Vitor Belfort engages Anderson Silva. Rather than standing on the outside, away from all possible strikes from Silva, Belfort stands within proximity.
Belfort is thinking: charge in with punches and/ or a takedown. This grey area is a dangerous one because this brings Belfort within Silva's kicking zone. Classic mongoose vs. cobra.
Silva lowers his stance and looks at Belfort's legs. Inviting a charge from Belfort.
Belfort hesitates to charge, knowing he's being baited. When he tried previously, he was met with a check hook.
Belfort looks to Silva's eyes for clues. Belfort believes Silva will kick his lead leg. Belfort, believing he knows what Silva is thinking, plans to block the kick and possibly catch it for a takedown. Belfort also knows when an opponent looks down at his legs, it could be a trick for a head-kick. Look low, kick high. Since Silva's stance is so sideways, it would be easily telegraphed. Belfort is also nearly out of range for a high-kick, he would only need to lean back.
But it was Silva who first noticed Belfort's gaze. Seeing that Belfort was looking at his eyes, Silva changed his gaze to Belfort's legs. Silva throws the kick. Belfort lifts his lead leg but also leans back, while reaching out to grab the kick. Silva knowing what Belfort was anticipating, throws a front kick right down the middle, where there would be no defense. From that distance, if Silva threw a high-kick, it would be too slow and would only possibly clip Belfort with the toes. However, Belfort was still within the range of the full force of Silva's front kick.
Vitor Belfort crumbles to the ground at 3:25 of the first round. Belfort thought he was a move ahead, yet he was merely climbing into the web of the "Spider" Anderson Silva. Belfort was thinking punch or takedown, Silva was thinking of the "Way of strategy."
Game, set, match.
Useful Companions to This Article:
- The Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musashi