It has been confirmed that an injured shoulder will force middleweight top contender Vitor Belfort out of his UFC 112 title fight against champion Anderson Silva.
Popular Brazilian website, Tatame.com, was the first to break the news after speaking with Jayme Sandall, Belfort’s Karate coach, who stated the challenger had hurt himself while training.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo!Sports has since confirmed Belfort’s injury with UFC president Dana White via text message.
“He was training but not using the arm for a long time because of the injury, he said he’d stop for a while. He said he’d have it scanned to know how bad it is, but I [didn’t] talk with him for 15 days and I don’t know about the results,” Sandall said.
The middleweight fight was originally scheduled to take place at UFC 108 on January 2nd, however was postponed due to complications stemming from Silva’s recent elbow surgery.
Silva was last seen jabbing Forrest Griffin into unconsciousness at UFC 101 last August. “The Spider” is currently riding an 11 straight-fight win streak, finishing off 10 of those opponents before the final bell. He’s as close to unbeatable as they come in the world of mixed martial arts.
In his return to the Octagon at UFC 103, the former UFC light heavyweight champion knocked out Rich Franklin in a 195-pound catchweight bout. Belfort has rolled off five consecutive wins of his own, including a couple victories for the now-defunct Affliction.
UFC 112 will be take place inside the Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. No word on what the UFC’s next move might be, but of course the trendy choice is Chael Sonnen following his destruction of Nate Marquardt over the weekend.
Although he’s coming off a lopsided 3Round battle at UFC 109, the red-hot Sonnen told Ariel Helwani on Tuesday that, despite the severe cut on his forehead, he’s resumed training to be prepared for the April 10th date just in case an injury took place.
However, Iole spoke with Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director, Keith Kizer, and was told the earliest Sonnen could return to fight would be March 24th, but is allowed to start sparring on March 9th.
Either way, there doesn’t appear to be enough time for the Team Quest-trained fighter to mix it up with the planet’s baddest 185-pounder.
The Injury Bug strikes again…