Tonight in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil, UFC middleweight veteran Vitor Belfort will step into the Octagon with TUF winner and middleweight prospect Kelvin Gastelum for a highly anticipated showdown.
The fight will headline a rather stacked night of fights, which will also see former Pride FC legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua step into the Octagon in hopes of extending his win streak to three as he steps into the Octagon against #12 ranked light heavyweight Gian Villante in a highly anticipated showdown. In addition, the fight card will see #5 ranked light heavyweight Edson Barboza look to extend his win streak to 3 when he faces #9 ranked lightweight Beneil Dariush. All this, in addition to fights including Bethe Correia and Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira, takes place Saturday night.
In the main event, Belfort will look to snap a 2-fight skid that has seen him drop back to back TKO losses to Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Gegard Mousasi, with his most recent loss to Mousasi being a 2nd round TKO, and just the second time Belfort has suffered back to back losses in his twenty year MMA career.
On the other hand, Gastelum will be riding a 2-fight win streak into the bout that most recently saw him make his successful middleweight debut against Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 where he cemented his place among the middleweight division’s rankings.
For #9 ranked Vitor Belfort, a win over rising prospect Kelvin Gastelum could very well put him right back in the middleweight title picture. For Gastelum on the other hand, a win over a veteran such as Belfort could very well be a fast track to middleweight title contention. Only time will tell who leaves Brazil with the win.
In the meantime, check out the staredown between the two above!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/10/2017.