Vitor Belfort took out the always tough and highly ranked Rich Franklin at UFC 103. The two fighters danced and pawed with feints for the better part of 2 minutes before they really engaged for the first time. Belfort was strictly looking to counter, and you could tell that Franklin wanted to press the action but was tentative. However, Franklin decided to engage and Belfort was able to land a glancing punch near Franklin's ear that wobbled the former UFC middleweight champion. At that point, Belfort swarmed him with several unanswered punches before the referee jumped in to stop the fight. It was a very efficient performance by Belfort, so you have to ask did the 'new' Vitor Belfort show up at UFC 103?
I'm not so sure that I'm sipping that kool aid just yet. While he was able to defeat Franklin, there just wasn't enough engagement from either fighter before the fight ended in my opinion to answer that question. It was similar to the win Belfort had over Matt Lindland at the last Affliction event. Yes, Belfort won impressively over a quality opponent. However, there were still questions about if the 'real' Vitor showed up then as well. Now he'll move down to the middleweight division where the champion awaits either Belfort or Dan Henderson. I'll say this, if the Belfort that showed up tonight were fighting Anderson Silva, we might have been treated to a snooze fest since Belfort offered no offense unless Franklin came forward. I'm not really intrigued by a Belfort/Silva match up. What say you?