Vitor Belfort made Anthony Johnson pay for coming in overweight for their fight at UFC 142 by submitting him in the first round this evening.
Johnson looked physically huge heading into this fight and he started off aggressively, pressing forward from the opening bell and after a brief exchange on the feet he powerfully took Belfort to the ground.
He managed to land a couple of bombs inside Belfort’s guard which resulted in the home favorite’s right eye swelling shut, but he was then able to shut down much of what Johnson was doing while firing off some offense of his own from his back until the two weres stood back up again.
Johnson comes pressing forward again on the feet, but for all his aggression he looks somewhat clumsy out there and misses his shots.
He then opts for another takedown, but Belfort is wise to it this time and stuffs the attempt and the referee breaks them up soon after.
Again Johnson comes in wildly before getting Belfort down again, but he’s not doing anything from the position and the referee wastes little time in getting them back upright yet again.
Not to be deterred Johnson seeks out another opportunity to go to the mat, but this time it’s Belfort who ends up in a favorable position, taking Johnson’s back and lands some blows to soften his opponent up.
He then waits for the right moment and then sneaks his arm under Johnson’s chin before flattening him out and cranking hard on the rear-naked choke until Johnson taps with 4.49mins on the clock.
Overall this was a good performance from Belfort who reacted calmly in the face of Johnson’s imposing presence and early onslaught and was able to show off his ground skills, picking up only the third submission finish of his career along the way.