What does a head kick KO on Dan Henderson in a light heavyweight shootout earn you? If you’re Vitor Belfort (pictured), it apparently gets you next dibs at the UFC middleweight title.
Following Belfort’s third consecutive victory, with his prior two coming in 185-pound affairs, UFC president Dana White promised Belfort will face the winner of the most anticipated rematch in MMA history when middleweight champion Chris Weidman defends his throne against Anderson Silva at UFC 168.
Assuming the pesky injury bug doesn’t do its thang, of course.
“Anderson is going to fight Chris Weidman December 28 in Las Vegas, and it’s going to be the biggest fight we’ve ever done,” White professed during Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 32 post-fight press conference. “That gate is already at like $5.6 million. And the pay-per-view is going to be huge and it’s going to be a massive event. And whoever wins, yes, will fight Vitor Belfort [next], unless something crazy happens and somebody gets hurt.
“You never know what happens here. That Weidman-Silva fight happens and somebody gets hurt and they’re sidelined for … You just never know what’s going to happen. The 185-pound division is exciting, it’s really getting good and anything could happen. But there’s nothing but big fights for Vitor. Imagine if we do Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort again. We could do that in a soccer stadium here [in Brazil].”
The ideal scenario for the UFC would be for Silva to reclaim his crown then defend it against Belfort in a stadium in Brazil. Plan B would be for Weidman to put his belt up for grabs against Belfort. Plan C (please see: injury bug) would pit Belfort against Lyoto Machida (assuming he beats Gegard Mousasi in February, of course).
Belfort has become a human highlight reel since losing to UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones at UFC 152. Following the September 2012 defeat, a bout “The Phenom” nearly won, the 36-year-old has put three consecutive opponents to sleep in devastating fashion.
We’ll shelve the TRT debate for another day…