This is an interesting fight but at a strange catch weight. It seems just a match for matches sake. Rich wants to fight at 205 and Vitor at 185. I think they should fight in their respective division. Neither guy gains anything from this match.
Saying that both guys are very talented. Both a strikers. Both are Southpaws. Both have functional grappling but generally prefer to bang. If both guys come to put on a show we could have some fireworks. Vitor works very well in straight line. Rich likes his angles. Belfort is predominantly a puncher but has shown flashes of a more rounded game in previous fights. Rich of late has really been working on his arsenal. Adding more kicks and knees to his repitoire. If it stays a striking match you could see some very technical and exciting exchanges.
I think we could see both guys use their standup to test the waters and if problems arise go to the ground to neutralise the risk. Both have good takedowns but neither is spectacular in that area. I think Belfort has the stronger ground game (being and ADCC Veteran) though Rich has shown time and time again that he is no slouch on the ground.
The real question is how will Vitor fare in the later rounds. He has shown he can win early with spectacular results. How will he do being pushed to the 3rd round. How will he handle the pressure if he gets as good as he gives. That is one of Vitors downfalls earlier in his career. Has he overcome those obstacles. From what I have seen I think he has. From my observations he seems a much more focussed and balanced fighter in the best shape of his career.
I think we will see an exciting back and forth match. I can see either guy tagging the other and finishing with a TKO. I don't expect a submission unless one of the guys hurts the other first. If it is a finish it will most likely be from a big punch or some gnp.
Saying that I think the weight class and Rich's versatility may come out in this match. I think Rich will show a variety of attacks working the angles and keeping Vitor from moving forward effectively. I think Vitor will show some brilliance in this match and show that he is definitely a contender at 185. Though it is a tough call and I think it can go either way I am going against the majority and I am picking Rich via decision.
Elvis - It's good to be the King.