As expected, UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva will defend his title against Vitor Belfort during the biggest football weekend of the year. The challenger confirmed the February 5th date on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon.
“Hey guys look like I will be fighting on [feb] on superbowl week,” Belfort posted.
Belfort was scheduled for a top contender scrap with Yushin Okami at UFC 122, but was presented with an unexpected opportunity courtesy of Chael Sonnen’s failed UFC 117 drug test. The alleged PED abuser was awarded an immediate rematch with Silva, however his tainted performance quickly put that chatter to bed.
UFC president Dana White confirmed Belfort would be granted his shot at the crown last week, however wasn’t certain when Silva and his banged up ribs would be ready to go. Octagon brass were hoping for either UFC 125 on New Year’s Day or during Super Bowl weekend, but Ed Soares, Silva’s manager, hinted last week it might be closer to pigskin time because his client’s side was “still very tender.”
Belfort knocked out former middleweight champ Rich Franklin in a 195-pound catchweight bout in his last outing. Since his September 2009 return to the Octagon, he had his shoulder surgically repaired and cautiously went about his rehab. Now that the former UFC light heavyweight champ is fully healed, he’ll be looking to viciously dethrone the division’s king.
Speaking of royalty, there aren’t many fighters that warrant G.O.A.T. status more than “The Spider.” Up until his miraculous come-from-behind victory over Sonnen – and it appears we now know why the champ was pushed to those depths – nobody legitimately threatened his reign.
The planet’s deadliest assassin is prefect through his last 13 contests.
The Las Vegas Strip is expected to host the shootout, but no word on whether it will be at the Mandalay Bay Event Center or larger MGM Grand Garden Arena.