The middleweight showdown between Vetor Belfort and Matt Lindland will have to be put on hold. Affliction Entertainment Vice President, Tom Atencio, confirmed late Thursday evening that Belfort is going to have to withdraw from the bout due to a hand injury. They are now in search of a new opponent for Lindland to compete against on their “Day of Reckoning” card.
“Vitor is out. I spoke with him I think yesterday and he told me,” Atencio told MMAWeekly Radio. “Actually, it was on Tuesday we had a conversation for about an hour or so, and yeah, I guess he broke his hand in two places is what he told me and he had been having 2, 3 and 4 opinions on it. He finally got the opinion that he wanted I guess and they told him to step out for a while.”
Both fighters posted impressive victories in their debuts for the organization’s “Banned” card. Belfort had a powerful performance, knocking out MMA veteran Terry Martin in the 2ndRound. Lindland defeated Fabio Negao via unanimous decision.
When this fight was initially signed, it was rumored that they would compete for the open WAMMA middleweight title. However, Atencio was quick to dispel those rumors, for now.
“At this point I don’t think so. It just didn’t make too much sense,” Atencio said. “We may go down that road again in the near future when we do have them fight. I know that’s a fight both of them want. Well, I know Vitor wants it and Matt (Lindland) will fight anyone.”
It is being rumored that Affliction has reached out to EliteXC to get their permission to have their welterweight champion, Jake Shields, face Lindland in Belfort’s place.
Shields stated yesterday that he was not too interested in the possible 170-pound opponent that was offered to him, and was considering an offer from another MMA organization to fight a top contending middleweight.
“Right now, I have a really good offer on the table to fight a top 185-pounder,” Shields told MMAWeekly.com on Thursday. “I’m just waiting, hoping Elite (XC) will give me that opportunity to go out there and represent Elite and test myself.”
Atencio could not confirm or deny that they have reached out to EliteXC management or Shields regarding their October 11th card, because nothing has been finalized.
“Jake’s a great fighter, but nonetheless it doesn’t matter because we don’t have him,” Atencio stated. “That’s a fighter that Pro Elite has. I don’t confirm anything until I have all the papers signed.”