Although yesterday’s news regarding middleweight top contender Vitor Belfort turned the “UFC 112: Invincible” world upside-down, Belfort apparently had already undergone successful shoulder surgery earlier in the week.
“I’ve already had the surgery on my left shoulder,” Belfort told Sherdog.com. “Actually Lorenzo (Fertitta) was aware that I was feeling really bad pain in my shoulder for a long time. I’ve already had three injections since I was scheduled to fight Fedor, but lately the pain got really unbearable and my doctor decided to take an (MRI) and it showed chronic injury that was getting worse.”
According to reports, Belfort has been dealing with lingering shoulder pain since mid-2009 and had taken several anti-inflammatory injections since the injury occurred, including the time period leading up to his UFC 103 showdown with Rich Franklin this past September.
Despite the nagging injury, Belfort was able to take an easy 1stRound TKO victory over the former UFC middleweight champion.
Belfort was hoping he would be able to power through another rigorous training camp before he needed to go under the knife, especially since a title scrap against Anderson Silva was at stake, but he was recently advised by his doctor to have the procedure done immediately in order to prevent further injury.
“My doctor, Michel Simoni, said that if I did not stop and do the surgery immediately, I was running serious risk of my shoulder going out of place,” Belfort added. “Also I was already losing the power of my left arm. How could I fight (without) my strongest hand?”
MMAFighthing spoke with UFC president Dana White late Thursday evening and was informed the organization still intends to have “The Spider” defend his strap in Abu Dhabi on April 10th, however would not divulge who Silva’s next victim would be.
It will be a long and lonely recovery period for Belfort, however the former UFC light heavyweight champion promises to return better than ever.
“I’m feeling good, and according to the doctor, in four months I can start returning to training little by little,” said Belfort. “Now, I have a long journey of work with physical therapy every day. I think before the end of the year, I’ll be back in the Octagon. No matter if it’s fighting for the belt or not, I’ll be back 100 percent.”