Dana White made it clear that Vitor Belfort’s middleweight title shot aspirations were on the line at UFC Fight Night 32, and “The Phenom” certainly took another step forward in that respect, by blasting through Dan Henderson. Considering the impressive run Belfort’s been on, the general consensus seems to be that the guy deserves another crack at the belt.
That said, none of Belfort’s recent wins change the fact that he was quickly bombed out by Anderson Silva in 2011, when the latter was still champ. Not long ago, “The Spider” said he wasn’t interested in fighting Belfort again, if he reclaims the belt from Chris Weidman at UFC 168. Well, it looks like Belfort’s win over “Hendo” Saturday night has tweaked Silva’s opinion.
While speaking to the media in Rio de Janeiro recently, Silva relayed (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“I believe he deserves to fight for the title, even because he has been doing his part (to earn a title shot), just like other fighters like Ronaldo Jacare and Lyoto Machida, who just dropped to 185,”
“I saw the fight, he fought really well,” the former champ said. “Vitor has been doing great, showing why he was the UFC champion for a long time. He deserves respect. We’ll just have to wait for the next chapters.”
How about that? Although Silva did cruise through Belfort in their first meeting, clearly the #2 ranked middleweight isn’t the same fighter that faced “The Spider” at UFC 126. Dana White stopped short of guaranteeing Belfort a title shot following UFC FN 32, but chances are the promotion wants to see what goes down at UFC 168 before committing to what’s next. Things are pretty, pretty interesting right now at 185. That’s for sure.
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