I cheered when he walked through Rich Franklin, I really felt he could test Anderson Silva. I was on his side as he put paid to Akiyama and Johnson, I hoped beyond hope that he could upset Jon Jones.
I maybe a Brit, but it’s not because he faced and knocked out Michael Bisping at the start of the year that has caused me to fall out with Vitor, it’s a combination of things.
Overall, I’ve stopped enjoying his attitude, his interviews, the… feel that he puts out.
I wouldn’t say I’ve stopped rating him as a fighter – hell, he’s 8-2 since 2006 with the losses coming to the #1 and #2 pound for pound fighters in the world. Indeed, he’s a fun to watch as ever, aggressive, incisive striking backed up by an oft forgotten top notch Juijitsu game.
The likelihood of Vitor ever being involved in a fight which elicits ‘boring’ chants is roughly nil…
The first thing that’s led to his fall from my affections is his constant harping on about religion.
Now, you may have gleaned from our previous output that the both Kumite boys are agnostic at best but I’d never, EVER hold someone else’s faith against them. Do as you will, so to speak…
However, when you namecheck God and Jesus in every interview, but are also unapologetic about past steroid busts and your current controversial status as a cheat-with-a-doctor’s-note, then a word comes to mind.
Throw in recent conduct at weigh ins and similar events which can be best described as… thuggish, and I can’t reconcile his supposedly peaceful faith with the frothing roidhead I see before me.
The likes of Ben Henderson walk a fine line of balancing their evangelical faith with a line of classy personal conduct that gets them away with it, but Vitor seems increasingly… unhinged.
I don’t know if it’s TRT, things coming across poorly in translation or Vitor really having a severe personal dislike for everyone he faces recently, but as much as I’ve been a fan for years, as much as I enjoy his fights from a technical standpoint, I just can’t… like him, anymore.
That makes me sad. I don’t like this God’s Bully character, I want my Phenom back…