Vitor Belfort Sees Behind Anderson Silva’s “Mask”

Written by Tom Ngo
February 4th, 2011

UFC Middleweight Vitor Belfort

Although Anderson Silva is 36 years of age, the UFC middleweight champ felt his future was so bright he had to wear shades during Wednesday’s press conference. During the presser, Silva was short with most of his answers and engaged in an intense stare down session with Vitor Belfort to wrap the media powwow.

While Silva has continued to stockpile wins at unprecedented clips, some feel his game isn’t quite as lethal as it once was, and that’s why his sideshow act has been showcased as of late. As the antics may have become old hat for the sport’s deadliest marksman, it’s just plain old to Belfort.

“I just know one thing, when you say silly things, when you do silly things, it’s because you’re worried and you’re trying to wear a mask,” Belfort said during Thursday’s media workouts. “The way I fight, and the way I am, I have respect.

“I just need to wear one mask, myself.”

Silva stands a lanky six feet two inches tall, so literally staring down his victims has occurred more often than not over his illustrious career. However, Wednesday’s blinking contest took intensity to new heights as Belfort refused to get bullied.

“His actions speak louder than his words. I think he respects me. I just think he wears the mask, trying to intimidate me,” Belfort said of Silva’s attempt to spook him. “He can see it in my eyes. I’m on fire.

“I’m not getting intimidated by anyone.”

When it comes to Silva, Belfort believes there are plenty of smoke and mirrors being used to maintain “The Spider” brand. In regards to how Belfort intends to build his “Phenom” fan base, you’re looking at it.

“I don’t need to make a persona to sell more pay-per-views,” Belfort said. “I am who I am, and that’s one of the things the fans can identify themselves with in me.

“Maybe I’m not perfect, maybe I’m not the best, but I am who I am.”

“UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort” takes place Saturday inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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