Vitor Belfort was the first true young star of the UFC. He came to the United States (he is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at the ripe age of 19 in order to compete in MMA. Nicknamed "The Phenom," Belfort made an immediate impact and those fans who have been with the UFC since its inception know exactly what type of gifted fighter he was. He was known for his lightning quick hands (arguably the fastest in UFC history) and highlight reel knockouts, many of which occurred early in the first round as he overwhelmed opponents.
Although Belfort still competes in the UFC he is merely a shadow of his former self. ESPN has him ranked as the #5 Middleweight so he is by no means a bum! That just goes to show you how good he once was. He was the best; the champion at 19 years old. He still possesses a great punch and great hand-speed, but he has slowed quite a bit and at 35 years old he has a lot of wear and tear. Nobody was quicker or more than explosive than Belfort. If you looked away to take a swig of your beer during Belfort's early fights there was a chance that you missed a knockout. Yes, he was that explosive!
Current MMA fans that are new to the sport might see Belfort as a contender or even a stepping stone for the true champions. They see him presently getting knocked out by Anderson Silva or submitted by Jon Jones. These fans have no idea that they are watching a legend in a steep decline that is managing to beat most fighters and still competing with the top two fighters in the UFC. They have no idea that "The Phenom" in his heyday would have given these guys hell, and possibly beat them. There is no way that you can count a prime Belfort out against any fighter in any era. Although he is still actively competing in the UFC, it is a great time to rank his top five fights since he is nearing the end of his career. And surprise, surprise, they are all knockouts. These are Vitor Belfort's Top 5 fights: