Vitor Belfort (24-10 MMA, 13-6 UFC) has look absolutely phenomenal in his past three octagon appearances. “The Phenom” has earned 3-straight head kick knockouts over perennial contenders Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping and most recently Dan Henderson during that stretch.
UFC President, Dana White, has stated that his intention is to have Belfort fight the winner of the Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva rematch, which goes down December 28 in Las Vegas.
Vitor recently spoke with MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz about fighting for the title, UFC 168’s main event and how the best is yet to come:
“I’m just waiting for the winner,” Belfort said. “I don’t create expectations because I can get frustrated in the end. I’ve earned my shot at the title and I will fight whoever wins this fight. I just want to get in there and hear them say ‘the new middleweight champion’. I have a goal. I will defeat the champion and get the title.”
Belfort, who fought Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title in 2011, talked about the keys for Chris Weidman to pull off a second straight victory over “The Spider:”
“Weidman can’t let Anderson play his game,” said Vitor.“Anderson is the type of fighter that will make you play his game, and Weidman needs to fight his fight. I will be watching this fight, and I don’t care who I’m fighting next.“
“I’ll be even better when I return to the Octagon. I know it’s hard to believe that I can get even better than this, but I will. I’ve been training hard, and there are a lot of things that I haven’t done yet. My best is yet to come.”
Belfort went on to say that even though he has already suffered a KO loss to Silva, he is still confident that a second contest would play out differently:
“It’s important that you accept the facts,” he said. “He surprised me with a kick, and a true champion needs to accept what happened. We can’t control the results, but I can control what I will do about it. The last fight doesn’t mean that the next fight will end the same way.”
As for the new UFC middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, who is known for his excellent grappling, Belfort is not worried about testing himself on the ground:
“My ground game is getting better and better since I started training with Gilbert Burns,” Belfort said. “And I don’t even need to talk about my wrestling since I’m working with the Michael Jordan of Wrestling, Kenny Monday. I’ve been working a lot in both areas.”
Undefeated when fighting in his home country of Brazil, Belfort is confident that he will fight for the gold in front of his countrymen:
“This fight will be in a soccer stadium,” he said. “Whoever wins, I’m sure we can sell out Maracana or any other soccer stadium in Brazil. It would be really interesting. I know the UFC will come up with the best idea. They are really focused in Brazil right now. Globo is offering great fights for the Brazilians. I just want to enjoy my training. I will train focused on both, and focused on working my abilities.”
When the dust settles following UFC 168 in Las Vegas, who do you hope to see Vitor face for the title? Weidman or Silva? Lets hear it Penn Nation!