Belfort boasted the punching power that he was being recognized for early in his MMA career, knocking out Yoshihiro Akiyama in only 1:52 in the co-main event at UFC 133.
Belfort blew him to the ground with a right, then followed up with a flurry of body and face punches until Akiyama went down to the ground. Belfort after that ended with two more strikes until Akiyama went limp and the bout was ended.
This was the first fight of Belfort since losing in a title bout to Anderson Silva at UFC 126. Belfort in that fight was knocked out with a front kick, although he did not show some indications of wear tonight.
Belfort said of Silva in the cage following the fight, “I feel great. I feel like if he hadn’t landed that kick, that’s what would have happened to him.”
He begun with the UFC back in 1997 and was called the Phenom due to how he knocked out Rich Franklin, but then hit some injuries. After the loss to Silva, fight fans were left to wonder if he can go back to his original form.
He leaves little doubt that he can with this win, as he appeared like the man who would blow through challengers like Wanderlie Silva and Randy Couture.
This is the third loss of Akiyama in a row in the UFC. His one victory was a close split decision over Alan Belcher at UFC 100. After an incredible career with K-1, he never fairly reached his potential in the Octagon.