Despite being forced out of the biggest fight of his accomplished career, Vitor Belfort states that once his surgically repaired left shoulder is fully healed, he will be back badder than ever.
“I had this injury [for the last year] and didn’t know how bad it was, and it only got worse,” Belfort told Tatame.com of his shoulder. “It was getting worse and then … my shoulder couldn’t handle it anymore. The rhythm is intense, this injury was in the left shoulder and that’s bad because I’m a southpaw.”
With a shot at dethroning middleweight king Anderson Silva served to him on a gold UFC platter, Belfort knew he needed to try and push through the pain as he may never get another shot at Silva in his current untouchable/unbeatable/invincible state.
Unfortunately, the discomfort proved to be unbearable and Belfort was forced to take a short break from preparing for his April 10th date against the planet’s sickest middleweight in order to see a physician.
“We did a MRI and doc Michel Simoni, one of the best in Brazil and well known overseas, [and he] said there was no way to be 100%. I’d have to stop,” Belfort said of the heartbreaking announcement. “[I already had surgery]. I can’t take too long [off] because of my career and physical conditioning. Now I’ll be back [to training in] only five months from now.”
Thankfully, this time the Brazilian opted to have immediate surgery upon hearing the devastating news in order to get back as quickly as possible. With docs telling him he can’t start training again for another five months, the earliest he could possibly get back in the cage for a professional fight is about eight months.
Although UFC president Dana White was hellbent on Belfort being the next to challenge Silva for his title, it’s likely he could get a warm-up bout first upon his return – instead of being thrown directly into a championship fight against either Silva or Demian Maia, who gladly accepted the UFC 112 contest on less than eight weeks notice.
“I don’t think this way,” Belfort said of wanting an immediate title match once he’s good to go. “I’ll do whatever the UFC wants. I’ll focus in my work, whoever the UFC thinks it’s fine.
“I’ll mind my own business. I’ll take care of myself and what I have to do. My opponent should be careful when I come back. When I’m back, they should be ready.”