Gegard Mousasi dominated Vitor Belfort tonight at UFC 204, pushing the action from the opening bell and then delivering a big TKO finish in the second that was started by a big head kick.
Mousasi takes the center of the Octagon to start. He lands a leg kick. Belfort moving on the outside as Mousasi works more leg kicks.
Belfort lands a punch and then tries to flurry, but Mousasi backs away and shakes his finger at Belfort.
Snappy jab for Mousasi. Belfort with a body kick. Nice straight right down the pipe for Mousasi. Oblique kick for him now.
Two jabs for Mousasi and then attempts to clinch up and work a takedown, but Belfort shrugs him off.
In close against the cage Belfort fires off a few punches and then moves away. Front kick to the body by Mousasi. Now a leg kick.
Belfort fires off a head kick attempt, but it’s blocked. Mousasi still leading the dance for the most part. Both men exchange a punch at the same time, with Mousasi’s landing cleaner.
Solid body kick for Mousasi. Mousasi faking the jab, then lands one clean. Belfort misses a head kick, but lands with a left hand.
Two-piece combo for Mousasi. He moves in and lands a hard right hand off the jab, then goes into the clinch.
They separate with 15 seconds to go and Mousasi is immediately pushing the pace again and is in the process of landing a takedown as the horn sounds. Good round for Mousasi, while Belfort hasn’t fully got going yet.
Mousasi backing up ‘The Phenom’ again to start the second as he works behind the jab. nice body kick for Belfort, but Mousasi counters with a solid right hand.
Mousasi ducks into a takedown attempt, but Belfort stuffs that nicely. Leg kick for Mousasi. Now the snapping jab.
Mousasi with a huge right head kick that hurts Belfort! Mousasi flurries with strikes as Belfort tries to survive.
Belfort does manage to hang in there despite being rattled by the barrage of blows, but then Mousasi is able to take him down and starts landing ground and pound.
Mousasi into full mount and works more strikes. Belfort nearly gives up his back, then it’s back to full mount for more ground and pound and ‘The Phenom’ just can’t find an escape route here.
Mousasi relentless here and Belfort tries to turn his back and isn’t really defending himself. That’s it the ref has seen enough and he puts Belfort out of his misery, handing Mousasi an impressive TKO victory.
That’s the kind of highlight reel KO of a big-name opponent that Mousasi needed at this stage in his career, and should lead to more high-profile match-ups.
Meanwhile, Belfort has now lost three of his last four fights by TKO, which will surely leave him wondering whether it’s time for him to call time on his legendary career.