Esther Lin for MMA Fighting/Jesse Holland MMAMania

I think we know who Vitor Belfort is rooting for at UFC 162…

If you’re Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Vitor Belfort, this probably isn’t the news you were hoping to hear.

“The Phenom” recently told UFC President Dana White that he “deserves” the next shot at the 185-pound strap, following two spectacular head-kick knockouts over fellow top division contenders Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold.

There’s just one problem.

Belfort was blown out of the water by reigning middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva when they first met for the title back at UFC 126, and trying to convince the 38 year-old “Spider” to extend another invitation — particularly with a pair of “super fights” looming — is a pretty tall order.

White explains (via MMA Weekly):

“So when you go back to Anderson Silva, who is in the twilight of his career, and you say to a guy like Anderson, what about Vitor? ‘I annihilated Vitor. I got other fights that I wanna fight.’ You talk about his legacy and his this and his that. Those are tough fights to make. I’m not saying that Vitor couldn’t get the next shot, or couldn’t get a shot soon, but if you’re Anderson Silva… ‘I wanna fight (Georges St. Pierre) or Jon Jones or somebody different.’ You could make a better argument that Dan Henderson should get the next shot. He hasn’t looked impressive and he hasn’t won, but (Silva) didn’t beat him as bad as he did Vitor.”


Henderson hasn’t seen the 185-pound weight class since coming up lame in his Strikeforce debut, a five-round decision loss to Jake Shields in Nashville back in 2010. Since then, “Hendo” has been doing work at 205 pounds, with mixed results, but did offer to drop back down for a crack at the crown.

That can happen when you lose two straight.

And since he holds a 2006 win over Belfort under the PRIDE banner, he apparently makes “the better argument,” though I’m not too sure Silva would be keen on entertaining a second dance with Henderson, either, having dispatched the rugged ex-Olympian in March 2008.

What a tangled web we weave.

Then again, none of this really matters if Silva coughs up his belt to Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 162: “Silva vs. Weidman,” which takes place tomorrow night (July 6, 2013) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Belfort vs. Weidman? Yeah, I could see that.



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