After Anderson Silva and middleweight champ Chris Weidman were booked for their rematch at UFC 168, Vitor Belfort and his camp made it clear they weren’t interested in risking his #2 ranking at 185. That’s why the fighter turned down a bout with Tim Kennedy, and why in theory, “The Phenom” elected to fight Dan Henderson Saturday at light-heavyweight.
After Belfort-Henderson was booked for UFC FN 32, however, more than a few folks questioned whether the Brazilian would keep his middleweight title shot, if he loses to the 43 year-old legend. Well, during a recent media call to promote Saturday’s card, Dana White clarified the situation (comments 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.”
And as far as Belfort’s apparent idea that the bout with Henderson won’t have a bearing on his title shot?
“I think me and Vitor always have different ideas of what we think things mean.”
So, it looks like Saturday’s fight in Goiania clearly has a ton riding on the bout, as Henderon’s looking to end a two fight losing streak. A win over one of the promotion’s top middleweights would certainly be a big step back forward in “Hendo’s” own title shot run.
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