughest opponent to date for Jones and his title. That includes the likes of Cormier, Rashad Evans, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Machida, Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen.

Johnson (19-4) fought previously at welterweight for the UFC, but returned at his more natural 205-pound weight and has dominated Phil Davis, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Gustafsson since. He is both an effective striker – landing three significant strikes per minute at 45-percent – and wrestler – 2.5 takedowns and 85-percent takedown defense.

Cormier (15-1) suffered his first pro loss at the hands of Jones earlier this year and is an ex-Olympic wrestler. He’s stuffed 81-percent of takedown attempts against him and has a 53-percent finish rate via knockout.

ufc 187

John Makdessi knows he’s the underdog when he steps inside the Octagon this Saturday night vs. Donald Cerrone at UFC 187.

But for Makdessi, the fight presents all that he has worked for.

The 30-year-old has won four of his last five, including a recent first round finish over Shane Campbell to improve to 13-3. He’s topped Sam Stout, Daron Cruickshank and Renee Forte during his recent run, losing only via decision to Alan Patrick.

Makdessi will be stepping in for the injured Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Cerrone, who is possibly fighting to become the next contender to the lightweight title.

“This is like a dream come true,” Makdessi told Submission Radio during a recent interview. “I feel like I’m dreaming to be honest with you. I’ve been dreaming about this all my life to be on a big card, to be a part of a big event. This is what I’ve been working all my life for. I’m excited, I’m staying calm and focus on the task at hand.”

Despite taking the fight on short notice after besting Campbell late in April, Makdessi believes the timing of it all is perfect.

“I just finished off training camp, I’m already in top shape and I have a couple of days to rest my body,” he said. “I’m the type of fighter, I train all year long. I don’t believe in training camps so I’m consistently training.

“It’s actually the best thing that happened to me because that mentally keeps me sharp and gets me back to the grind and (to) stay focused and just keep doing what I do.”

zach makovsky

UFC officials did a solid job in putting together a seven-fight prelim lineup for this Saturday night’s UFC 187 card.

It features a top flyweight contender, former champions from Bellator MMA and the World Series of Fighting, a rising star out of The Ultimate Fighter and a finalist from TUF.

The event takes place inside MGM Grand Garden Arena and FightLine will have complete coverage of all the action.

Here’s a closer look at the fights set for UFC Fight Pass (at 6:30 p.m. ET) and FOX Sports 1 (at 8 p.m. ET):

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

Flyweights will open up the action, as Justin Scoggins (9-2) and Josh Sampo (11-4) square off. During their careers, these two have amassed several finishes, and each knows coming into a big card that another spectacular stoppage could vault them into the Top-15.

Scoggins prefers the knockout for his offensive attack, while over 50-percent of Sampo’s finishes have been via submission. Wrestling is also to the advantage of Scoggins, while Sampo has proven an effective defensive fighter.

Lightweights Islam Makhachev (11-0) and Leo Kuntz (17-1-1) have impressive records to their credit, and both will be making their official Octagon debuts. Kuntz is the more effective striker, while Makhachev has shown power in the past, but also sports a strong submission game.

The early prelims will conclude with a battle of the veteran vs. the prospect in Mike Pyle and Colby Covington. Pyle (26-10-1) has fought the who’s who of MMA at welterweight, while Covington (7-0) is unbeaten and has looked very strong in his UFC career.

FOX Sports 1 Prelims

Nothing like a good old female strawweight affair to begin things, as Rose Namajunas (3-2) takes on Nina Ansaroff (6-4). Namajunas advanced to the finals of TUF, falling to Carla Esparza for the title. She has a 100-percent finishing rate via knockout for her career, with Ansaroff coming in at 67-percent in terms of knockout stoppages.

From there, we’ll shift to the middleweight ranks with fellow TUF finalist Uriah Hall (11-4) taking on Rafael Natal (19-6-1). Hall has come on like gangbusters since a loss to John Howard, connecting with over three strikes per minute. Natal has a strong ground game, averaging almost three takedowns per, and is sound with the submissions.

Dong Hyun Kim and Josh Burkman own 47 career wins to their credit, and Burkman is a former World Series of Fighting champion. Burkman (28-11) and Kim (19-3-1) each like the takedown, averaging a combined six per fight. Kim, though, holds an 81-percent takedown defense rate.

The final fight of the prelims boasts John Dodson (17-6) and Zach Makovsky (19-5). Dodson fought for the title in the UFC once before, and many believe a win over “Fun Size” would position him right back for a shot at Demetrious Johnson. Makovsky, who is ranked inside the Top-10, is a former Bellator champion and averages 4.5 takedowns per fight.

vitor belfort

The UFC returns to North America this weekend with UFC 187 from Las Vegas.

Set for Saturday and the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the card boasts two title fights.

In the main event, Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier collide for the vacant light heavyweight title, while Chris Weidman defends his middleweight belt vs. Vitor Belfort in the co-main event.

Also, Donald Cerrone squares off with John Makdessi, Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski lock horns and Joseph Benavidez faces John Moraga.

The action starts on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. ET, with more prelims set for FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET. The pay-per-view main card begins at 10 p.m. ET. FightLine will have complete coverage of all the action.

Below is the current lineup and an extended video preview for the card:

MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)

Vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson

UFC Middleweight Championship
Chris Weidman (c) vs. Vitor Belfort

Lightweight: Donald Cerrone vs. John Makdessi

Heavyweight: Travis Browne vs. Andrei Arlovski

Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/8 p.m. ET))

Flyweight: John Dodson vs. Zach Makovsky

Welterweight: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Josh Burkman

Middleweight: Uriah Hall vs. Rafael Natal

Female Strawweight: Rose Namajunas vs. Nina Ansaroff

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)

Welterweight: Colby Covington vs. Mike Pyle

Lightweight: Islam Makhachev vs. Leo Kuntz

Flyweight: Justin Scoggins vs. Josh Sampo

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