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Bisping: Belfort has heart of a chicken
Michael Bisping has risked turning an already hot atmosphere into a burning cesspit of vitriol after questioning the heart of Vitor Belfort ahead of their January 19 meeting.
Bisping heads to Sao Paulo for the biggest fight of his career in little over two weeks' time. A win books him a UFC title shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Standing in his way is Brazilian favourite Belfort, an Octagon legend who still carries severe threat in both hands. A knockout exponent of the highest order, he will come headhunting against the Brit.
In a list of strengths and weaknesses, it appears to be Belfort's knockout power against Bisping's movement, cardio and versatility. And in Bisping's eyes, Belfort's response to being taken into deep waters will be key.
"He has the body of a lion but the legs of a chicken and the heart of a chicken, which I'll show," Bisping is quoted as saying by MMAInterviews.
"I can go five five-minutes round standing on my head. I don't think Vitor Belfort can do the same thing, and after round one, he's going to be a walking punching bag and it's gonna be an easy night.
Belfort has only ever won two fights that have gone to a third round, against James Zikic and Heath Herring. By contrast, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Alistair Overeem and Jon Jones have all beaten him beyond the second stanza.
UFC president Dana White has already confirmed he will hand Bisping his maiden title shot if he beats Belfort, but bookmakers - depending on which you choose - have the fight exactly even ahead of January 19. Bisping, however, is confident.
"I believe I can beat him. I believe I'm the better fighter," the Brit said.