Vitor Belfort explosively reentered the Octagon by putting Rich Franklin down at UFC 103 last September. Although the Brazilian did his damage in a 195-pound catchweight affair, the resounding 1stRound victory earned him a middleweight title shot nonetheless.
While it appeared as though Octagon brass handed him his opportunity on a gold platter, a shoulder injury abruptly forced him to pull out of his UFC 112 showdown with champion Anderson Silva. It’s assumed he’ll be next in line after Chael Sonnen if he can beat an underrated Yushin Okami at UFC 122, but “The Phenom” isn’t looking past the task at hand.
“I’ve learned one thing in life. Everybody has a course. Everybody has a path. I know where I want to go and I know I’m going to get there,” Belfort told LVRJ.com. “I know what I have to do to get there. The obstacles in the way, I don’t choose. God knows, my job is to get through them.”
Speaking of underrated, Belfort completely understands how talented the Japanese fighter is, but he’s certainly not shivering in his Brazilian boots.
“I’m not worried at all about him. I’m not worried about anyone besides myself,” he matter-of-factly said. “I’m worried about me and working on myself every day to get in the best condition because I know when I’m in my best condition, I’m trouble.”
Two factors not going in Belfort’s favor is the fact half of Okami’s 30 fights have gone the distance, and that Belfort will also be battling a 14-month hiatus by the time the cage door slams shut on November 13th. Despite the difficult odds, Befort has no choice but to answer the bell.
He has to. The man upstairs already gave him his assignment and you know you can’t disappoint the Big Guy.