(So if Vitor is Tyson and Anderson is Ali, who’s Don King?)
Yeah, we know "Iron" Mike and the boxing legend formerly known as Cassius Clay never fought, and we aren’t saying that Vitor and Anderson are anywhere near their level as boxers, but when you break down the pugilistic styles and look at some of the past fights of Belfort and Silva, it’s remarkable how similar they look to their boxing counterparts.
Whenever fans and pundits talk of the imminent match-up between Belfort and Silva, most give the boxing edge to Vitor based on the fact that he has professional boxing experience. The truth is, he really only fought once as a professional, but his win was so impressive it makes people forget that.
(Video courtesy YouTube NightcrawlerMMA)
Contrary to popular belief though, Belfort isn’t the only one of the two who has boxed professionally.
Silva, who like Andrei Arlovski and Georges St-Pierre, has spent some time with Freddie Roach honing his boxing chops, holds a 1-1 professional boxing record, meaning he actually has twice the experience of "The Phenom," yet he’s still rarely given the edge in the boxing department by analysts.
(Video courtesy YouTube/brianrule)
Although video of the fight doesn’t seem to exist, according to his BoxRec.com record, "The Spider" lost his first bout in 1998 by second round TKO to Osmar Luiz Teixeira who was 11-2 at the time and won his second fight against the debuting Julio Cesar de Jesus in 2005 by second round knockout.
Check out the video of his second fight.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/BoxingCriticBlog)
It’s no surprise that Silva’s boxing style is very similar to Ali’s stick-and-move, jab-centric footwork-based technique, since he has demonstrated the same system countless times in the cage. Although he threw in some of the same cocky gamesmanship he’s shown glimpses of in MMA, his boxing was sound and his movement kept him out of harms way for most of the fight and sparring session above because he constantly circled and rarely planted his feet for more than one combination.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/UFCFightZone1)
The question is, how will his style mesh with Belfort’s Tyson-esque bum-rushing, power-based counter-punching style?
(Video courtesy of YouTube/zx636Ninja636xz)
We could either witness a five-round slugfest or a short, definitive TKO victory by either of these guys Saturday night. Regardless of which one we get, it has all the makings of a classic. I don’t think it’s possible for this to be a boring fight, despite all of the armchair experts claiming that could end up being a 25-minute staring contest and I don’t see it going to the ground. Both fighters feel that their striking is superior and each will likely try to prove the other wrong.