White: Vitor Belfort Will Fight For The Title Next…Maybe
UFC middleweight contender Vitor Belfort has arguably had the bet year of any fighter in the Octagon, knocking out Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson in rapid and spectacular fashion.
The manner in which he did so is the most shocking part of the story because at 36-years-old, “The Phenom” is seemingly getting better by leaps and bounds. His recent run has sparked the obvious never-ending TRT debate, and there’s no doubt that the therapy has helped Belfort achieve the amazing results he has this year.
However, there are lots of fighters on TRT who are never mentioned because they are winning like Belfort is. So regardless of your stance on his usage, Belfort has to be commended for his efforts.
Those efforts have gotten him a likely title bout with the winner of this weekend’s UFC 168 main event rematch between champion Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva. UFC president Dana White spoke up to PM In The AM Boston to detail how that’s the fight that everybody wants to see:
“On Saturday night, if Chris Weidman wins or Anderson Silva wins, the next massive, huge fight that everyone wants to see is Vitor Belfort,” White said. “That’s what everybody wants to see.”
Certainly it seems like a no-brainer as Belfort has dispatched fighters ranked near the top of the 185-pound rungs. However, if Silva does regain the belt from Weidman come Saturday, you can bet that “The All-American” will be the next man to cash in on an immediate rematch.
And let’s not forget that we’ve seen our beloved president go back on his word before.
He even put the wheels in motion during the interview, leaving the door open with this statement:
“Vitor Belfort’s next. Or – I don’t know. You never know what happens here. Anything could happen, but there’s nothing but big fights for Vitor.”
Well, one would think that’s pretty obvious at this point in time, right? One holdup to guaranteeing Belfort the winner of Weidman vs. Silva II is Belfort’s insistence on fighting in Brazil. He’s said that he can get licensed to fight in the States but NSAC commissioner Keith Kizer has gone on record to say that it’s doubtful Belfort would ever be granted a therapeutic use exemption to use TRT in Las Vegas.
So that could be a deal breaker.
In any case, we have to wait and see what transpires at the pivotal UFC 168. Belfort should have his day against the champion sometime next year, but he could make it a bit easier on himself by not being so rigid in his prerequisites. After all, he failed massively in his title bid against Silva in early 2011, getting knocked with a front kick that has become one of the most-watched highlights in UFC history.
The middleweight division is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous in all of MMA with powerhouses like Belfort, “Jacare” Souza, and former light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida populating the upper ranks.
Do you believe White when he says Belfort will fight for the title next? Or is the Silva-Weidman feud far from over?
Check out the interview below, where White also touches on the rumored Anderson Silva vs. Roy Jones Jr. boxing match: