A Battle for Middle Earth: Belfort vs. Lindland


Vitor Belfort. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com

Seal Beach, CA — The battle lines are drawn between Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort and Matt “The Law” Lindland, who will clash in a middleweight bout for guts and glory at the January 24th Affliction M1 “Day of Reckoning” show. The middleweight matchup is a perfect fit, and pits the dangerous hands of Belfort against the solid wrestling moves of Lindland. Fans and pundits will want to stay in their seats as these two engage in a spirited, all-out war.

Vitor Belfort (17-8) has a dynamic fighting style that incorporates heavy striking, wrestling, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu. Capable of alternately thrashing opponents in a flurry of strikes or dominating them through a methodical synthesis of his ground and striking skills, his fast hands and adaptable style have been the downfall of numerous challengers.

At eighteen, Belfort made a reputation for himself by defeating the competition in less than 20 seconds by KO during “Superbrawl 2“ in Hawaii. With this and subsequent performances, Belfort would become known for the brutal effect and speed of his powerful strikes. His prowess on the ground allowed him to also finish off bouts using “ground and pound” tactics. It was during this time that Belfort earned the nickname “The Phenom,” in reverence to his phenomenal fight performances.

Originally a student of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with Carlson Gracie, Belfort now trains at Xtreme Couture full-time. The environment offers the highest caliber of fighters and coaches to help push him to his fullest potential. Trainer Shawn Tompkins calls him one of the best boxers he’s ever trained. Belfort himself calls his hands weapons, and asserts “No one’s going to stop me mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.”

With great heart and superior skills both on the ground and standing up, this Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Champion demonstrates a varied game that is always fresh. Belfort’s ease in all realms of MMA, far-reaching range and chameleon-like skills defy expectation and prediction.

His competition, former Olympic wrestler Matt Lindland (21-5) is considered one of the world’s best middleweights. He has been a defining force in mixed martial arts,  bringing innovation to and setting standards in the sport. Along with Randy Couture and Quest teammate Dan Henderson, Lindland is largely responsible for developing the “ground and pound” technique, as well as the clinch fighting known as “dirty boxing.” A solid, consistent performer with undeniably effective ground skills, Lindland has faced some of the toughest players in MMA, including Fedor Emelianenko, and still remained at the top.

Lindland began wrestling at the age of fifteen and eventually became recognized as one of the best in the world. A five-time USA wrestling champion and an All-American, he made it all the way to the 2000 Summer Olympics, where he represented the United States in Greco-Roman Wrestling and brought home a silver medal. Lindland is one of the most accomplished athletes to ever switch over to success in MMA.

Fresh from his unanimous decision victory over Fabio “Negao” Nascimento at “Affliction Banned,” Lindland has had designs on Vitor Belfort long before the fight was set. “I would love to fight Belfort,” Lindland said. “He’s a legend in the sport. I respect him a lot. To get in the ring with a guy like him would be great.”

To prepare for the upcoming bout, the Team Quest original sequestered himself at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for a week of hard training. Lindland also spent time at American Top Team in Florida, working with Ricardo Liborio and Pit trainer John Hackleman. Lindland is thrilled to meet Belfort in the ring, and is ready for the challenge. “I’m gonna’ test his toughness,” Lindland asserts. “I’m gonna be all over him.”

Belfort and Lindland face off as part of the main card of “Day of Reckoning” on January 24 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The outcome is too hard to predict. Both fighters looked impressive during their bouts at “Affliction Banned,” in which Belfort triumphed over Terry Martin by KO in the second round, and Lindland dominated Negao, taking the bout by unanimous decision. The fight promises to be unforgettable, as fans tune in to see just what the resourceful Belfort will do as he takes on the formidable wrestling skills of “The Law.” It will be a classic clash of skills and will, as each of these accomplished warriors tries to impose his on the other in their fight for dominance.

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