The UFC’s middleweight division has been the talk of the town in the past month or so.
Anderson Silva’s next title defense was a mystery until Vitor Belfort knocked out Rich Franklin at UFC 103. Dana White already confirmed the Silva-Belfort fight is in the works for UFC 108, and now Vitor is confirming he has agreed to the fight in an interview with Terra.com.br (translation via Fighter’s Only).
“There’s nothing confirmed yet. There is a verbal agreement on my part. Now it has to do with the champion, Anderson. It is the champion who is in charge, I am scum,” he laughed to Terra.com.br this week.
“In the locker room after my last fight he said: ‘Look, I want you to fight and everyone wants you to fight for the belt.’ I said: “Dana, that’s cool. What you ask me is guaranteed. What the fans want me to do, I do. I just got [back] here [in the UFC], though I already have a history. You’re the boss.'”
Belfort added, “If Dana White said it, so it is spoken. I cannot oppose him, I am under contract. This fight is something natural. It has nothing personal against Anderson, to me there it is work, that’s all there is to it.”
Not surprisingly, Dan Henderson isn’t too happy about the UFC’s decision to put Belfort in the next middleweight title fight. He apparently feels he’s more deserving since he beat Vitor Belfort back in 2006. From Josh Gross’ twitter feed.
Latest Hendo-UFC update. His trip to Vegas last week yielded little. Both sides stand firm. Vitor-Silva “doesn’t sit real well with” Hendo.
More on Silva-Belfort from Hendo: “I guess a guy that I beat gets to jump to the front of the line.”
While Hendo still longs for his chance at redemption against Anderson, Wanderlei Silva, still eyeing his middleweight debut, has shifted his attention away from Anderson (they made up) and focused on a rematch with Vitor.
“Of course we will fight,” he said. “I want this fight too much. I believe the first one didn’t happen as I wanted. I was surprised, and it will not happen again now because I’m much more experienced. I’m not saying it will be now or later, but when it happens, I’ll prepare myself a lot to be in my best shape because he is a tough opponent, and I want to give the show everybody expects from me.”
If Wand’s prediction is accurate — he says Anderson will destroy Vitor — I’m betting he gets that fight sooner rather than later. Hendo, on the other hand, will have to get through a contract negotiation and probably Nate Marquardt before he gets his wish.