Dealing with Vitor Belfort has been quite the arduous task.
According to UFC President Dana White, “The Phenom” is a difficult fighter to do business with because of the Brazilian’s conflicting ideas of what would be good match-ups for him. So often have Belfort and UFC brass been unable to come to terms in bout agreements, that White said the fighter is putting himself in awkward positions within the organization.
“Vitor Belfort is in a weird situation in the UFC because Vitor Belfort puts himself in weird situations in the UFC,” White told reporters in Brazil on Sunday. “Every time a fight ends, he’s blowing my phone up, wanting to fight that guy that [just won a fight]. We had fights that we wanted to make for Vitor, and then Vitor has his own ideas of what Vitor wants to do. Vitor has been difficult, so it puts Vitor in a difficult position.”
Belfort currently has a UFC Fight Night 32 main event lined up with Dan Henderson, a light heavyweight bout that will take place on Nov. 9 in Brazil. The fight was one of many, White said, that UFC officials offered Belfort, but the only one he accepted. A match against Tim Kennedy, for example, was one Belfort shot down because the former UFC champion didn’t feel the Strikeforce import deserved a shot at him.
“We wanted to do him and Tim Kennedy. He didn’t want that fight,” White said of Belfort. “He didn’t feel that Tim Kennedy deserved to fight him, whatever his reasoning was. Vitor is difficult. We gotta see what happens with this fight with Vitor, and then we’ll figure out where Vitor is [in the rankings].
“Vitor might win this fight and then want to fight Cain Velasquez, for Christ’s sake. Who knows what Vitor wants to do.”
For now, Belfort has agreed to fight Henderson and bout agreements should be filed with the organization, all but guaranteeing the November main event. After that, Belfort may be offered a fight that sounds too good to refuse – even for him and his high standards.
“To be honest with you,” White said, “it’s not a bad idea having a No.1 [middleweight] contenders’ match between [Lyoto] Machida and Vitor.”