Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.

Vitor Belfort and the UFC rankings paradox

Vitor Belfort arrives at the sixth annual Fighters

(Credit: Getty)

Vitor Belfort won all three of his fights in 2013 by head-kick knockout. Not too shabby for the now 37-year-old Brazilian fighter who first debuted in 1997 at UFC 12.

Since returning to the UFC in 2009, Belfort has fought four times at middleweight, twice at light heavyweight and twice at a catchweight (195, 197 pounds). He's 6-2 in that span, with both losses coming in title fights (one in...

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What happened to the UFC light heavyweight division?

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, right, trades punches with Rashad

(Credit: AP)

The second biggest weight class in the UFC is looking mighty thin these days.

Once the most glamorous division in the world's most prominent mixed martial arts promotion, the UFC's light heavyweight division lacks depth. Part of that can be attributed to the normal ebb and flow of fighters (and sports in general), as well as the expansion of other weight classes.

Also, don't underestimate...

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Glover Teixeira deserves his UFC title shot

Glover Teixeira, top, from Brazil, fights countryman Fabio

(Credit: AP Photo Felipe Dana)

The title shot legitimacy of Glover Teixeira is often met with disdain or negativity. Why? Well, for one, that's what MMA fans do. (Ask Chris Weidman . . . after he won the title.)

And second, they say Teixeira has yet to fight a top-10 light heavyweight in the UFC.

Both of those points are true.

Both of those points aren't much of an argument to make in claiming Teixeira doesn't...

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Chael the champion? It almost happened at UFC 159

Chael Sonnen fought Jon Jones at UFC 159

(Credit: Newsday/Mario Gonzalez)

NEWARK -- The man who used to call himself the champion and walk around with a championship belt without actually winning a title fight nearly earned the ability to rightfully call himself "champion."

Chael Sonnen was 27 seconds away from winning the light heavyweight title at UFC 159 on Saturday at the Prudential Center.

Not necessarily because he was dominating Jon Jones....

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UFC 159: Phil Davis stands, Vinny Magalhaes loses

Phil Davis, from the United States, reacts after

(Credit: AP Photo Felipe Dana)

NEWARK -- Many nice words have been said about Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes, just by people other than Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes.

These two light heavyweights spent the run-up, ok the past several months, taking every opportunity afforded them to hammer the other guy with words.

On Saturday at UFC 159 in the Prudential Center, they used their fists and legs to do the hammering....

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Still watching the King Mo knockout

King Mo arrives at Spike TV's 6th Annual

(Credit: Getty)

Late to the party on this one a bit, since I passed out on the couch Thursday night. But watching the Bellator fights the following night, I was treated -- like many of you were -- to a fascinating knockout of King Mo Lawal by Emanuel Newton.

Who?

Emanuel Newton and his spinning back fist, thrown blindly and landing flush to the face of King Mo, the prohibitive favorite to win the Bellator...

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UFC 156: Rashad Evans did less than Rogerio Nogueira

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, right, trades punches with Rashad

(Credit: AP)

Rashad Evans lacked any worry, he said, heading into his UFC 156 fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Not his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, of which he is a black belt. Not his boxing, of which he was a Pan-American Games bronze medalist.

Well, when their fight went to the judges, there had to be some worry in the mind of the former light heavyweight champion. Not so much because of the general...

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