After Wanderlei Silva’s loss at UFC 147, his long-time rival Vitor Belfort says that a fight against the native of Curitiba no longer interests him at the moment. Instead he is looking for a fight that would get him a title shot again, or at least a step closer to one.
“Actually, [Wanderlei] is a fight that will not take me to the title. I mean, I would face Wanderlei… but only because its the fight the fans want to see. Whatever the UFC decides, it has to be done. I don’t know how long he will get medical suspension because he took many hits, both he and Rich Franklin actually,” he told SPORTV.COM (translated by Fighters Only)
“I guess Wanderlei will be able to fight in October but I only want that my next bout that accredits me to dispute the belt. I don’t know, maybe Michael Bisping. I was only defeated once recently, by Anderson Silva, and all my wins were very convincing.
“I think I deserve this chance for my legacy. Some fighters are like: ‘Ah, the guy who has the belt is my friend, I don’t want [to fight] him’ - well, I want it,” he affirmed.
Belfort also raised the subject of fighters picking and choosing opponents in the hope of obtaining an easier match. Specifically he laid into Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, who according to UFC president Dana White had said he would “rather be cut from the UFC than fight Glover Teixeira” (Rua denies saying this).
“I don’t pick fights. There are people who say ‘If they give me this guy, I would rather be fired’! I was even talking about it with Dana White. How can anybody choose their fight? Obviously some managers force things for their athletes go up in the career but I want to make a fight that interests the public. I already am in the end of my career, so I want to do one more fight and go for the belt,” he said.
“Joe Rogan spoke with me that it makes all sense, unless Hector Lombard wins very well over Tim Boetsch. And Lorenzo Fertitta told me that I would dispute the title if I had beat Wanderlei.”
Despite claiming to be “in the end of his career”, Belfort also says he has an interest in moving up to light-heavyweight for some fights. (Privately, he is known to have expressed a desire to continue fighting for around five more years.)
“I don’t know how long I will stay in this division. I wanted to do more two or three fights. If my body will no longer permit this big weight cutting, I will go up (to 205-lbs). I am not afraid of Jon Jones or somebody else... Its not for me to choose my opponents.”
Despite the controversial build-up with Wanderlei Silva during The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, Belfort made a point of congratulating his rival for his performance against Rich Franklin in the main event of UFC 147 past Saturday.
“I loved the fight. Wanderlei would fight me the way he fought Rich. He is very aggressive, he has this characteristic. I thought he fought very well, despite the fact he didn’t win. He had a very good moment (in the end of the second round). The fight goes down in history,” he complimented.
“I respect him as an athlete, he left his best out there, so did Franklin. Rich Franklin’s challenge was harder - he had three weeks to prepare for a five-round bout. They’re two legends of the sport. I was happy to see that fight.”bout. They’re two legends of the sport. I was happy to see that fight.”
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