For the first time in ten years, Vitor Belfort went the distance, and he was able to get the win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 212.
At UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Vitor Belfort ended his three-fight winless run with a unanimous decision win over Nate Marquardt. It was a patient, counterstriking battle with not a lot of action to get excited about, but it was job done for “The Phenom,” who went to the scorecards for the first time since 2007.
The crowd was chanting Vitor’s name inside the Jeunesse Arena. Marquardt landed a right hand and got the trip-takedown just over a minute into the round. Belfort pretty much stalled out on the bottom and got a generous stand-up from referee Osiris Maia. Vitor attacked the body with a kick just about chest-level. The rest of round 1 was not particularly compelling. A lot of feinting, very little throwing, and Marquardt perhaps got the better of the exchanges with his right hand.
Marquardt was the aggressor early in round 2, sneaking in a left high kick with the toes connecting on the side of the head. Vitor cracked Marquardt with an uppercut and from there it was classic Vitor swarm time against the cage. Punches and knees got through but Marquardt survived it without going down or showing signs he was out on his feet. Marquardt cut Vitor open with a right hook, with blood coming out of the left eye.
Belfort began round 3 with a stiff left hand, but there was no follow-up. Marquardt was throwing more and while he wasn’t landing big shots he was keeping busy. A head kick stunned Marquardt momentarily. Belfort cracked Marquardt with a right hand and then stuffed a takedown. Vitor was finally opening up late in the fight and catching Marquardt more often, but he couldn’t get the knockout. He did get the win on all three scorecards, much to Marquardt’s annoyance. Marquardt has dropped two straight, while Belfort gets his first win since knocking out Dan Henderson in 2015.
Official result: Vitor Belfort def. Nate Marquardt by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)