Having most recently handed Dan Henderson (29-11) the first knockout loss of his professional mixed martial arts career, Vitor Belfort (24-10) is setting his sights on the UFC middleweight title.
@danawhite the fans and me are very excited to see who is going to my next opponent on this Saturday I deserve the winner!
— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) July 2, 2013
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Belfort has won his last three fights against Michael Bisping (24-5), Luke Rockhold (10-2), and Henderson all by knockout. The thirty-six year old Brazilian is arguably better than he’s ever been.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, he talked about his title ambitions and expressed his hope of fighting the winner of Weidman vs. Silva II.
“I don’t care who will win on Saturday, because whoever wins will already be preparing to lose,” Belfort (24-10 MMA, 13-6 UFC) told USA TODAY Sports. “That belt belongs to me.”
“I conquered my space,” Belfort said. “I wanted the opportunity to fight for the belt, and here I am. The one thing the fans wanted to see is me getting the title shot. Now I am more than ready to be a world champion in another division.”
“I don’t like this little word ‘if,’” Belfort said. “If we start adding ‘if, if, if,’ that means I wouldn’t conquer anything completely. The sweet feeling is knowing that nobody gave me anything for free. I paid the price and made my way here.”
Belfort already fought and lost to Silva back at UFC 126. Apparently, he now feels he has what it takes to beat the “The Spider” should he emerge victorious in his historic rematch against Weidman at UFC 168.
Belfort has never fought Weidman before, and stylistically, the two would make an interesting matchup. Belfort being more of a speedy standup fighter, and Weidman with his wrestling background would make for classic battle between striker and grappler.
The UFC has not made any official announcements if Belfort will get the winner of Weidman vs. Silva II, but UFC President Dana White has said in the past that Belfort is a likely candidate for a title shot in the division.