If you recall, it wasn’t long ago when Vitor Belfort passed on a bout with UFC FN 31 headliner Tim Kennedy, due to the fact the latter is a 185ér. Belfort and his camp have argued for some time now that the next fight “The Phenom” has at middleweight, will be against the winner of Weidman-Silva II. Thus, this is why he’ll throw down with Dan Henderson at UFC FN 32 Saturday at light-heavyweight and not 185. Well, if protecting his title shot was the main goal all along, it looks like Belfort could have just fought at middleweight after all.
During a recent media call, Dana White was asked whether Belfort will retain a title shot if he loses to “Hendo”, and here’s what the UFC President had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“If [Belfort] loses to Dan Henderson, could he still fight for the title? No, I don’t think so,” White said.
“Vitor’s got to win the fight. This isn’t one of those fights where he’s moving up to light heavyweight to fight Jon Jones. He’s fighting another 185-pounder. They just decided not to cut weight, to fight at 205.”
It certainly seemed like, however, that Belfort and his management believed a fight at 205 wouldn’t affect his standing at middleweight, and to that idea, White stated:
“I think me and Vitor always have different ideas of what we think things mean.”
And really, what White has relayed isn’t at all surprising. It would be kind of hard to fully promote a title fight featuring a guy who just lost, and did so to someone who’s also competed extensively at middleweight. At any rate, Belfort-Henderson should be a fascinating fight. It’s definitely a huge opportunity for “Hendo” to get back on track after his losses to Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida.
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