Recent speculation had Vitor Belfort embroiled in a bout with Tim Kennedy, a fight that he quickly turned down. His wife and manager Joana Prado confirmed that Belfort would only fight for the belt at middleweight, but is open to taking catchweight bouts in the meantime.
Ariel Helwani revealed on tonight’s edition of “UFC Tonight” that he had spoken with Prado, and Belfort already had an opponent in mind:
“He’s going to be a team player though. He’s going to fight in the interim, he’s okay with that, but he wants to be at either 195, 205, or heavyweight. And she told me that if he had his way about it, if he had his druthers, it would be against you, Chael Sonnen. He wants to fight you, what do you say?”
Sonnen, a co-host on the show, was quick to respond to the challenge with an immediate acceptance of the fight, even setting a date for the potential blockbuster bout:
“Look, here’s what I would say to Vitor, Ariel: I accept. However, Vitor has a title, and his title is that of No. 1 contender. If he is willing to put that on the line not only will I fight him, I will meet him at that weight class and I will do it December 28th-Rousey defends, Weidman defends, Vitor-you got a title too, brother, and I want you to defend it against me.”
Sonnen currently has his hands full with Shogun Rua at UFC on Fox Sports 1:Boston, but a bout with lightning-fast striker Belfort could generate some serious buzz and ratings. If Belfort were to somehow get licensed to fight in Las Vegas, the year-ending UFC 168 would become the one of the most stacked cards in UFC history. Would Belfort simply mop the floor with the slumping Sonnen?