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Vitor Belfort Explains Why He Declined Interim Title Fight Against Lyoto Machida at UFC 184

Written by Tom Ngo
February 2nd, 2015
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UFC Middleweight Vitor Belfort

Middleweight top contender Vitor Belfort (pictured) took a little heat over the weekend after UFC president Dana White revealed Belfort turned down an interim title tilt against Lyoto Machida at UFC 184 after Belfort was begging him for a title fight after champion Chris Weidman withdraw from their February 28 scrap with yet another injury.

Belfort took to Facebook Sunday to explain why he declined the matchaup with Machida. “The Phenom’s” logic is pretty simple – Belfort doesn’t want a manufactured belt, he wants the real deal.

Here’s what Belfort had to say about the situation:

I would like to say that, as everyone else, I’m very disappointed with all this situation.
For exactly one year, I have seen my dream to make history in UFC with my 3rd world title in a different weight category postponed.

Here are some facts:

– UFC had to reschedule the middleweight world title content 3 times because of my opponent’s injuries. (from May/14 to July/14- Weidman had a knee surgery, from December/14 to February/15 – Weidman had his hand broken, from February/15 to probably May/15- Weidman had his ribs hurt)

– MY FOCUS WAS ALWAYS THE MIDDLEWEIGHT BELT AND I CLIMBED THE LADDER TO ACHIEVE MY POSITION.

– This is why I won’t fight for an interim, but if UFC gives 8 weeks and the middleweight Belt available for dispute I fight with anyone from the ranking. Not for an Interin, But the Middleweight Belt!

– I’ve been in this sport for 19 years and I have never let UFC down.

– I accepted to fight for the Light Heavyweight Belt right after the my sister got kidnapped and I still won the world championship.

– I offered myself to fight in the UFC 152 against Jon Jones with less than 8 weeks to prepare myself to the bout and I had exactly the same injury my opponent has now and still I stepped up to the fight.

I would like to thank UFC, the press and fans support, always.
Focused in the Middleweight Belt!

Although Belfort declined to face Machida at UFC 184 on five weeks’ notice, White said not to rule Belfort out of the card just yet. At Saturday’s UFC 183 post-fight press conference, White stated he has one more fight to offer Belfort.

According to the (sometimes) trusty rumor mill, Belfort said he would only take a UFC 184 bout against Mark Munoz. Munoz is currently slated to face Roan Carneiro in the show.

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