Bisping Discovers Brazilian Fan Base
Michael "The Count" Bisping is no stranger to being billed as the "villain" for a fight in his enemy's back yard. He is well-aware that he will be competing against one of the most popular Brazilian fighters in history at UFC on FX 7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is why he was very surprised to find out that he has much more Brazilian supporters than he thought going into the biggest fight of his career this Sunday night.
Michael recently posted on his official blog (via Yahoo! Sports) that while he expected to hear only boo's and insults from fans at an open workout in Brazil, he soon learned that not every citizen of Brazil wants to see Vitor Belfort come out on top in his return to the middleweight division. A couple of attendees actually went out of their way to express their distaste for Belfort and their desire for Bisping to give him the beating they feel he deserves.
"At the open workouts earlier today, I had fans coming up to me saying 'I hope you kill that mother-[expletive]' and 'We can't stand that guy!' I've got it on video; it really took me by surprise. He's obviously got his fans - and I expect I will be booed like it is UFC 100 again on Saturday night - but a lot of people here in Brazil have no time for Vitor Belfort. I don't know for sure whether it was because he fought Anderson Silva and Anderson is like a god down here, or whether the Brazilians are just like English people in that they can't stand holier than thou attitudes. I'll conduct a little research and let you know, but it is one of the two, I'm sure. "
Bisping definitely has reason to be surprised by this encouragement, considering how incredibly abnormal it is for Brazilian fans to abandon their loyalty to a countryman, regardless of how outwardly confident he may be.
Belfort has, however, been making it a priority to play up this "angelic" character he seems to have taken on as of late.
It could also be his inability to think before he speaks to the media, or the way he made a fool of himself in the cage against Jon Jones not too long ago. "The Phenom" must have done something truly shameful to lose the respect of these fans, because as crazy as it sounds, Michael Bisping may very well become a hero to a select few Brazilians if he defeats Vitor Belfort.
Maybe the loss of support in his native country is another sign that, as Michael Bisping would agree, Vitor Belfort is noticeably past his prime as a mixed martial artist. If Michael Bisping does win this fight in the definitive manner he promises to, it's safe to say that the story of the night will be how even Vitor Belfort himself has succumbed to the trending opinion that he is no longer a top contender in the middleweight division.
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