From Las Vegas, an X-ray of challenger Vitor Belfort


It was a laid back trip to Las Vegas with Anderson Silva and Co. (read about it here). During the nine-hour wait after missing the connection in Charlotte, North Carolina, Silva was approached by numerous fans, but time finally came to shove off for the final destination.

Anderson and team causing commotion with Rafael Feijão in Charlotte / Photos: Carlos Ozório

In Vegas, about four hours later, more fans awaited the champion at the airport. The “Spider” tried to attend to them all, but the mood was different now. There’s no room for games in the city of entertainment. In a serious climate, the fighter met up with his manager Ed Soares, with his son, and headed for Mandalay Bay hotel and casino, where he will stay and where UFC 126 will take place this Saturday.

From the impression he left, Anderson doesn’t feel any pressure, or at least doesn’t let it show. But, as stated in the previous article, he doesn’t underestimate Vitor Belfort, the challenger. By his side, along with loyal friend and Strikeforce champion Rafael Feijão, he has two trumps with him: coaches Ramon Lemos (Jiu-Jitsu) and Luiz Dórea (boxing). Before disappearing in the midst of the hundreds of tourists arriving in Vegas, the coaches sat down for a chat with GRACIEMAG.com and dissected the challenger, Vitor. The outcome of the fight, obviously, remains to be seen. But they expect to have minimized any chance of surprise.

“On the ground, Vitor too is really explosive and quick. But, sincerely, I feel he’s either the same level or worse than Anderson in Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve never trained with him, I speak based on what I’ve seen in his fights. I see Anderson as having more moves on the ground, while Vitor does a good job in the ground-and-pound department. I don’t think he’s going to take much more of a risk than that,” remarks Ramon, the leader of Atos Jiu-Jitsu.

“You have to realize that MMA doesn’t have that points system and Anderson fights 100% for the submission or knockout when on the ground,” adds the coach.

Now Dórea analyzes the Spider’s opponent from the angle that, to many, is Belfort’s most dangerous.

“Vitor is an excellent fighter, I’ve worked with him before. He works the action well and is dangerous with straight punches, down the line. He’s also got a really good uppercut. Another quality of his is his footwork, his getting-in-and-out skills. But Anderson has an above-average ability to absorb everything easily. It will be a great fight, I’m sure of it, but we’ve covered all the bases and we’re really confident,” said Dórea in closing.

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