With his “Affliction: Trilogy” fight against WAMMA champ Fedor Emelianenko, ahem Jorge Santiago, officially scrapped, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort is looking to make a move back to the Octagon and make a run at middleweight king Anderson Silva.
“Anderson is a great friend of mine and a big champion but I’m looking for this [fight to happen],” Belfort told OUL Esporte of Brazil. “I cannot comment much on this right now but yeah, I always want to fight the best fighters. Of course it won’t be a pleasure [being Silva’s friend] but there isn’t another way at all in the sport. Kaka and Ronaldinho (Brazilian soccer players) are friends and have faced each other many times. It is part of my work and I need it to afford milk to the children at home.”
Belfort hasn’t set foot inside an Octagon since he dropped a split decision to Tito Ortiz at UFC 51 back in February of 2005, however that didn’t stop UFC president Dana White from recruiting the Brazilian during a commercial break on the Spike TV broadcast of “The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale.”
Although Belfort was still under contract with the now-defunct Affliction Entertainment at the time, White had already planted the seed for his return.
“UFC is the most recognizable event and I’m doing my job to go back. Being recognized there again is my biggest dream right now,” Belfort added.
Word on the street is that, because Belfort is already in fighting shape, his camp is trying to find a new home for his tussle with Santiago. The most likely cards for that scrap to land is “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” on August 15th or “M-1 Breakthrough” on August 28th. However, due to the asking price connected with each fighter, it’s unlikely that the less established M-1 will be able to ink this bout.
If they can’t square things away, look for Belfort to be back in the UFC sooner rather than later, especially considering the level of mutual interest expressed by all parties.
Silva is slated to take on Forrest Griffin in a light heavyweight affair at UFC 101 on August 8th. Belfort would love to throw his name out there as a possible opponent for the champ once that bout is in the books.