A couple of weeks ago, UFC president Dana White said the promotion was trying to arrange a tango between Vitor Belfort (pictured) and Tim Kennedy. However, reports out of Brazil last week claimed Belfort isn’t interested in fighting the former Strikeforce star, who was far from impressive in his victorious Octagon debut.
Belfort’s reported decision to decline a bout with Kennedy was news to White, who didn’t seem too surprised claiming “The Phenom” only has two opponents marked on his wish list.
“Vitor, for some insane reason, believes he should get the fight with [middleweight champion Chris] Weidman or Anderson Silva right now,” White shared following Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “He’s out of his mind.”
Granted the UFC’s Fighter Rankings mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, but for what it’s worth, Belfort is currently listed second in the division behind Silva (Weidman is the champ, so he’s essentially ranked #0. We’ll shelve the ridiculous numbering system debate for another day).
Belfort has rattled off four of five wins since his highlight reel loss to Silva at UFC 126, with his last two victories coming in (T)KO finishes over perennial contender Michael Bisping and former Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold.
So, it can be argued that Belfort deserves another crack at the crown. However, he will likely have to take at least one more fight in the meantime because Silva has been promised an immediate rematch.
Even if the injury bug returned to spoil the most anticipated sequel in MMA history, Belfort wouldn’t be called up from the bullpen. There’s no way the UFC, Silva or Weidman would risk losing the lucrative payday Part II would rake in. So, the rematch would simply get postponed.
Silva looks to reclaim his throne December 28 at UFC 168. If Belfort refuses to face anyone but Weidman or “The Spider” and the UFC grants him a title bout in his next outing, that means the 36-year-old will be riding the pine for at least 10 months between fights.