Apparently, Vitor Belfort has changed his nickname from “The Phenom” to “The Back of My Hand” because that’s how well he claims to know UFC middleweight king of Anderson Silva.
“I know his whole game,” Belfort recent told Rede TV. “I know his jiu jitsu game. I know his stand-up game. I know he likes spinning kicks and loves to use elbows, but if I put my hands on a man, he will fall down.”
After putting down former middleweight champ Rich Franklin in his Octagon return at UFC 103, Belfort and “The Spider” were set to tango for the title at UFC 112 but a shoulder injury forced the challenger to withdraw. Silva has successfully defended his belt twice since their meeting fell through, but Belfort knows the outcomes would have been different had he been the one inside the cage.
“If I hit him like Demian [Maia] and [Chael] Sonnen did, it’s going to be different because I have much more firepower,” he matter-of-factly stated. “Still, a fight is a fight, and we know we’re two well-conditioned champions. The most important thing is to be well-trained and focused on each second of that fight.
“I know Anderson knows that if my hands hit him, he will not be able to stand on his feet. No matter who’s on the other side of the cage, whether it’s Anderson or someone else, I’m going forward. If you look at my last fights, you’re going to see how focused I am. I know what I want. I have no doubt about what I want or what I’m able to do, so I’m very motivated.”
Now that Sonnen has been granted an immediate rematch, Octagon brass decided to pit Belfort against Japanese stud Yushin Okami to determine who gets next dibs. If the planet’s baddest 185-pounder were to lose his strap in the mulligan, Belfort would be just fine with facing Sonnen as well.
“I really want this belt. I want to face whoever has the belt,” Belfort said. “Today, it’s Anderson, so I really want to face him. He can’t fight this year, and I won’t wait for him until next year.”
Belfort and Okami will collide at UFC 122 inside the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany on November 13th.