Vitor Belfort was scheduled to fight Chris Weidman at UFC 181, but after the champ was forced to postpone the bout due to a fractured hand, and unable to train for 6 weeks, Belfort began calling for an interim belt.
He spoke to MMAFighting to again reiterate his belief that the UFC should have an interim title in cases like this.
“Dana White confirmed that my opponent will have to wear a cast for four weeks, and will be cleared (to train) in six. I have to respect the decision that was made. Unfortunately, injuries are part of the routine of professional athletes,”
“In this type of situation, everybody loses – the fans, who want to see an incredible fight, the other athlete, who trains hard for a fight, the promoters and sponsors, who want to make it all happen.
“The belt must be available to be conquered by the best fighter. I’m in favor of creating an interim title for cases like this, when the champion gets injured more than once, especially in back-to-back injuries, preventing title fights to happen.”
Weidman has stated before that an interim belt in this case makes no sense, because he just fought and defended his belt in July against Lyoto Machida.
“This is a guy who, I just fought in July. It doesn’t make any sense, it’s not like I’ve been out for a year. This guy hasn’t fought since November. And I was actually, we were supposed to fight. We were lined up to fight in July. And he had to pull out of the fight. And you know why he had to pull out of the fight? He failed a drug test. So this guy is failing drug tests and he has the audacity, he has the balls to start talking junk? About me not fighting. He hasn’t fought since November. So what if he gets the belt? So what happens with that? He just makes no sense. That’s the bottom line.”