(Phenom vs. Tank, 5/30/97. Props: UFCVitorVBelfort)
In their continuing efforts to convince you that Vitor Belfort has at least a puncher’s chance against Jon Jones at UFC 152, the UFC has just made the Vitor Belfort vs. Tank Abbott fight from UFC 13 available on YouTube. Just 20 years old at the time, Belfort had made his Octagon debut three months prior at UFC 12, winning the four-man heavyweight bracket in a combined fight time of two minutes. Belfort’s subsequent “superfight” against Abbott — still a somewhat legitimate competitor back then — turned out to be another blitzkrieg. In just 52 seconds, it was all over.
But even more so than the overwhelming striking performance from the Phenom, I think my favorite part of this video is 3:30-3:41, where Belfort calls out for his beloved trainer “Stankie,” and we get a glimpse at a younger (but still pretty old) Al Stankiewicz. Then, we see that Stankie’s hands are wrapped as if he was going to fight that night. Classic.
In a related story, betting odds for Jones vs. Belfort have calmed down somewhat, and the champ is being offered as low as -740. You can also turn $100 into $12,000 if you bet that the fight will be a draw, and the fight actually turns out to be a draw. I’m just saying. What were going to do with that $100 anyway, you know?