• UFC 142

Belfort ready to opt for shock takedown

ESPN staff
January 12, 2012
Vitor Belfort is planning a ground assault © Getty Images

Vitor Belfort has revealed it is in his plans to take Anthony Johnson to the ground this weekend, because there is a belief that Johnson's lack of jiu-jitsu can be exposed.

Belfort and Johnson clash in the co-main event at UFC 142, in a battle featuring two men who pride themselves on their striking capabilities. The Brazilian has seen it all in the sport, beating the likes of Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva, while Johnson has knocked out four of his last six rivals.

The expectation is for both men to stand and trade on Saturday night, but Belfort has surprisingly confessed he will not be shy of employing his wrestling. In the Phenom's eyes, Johnson is weak when he is on his back.

"I don't know if his jiu-jitsu is that great," Belfort told MMWeekly radio. "I plan to take him down, that will be one of the plans on the ground. He doesn't have very solid jiu-jitsu, but he's a pretty tough wrestler.

"He likes to kick, he likes to trade, so we'll see. It's going to be a great match-up. Let's see how he's going to act when the action begins."

Belfort will be fighting in front of his home crowd in Rio, which either acts as an inspiration or as a source of added pressure. Either way, he insists Johnson will be made to feel very unwelcome.

"I don't take things easy. I don't underestimate anyone. He's strong, he has skills, the best way to respect him, to show him respect, [is that] I'm focused," said Belfort.

"He's a lion, but I'm a lion, and when we get there I'm going to roar. I'm going to roar on that day. I respect him, but on that day the cage belongs to me so that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to earn it."

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